February 2016

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February 19, 2016

Injured student helped driver in school bus wreck

By Chris Lawrence, WV MetroNews



February 19, 2016

Jim Justice: ‘I am the only guy who can win’ in November; Other Democratic candidates disagree
By Shauna Johnson | WV MetroNews

Businessman Jim Justice says there is “no chance on Earth” any of the other Democratic candidates running for governor in West Virginia can win against Senate President Bill Cole (R-Mercer, 06), the likely Republican gubernatorial nominee, in November.

“They just can’t beat Bill Cole,” Justice said of Booth Goodwin, a former U.S...

February 21, 2016

House bill backs state school board’s decision on common core; no repeal language included
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

The House of Delegates is moving a bill that does not repeal the teaching standards the state Board of Education replaced Common Core with late last year.

The House of Delegates Education Committee quickly passed a reworked bill Saturday morning. There was no discussion on the bill before the vote.

The bill (HB 4014) was approved...

February 21, 2016

Religious Freedom bill causes upheaval under the dome in Charleston
By Pamela Pritt, Register-Herald Reporter

The Restoration of Freedom of Religion Act, passed by 21 other states and adopted in some form by 11 others, is championed by a coalition of House Christians and opposed by some lawmakers here as an unnecessary measure that is divisive and discriminatory.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects religious freedom, and on the floor of...

February 23, 2016

West Virginia Senate OKs permitless concealed gun bill
By Jonathan Mattise Associated Press

People 21 years and older would be allowed to carry concealed guns in West Virginia without permits or training under a bill that passed the Senate on Monday.

Senators voted 24-9 to approve the measure Monday. The bill requires at least one additional House vote before the Republican-led Legislature sends it to Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who vetoed a similar...

February 23, 2016

Smoking tax increase clears Senate, heads to the House
By Hoppy Kercheval  | WV MetroNews

The state Senate has approved on a bi-partisan vote a $1 per pack increase in the cigarette tax to help offset the state’s budget problems, while reducing the high rate of tobacco use.

SB 420 would increase the tax on a pack of cigarettes to $1.55. Governor Tomblin proposed only a 45-cent increase. The bill also raises the tax on other tobacco...

February 25, 2016

Do we really need Constitutional Carry?
Hoppy's Commentary | Hoppy Kercheval

The Legislature has passed and sent to Governor Tomblin the Constitutional Carry bill. HB 4145 eliminates the requirement for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Currently, West Virginians have to obtain a...

February 29, 2016

High schools with 90-percent graduation rates recognized at State Capitol
By Shauna Johnson | WV MetroNews

More than 90 percent of the seniors at 47 West Virginia high schools graduated as part of the Class of 2015.

On Friday, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin joined Dr. Michael Martirano, state superintendent of schools, and Mike Green, president of the state Board of Education, along with lawmakers, school administrators and others to recognize those schools during...

February 29, 2016

Priorities for the rest of the session
By Pamela Pritt, Register-Herald reporter

With fewer than 14 days before this legislative session adjourns as scheduled, lawmakers still have hundreds of bills to sort and prioritize. Some will make it into law, most will not. But first and foremost, the state must have a balanced budget. 

And that balancing act is causing wear and tear on lawmakers who had hoped for a year of tax reform.

Senate President Bill...