June 2016

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June 15, 2016

State budget passes, heads to Tomblin’s desk
By Pamela Pritt, Register Herald reporter

Lawmakers have fended off a $271 million budget gap and a potential state government shutdown by passing a budget nearly a month into an extraordinary session.

A long-awaited state budget is headed to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's desk with a little more than two weeks to spare before the June 30 deadline that would have spelled a government shutdown. West Virginia has no...

June 17, 2016

Tomblin signs budget bill into law
By Jeff Jenkins , WV MetroNews

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin used his line-item veto power seven times in signing the new state budget bill (SB1013) into law Friday.

The signing means state government will continue to operate beyond the end of the current fiscal year June 30.

“While the Legislature did not approve all of my recommendations and the process took longer than I would have liked, I appreciate the work of all...

June 21, 2016

Kids Count director pleased with upward movement of ranking
By Jeff Jenkins, MetroNews

The interim executive director of West Virginia Kids Count believes the state can continue to move up the list of children’s well-being in the years ahead if the current momentum continues.

The latest Kids Count Data Book has West Virginia at 39 out of 50 states. The Mountain State is ranked third overall in the category of children covered by health insurance, which is...

June 21, 2016

WV Center for Professional Development survives budgeting process
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

A state-funded professional training center begins a three-day conference Monday in Charleston just days after it faced possible elimination in the state budgeting process.

Funding had been stripped away from the West Virginia Center for Professional Development (WVCPD) in the budget plans that were going back and forth between Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and state...

June 21, 2016

Kanawha first in state to start school this year
Ryan Quinn, WV Gazette

Kanawha County Schools will be the first public school system in West Virginia to call students back to class for the upcoming school year, according to a state Department of Education report.

For the vast majority of Kanawha schools, students are supposed to return Aug. 8. The next earliest start date is Aug. 10, when students in both Braxton and Mercer counties are to return to...

June 24, 2016

PEIA board re-approves plan with premium increases
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

PEIA finance board members on Thursday approved what could be called 2016-17 PEIA Finance Plan version 4.0.

Last October, with its reserve fund emptied and seemingly no likelihood of additional state funding, the board reluctantly approved what became known as the “draconian” plan to cut benefits for active West Virginia government employees and retirees by $120...

June 24, 2016

PEIA Finance Board approves new FY 17 plan
By Carrie Hodousek, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board approved a plan Thursday to reduce the premium increase for retirees from 12 percent to 6 percent.

State employees insured with PEIA would still have to pay the 12 percent increase included in the new state budget signed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin last week.

Tomblin proposed the supplemental...

June 27, 2016

SBA: Fayette building needs too great; kids' education suffering
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

OAK HILL — West Virginia School Building Authority officials have told Fayette County Capital Planning Committee members that the SBA can’t afford to fix all the county’s school buildings, that students, staff and resources are spread thin among facilities and that kids’ education is suffering because of it.

“Deferred maintenance and upkeep has...

June 28, 2016

25 schools reportedly damaged by flood, storm
By David Gutman and Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

At Herbert Hoover High School near Clendenin, 3 to 5 inches of mud still coated the entire first floor Monday, an unwelcome gift left by 6 feet of flood water that swamped the school and may prevent it from starting classes on time next school year.

About 5 miles down the road, at Bridge Elementary School in Elkview, the flood filled the school with 3...

June 28, 2016

School damage reports changing rapidly; start times may be pushed back
By WV MetroNews Staff

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State school leaders are taking post-flood procedures day by day and assessment by assessment.

Damage has been reported in schools in 25 of the state’s 55 counties.

“I’m hopeful, but in some cases we’re very concerned about the severe damage,” said West Virginia Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano.

Tuesday morning he was...

June 29, 2016

National education leaders giving money for supplies at flooded schools
By Shauna Johnson, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — First comes cleaning, then comes repairs and resupplying at the more than two dozen West Virginia schools damaged, in some form, in the June 23rd flood.

Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, is pledging his organization’s support for the affected teachers and students with about six weeks remaining before...

June 29, 2016

Boone school board meets Thursday; may consider new cuts
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Boone County’s school board has called a special meeting for noon Thursday -- the last day of this fiscal year -- and may vote on state-directed cuts to its 2016-17 fiscal year budget, which the board already passed and takes effect Friday.

The state Department of Education has declined to comment on the issue until after the meeting. Boone schools...