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Senate committee originates bill to cut coal tax
By Jeff Jenkins | MetroNews

The state Senate Finance Committee originated a bill Monday afternoon to decrease the state’s coal severance tax by two percent over two years in hopes of making West Virginia’s coal more competitive with other states.

The rate would go from 5 percent to 3 percent under the bill (SB 705), Sen. Finance Committee Chair Mike Hall (R-Putnam) said.

“We’re (currently) taxing...


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...


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...


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...


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...