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Guest Columns

This week from Charleston

The biggest news of the week was that Governor Tomblin signed the minimum wage bill. HB 4283 increased West Virginia's minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.75 per hour over two years. There was a last-ditch effort to derail the bill. One of the most curious aspects of campaign to get the Governor to ...

This week from Charleston

The 2014 session focused on many aspects of government reform. One of the reform bills that made it into law is SB 356. This bill reforms state purchasing and specifically targets abuse of the bidding process. It gives new powers to the Secretary of Administration to rein in agencies that ...

This week from Charleston

As predicted, the Governor called us in to special session and the fracking waste bill and the haircut bill were both considered again. Both bills have been made better for the Eastern Panhandle, but both are still bad. Ultimately, despite the negotiations and work to make the bills better by ...

How do we get there? You're already there!

"How do we get there?" was the question raised last Tuesday at the conclusion of the first meeting of the Caf Society, an intergenerational dialogue held every Tuesday morning from 8:30-9:30 in the Rumsey Room of Shepherd's Student Center. Co-facilitator Mike Austin had turned to my silent self ...

This week from Charleston

The 2014 session of the Legislature has been gaveled to a close, and it's time to begin looking back at what made it and what did not. It looks like there were 198 bills that made it all the way through both the House and Senate. There were a number of bills that almost, but did not quite ...

This week from Charleston

This past Wednesday was "cross-over" day. If a bill did not make it out of either house, it died. A lot of good bills did not make it for various reasons. One bill that did not make it out of committee was the Gas Deregulation and Free Market Competition Act of 2014 which I co-sponsored ...

Is spiritual development practical?

So this is a monthly column on spiritual development and today's topic: Is spiritual development practical? Of course my answer is "yes"! Here are some reasons why.First, it contributes to self-knowledge in a context of properly ordered self-love and love of neighbor. If it does not, then it ...

This week from Charleston

This last week was critical in that all bills originating in the House make it out of committee on the Forty-seventh Day in order to make it to a floor vote prior to "cross-over" day, which is the Fiftieth day of the Sixty day Legislative session. On crossover day, all bills must have been ...

This week from Charleston

The Minimum Wage Bill passed the House this week. If this bill becomes law, the minimum wage will go up on Jan. 1, 2017 and again the following. Berkeley County Delegate Jason Barrett was the lead sponsor of the bill. As a small business owner, Delegate Barrett brings a unique perspective to ...

This week from Charleston

Things are moving very quickly in the Legislature. This week one of the bills that I am lead sponsor on, HB 2966, The Internet Privacy Protection Act, passed the House of Delegates 97-0. This bill protects employees who are unfairly asked for their private account information, including ...