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March-13-2016

Statehouse Beat: Worst session in 27 years
By Phil Kabler, Staff Writer

If I were to rank the 27 legislative sessions I've covered from best to worst, I would immediately be able to assign the just-ended 2016 session to 27th place.

I've seen many sessions that didn't accomplish much, but no other session compares in terms of the outright damage done to the state's image, its economic health and its immediate future.

Arguably, the biggest issues...

March-10-2016

Kiss critical of lawmakers’ budget efforts
By Chris Lawrence | WV MetroNews

Republicans say one thing and do another according to state Tax and Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss.  Kiss, appearing on MetroNews Talkline Thursday, lashed out at the budget bills proposed by the GOP in the House and Senate.

“They are spending more money and they are spending it with one-time money,” Kiss said. “If the answer to this is cut, then let them do it.  They have the budget...

March-10-2016

School calendar bill gives counties flexibility, committee chair says
By Pamela Pritt Register-Herald Reporter

 Lawmakers in the Senate have amended a House bill that creates flexibility for county school districts' start and end date and eliminates the 180-day requirement for instructional days.

The Senate passed the bill 32-2 Wednesday.

HB 4171 now says that school systems are not allowed to begin before Aug. 10 and may not continue after June 10...

March-10-2016

State BOE takes a stand against pending Common Core bill
By Sarah Plummer, Register-Herald Reporter

The State Board of Education passed a resolution Wednesday in opposition to the Common Core Bill, which, according to the resolution, “disrupts the accountability system” in West Virginia Schools.

The resolution states, House Bill 4014, “reflects the worst of the legislative process” and asks the Legislature to reject the bill. If they will not, the...

March-10-2016

No new taxes as budget tightens
Hoppy's Commentary | Hoppy Kercheval, Talkline

From the start of the session, much of the discussion by lawmakers and Governor Tomblin has been about increasing taxes and fees.

Tomblin proposed a tobacco tax increase and an elimination of the sales tax exemption (a de facto tax increase) on telephone services.  The Senate upped the ante by more than doubling Tomblin’s cigarette tax increase to $1 a pack, as well as raising...

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