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March-29-2016

Commentary: Tomblin faces decision on 180 days
By Hoppy Kercheval, WV MetroNews

For years, the goal of 180 days of instruction for public school children in West Virginia was taken lightly. Arbitrary start and end dates to the school year, combined with snow days, contributed to many counties consistently failing to meet the standard.

That changed in 2013 when the legislature passed Governor Tomblin’s comprehensive education reform bill, which opened the...

March-28-2016

Budget impasse continues among state’s leading lawmakers
By Matt Maccaro , WV MetroNews

Leading lawmakers are trying to find a way to move forward with a budget, but so far there’s been little movement in the process.

House Speaker Tim Armstead said a budget was in place, but an announcement by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin of a $92 million dollar hole in projected revenue threw a wrench in their plans.

“We had basically reached an agreement with the...

March-28-2016

WV Governor Tomblin approves bill increasing penalties for passing stopped school buses
The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, West Virginia — West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has approved increased penalties for passing stopped school buses.

Tomblin signed the bill Thursday.

On a first offense, drivers passing a school bus that stopped to pick up or drop off students could be guilty of a misdemeanor, fined $250 to $500, imprisoned up to six months...

March-24-2016

PEIA shortfalls hinge on budget debate
By Chris Lawrence, MetroNews

The Finance Board of the Public Employees Insurance Agency is slated to meet next week in an emergency session. It’s likely the board will restore more than $120 Million in cuts the agency originally presented to insured state workers and retirees last year.

The lack of a budget for next fiscal year left the Finance Board with no other option.

“Fiduciarily they do have to do that,...

March-24-2016

Commentary: PEIA predicament brings pressure on lawmakers, governor

By Hoppy Kercheval
WV MetroNews

One of the critical pressure points in the ongoing discussions between the Tomblin administration and legislative leaders over a budget for next fiscal year is funding for the Public Employees Insurance Agency. PEIA is the state’s health insurance program for 220,000 public employees and retirees.

Last year, the PEIA finance board proposed a series of controversial...

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