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Report from the Legislature

Why so few farm wineries in West Virginia?

In both Maryland and Virginia we see large farm wineries. These businesses draw many tourists to those two states, and bring in significant tax revenue to the treasuries of those states.Why don't we have the same level of investment in farm wineries here in Jefferson County? We have the same ...

Legislature ends special session, subsidizes coal-fired power plant

On July 23, the Legislature finally ended the Special Session (originally to be just on K-12 education) that began on March 9, the day the Regular Session ended.The final act was passage of a bill to give a taxpayer subsidy of $12 million per year to a coal-fired electric power plant in ...

Bill supporting charter schools narrowly passes House of Delegates

After a marathon nine-hour debate on June 19, the West Virginia House of Delegates narrowly approved a bill permitting charter schools in our state.The vote was 51-47, with two delegates absent. Had those two been present, one would have voted in favor of the bill and the other would have ...

Short assembly of a long special session

Monday, May 20, the West Virginia Legislature re-convened the extraordinary session it's actually been in since March 9. This was the first activity of the session.Convening at around 2:30 p.m. and finishing about five hours later, we took up about three dozen bills and passed most of them.The ...

What to expect from West Virginia Legislature’s special session

The West Virginia Legislature will probably convene in special session May 20, to consider K-12 education issues, and maybe a few other things.We're already technically in that special session. On March 9, when the 2019 Regular Session ended, Governor Jim Justice called the Legislature into ...

Firearms at college: The ‘campus carry’ bill

One of the most talked about bills during this year's regular session of the West Virginia legislature was one called the "campus carry" bill. Thankfully, it did not pass.This bill would have permitted college students to bring firearms onto the campus at every public college or university in ...

The MARC train: Still on the rails?

The budget for fiscal year 2020 passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Jim Justice includes $1.1 million as a state subsidy for the MARC commuter train, operated by the State of Maryland with service to Jefferson and Berkeley counties.The bad news is that this figure is lower than the ...

The ins and outs of the ‘Omnibus’ Education Bill

When the West Virginia House of Delegates shot down the "Omnibus" Education Bill sent to it by the State Senate, the people of our state were failed. I suspect this failure was inevitable.The Senate and the House approached the issue of public schools from entirely different points of view. The ...

Pros and cons of tuition-free community college

The State Senate has taken the lead in working on the proposal by Governor Jim Justice to provide "tuition-free" community college to a limited number of West Virginians.I use the word "free," although his proposal does not meet my definition of "free." Lately, his bill is being described more ...

Ready for the 2018 West Virginia legislative session

The Chronicle has graciously permitted me to use this space to report to you once each month, throughout the year, on the doings of the West Virginia Legislature.I was informed last week that I will be serving on the Education Committee. This was my first choice, and I'm happy my request was ...