“On our individual phone bills, a line item is typically included for 911 service,” FCC Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Jessica Rosenworcel wrote in an op-ed for The Hill today. It’s a relatively small fee that states and localities charge to support emergency calling services. But too many states are stealing these funds and using them for other purposes, like filling budget gaps, purchasing vehicles, or worse.”
West Virginians would vote in November on an amendment to the state constitution that says nothing in the constitution “secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion,” if a resolution approved by state lawmakers in one committee Monday continues to progress.
The West Virginia Senate Thursday advanced a resolution proposing a constitutional amendment on abortion after rejecting an amendment which would have limited the scope to exclude cases of rape and incest or when it’s medically necessary to save the mother’s life.
Anticipating a ruling by the U.S Supreme Court to nix a federal prohibition, members of the House Judiciary Committee passed a bill Tuesday afternoon to permit sports betting at casinos in West Virginia.
If enacted, it would allow people to bet on sporting events, at any level, at casinos or from their homes using a mobile phone app
“No way am I buying that,” Carmichael told MetroNews “Talkline” Host Hoppy Kercheval Wednesday. “I’m not even steamed or mad about it. It’s comical This is a ridiculous proposal to say that this court is going to cost $12 million for six judges?”
The new bill is only 66 pages and keeps DHHR largely intact, breaking out only two separate agencies. The Office of Inspector General will become independent, charged with investigating fraud, waste and abuse throughout state government.
A House of Delegates committee passed a bill Tuesday evening to restructure the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources, an agency that Del. Amy Summers, R-Taylor, has described as an “unmanageable bureaucracy”
The committee took up SB 252 on Tuesday, the second day of its deliberations. The committee was clearly divided during the course of the hour and was in the process of closing comments when time ran out and Sen. Charles Trump, R-Morgan, moved to adjourn.
Lawmakers working on a bill to decide how to redraw legislative districts after 2020 completely changed their proposal at the last minute, removing all mention of a nonpartisan, independent commission to redraw the districts.
Instead, the proposal now would have legislators redraw their districts after the 2020 U.S. Census, as they have done after previous censuses.
House Bill 4424 would expand the state Ethics Act, which currently includes any person involved in day-to-day operation of governance for a public official, to include those who serve in an advisory capacity and “provide services without compensation when other similarly situated persons receive compensation for those services.”
A memo requiring all state agencies to remove Gov. Jim Justice’s name and seal from letterhead was the result of social media, the governor said Thursday.
The memo was sent out Jan. 25 from Department of Administration Secretary John Myers, who told each state agency the use of the governor’s name and title on agency letterhead and electronic media was no longer permissible.
For example, Pennsylvania estimates it is spending $5 million a year on the overdose-reversal drug naloxone. And in Middletown, Ohio, City Councilman Dan Picard estimates that each ambulance run for an overdose costs the city $1,140, which includes the cost of naloxone and wear-and-tear on the ambulance. From October 2016 to October 2017, Middletown answered 916 overdose calls, taking more than $1 million out of its $30 million annual budget.
The opioid epidemic is costing West Virginia’s economy an estimated $8.8 billion a year, according to an analysis by a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute.
Among all states, West Virginia shoulders the highest per-capita economic burden caused by the opioid crisis. The Mountain State also dedicates the largest share of its gross domestic product — 12 percent — to costs related to the epidemic, the study found.
This is a solvable problem, and through philanthropy we can make some progress. But real success requires much bolder leadership — and a far greater sense of urgency — from both elected officials and industry leaders.
The new director is Dr. Michael Brumage, who had most recently been executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. He is also Assistant Dean for Public Health Practice and Service at the WVU’s School of Public Health and assistant clinical professor of medicine at WVU’s School of Medicine.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced a five point initiative on Tuesday to combat the opioid crisis. Members of the State Police and Charleston Police and several legislators joined him for the announcement.
“We have far too much senseless death in West Virginia,” he said.
According to Sheena Hunt, Region VI Executive Director, after the decision was made to allocate some of the funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Region VI approached the Taylor County Commission.
“We decided we wanted to try for a broadband grant, that would help update the area’s 2013 Broadband Strategic Plan,” said Hunt. “Because we were on a strict deadline, and the Taylor County Commission was the next county to hold a meeting, we met with them and ask them if they’d be on board, and they agreed,” said Hunt.
The House Education Committee advanced Friday legislation that would require public two-year and four-year colleges to allow people to carry concealed guns on their campuses, including in their buildings and at sporting events, if those individuals have permits.
The bill passed on a voice vote with multiple “no’s” heard, and it’s now heading to the House Judiciary Committee.
Senate Bill 244 revises conditions under which people who have concealed handgun permits could carry a concealed handgun in their car while at a public school. The bill also revises conditions under which a retired law-enforcement officer may have a firearm on a school bus, at a school or at certain school-sponsored functions.
In the immediate aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, there was a fevered pitch to ban bump stocks, the device that allowed the shooter’s semi-automatic rifles to mimic the rapid fire of machine guns.
With that push stalled at the federal level, a handful of states and some cities are moving ahead with bans of their own.
State Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy says they’re proposing two alternate jail per diem rates that will be paid by the federal government and by the state Division of Corrections, allowing the county per diem rate to remain at $48.25.
“We think we’re in the best position, through our Board of Governors, to make those determinations,” said Rob Alsop, the school’s VP for Strategic Initiatives said Friday on “Talkline” with Hoppy Kercheval. “We also have a lot of areas on our campus where we don’t think that the presence of concealed weapons is a good thing.”
Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone, and Delegate Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha, spoke about issues they think may come up in this legislative session, including a bill to allow “vertical integration” of licenses. This would allow a person to have a license in two or more areas where they could be growers and processors, processors and dispensaries or all three.
Teachers appear to be winning some concessions on their wages and health insurance plans, but it’s too soon to tell if those concessions will be big enough to stave off further walkouts or a statewide strike.
The presidents of both teachers unions say they came away from a meeting Friday morning with the leadership of the House of Delegates “encouraged” about being included in upcoming discussions about a long-term fix to the Public Employees Insurance Agency. The new information will be passed along to teacher leaders at a key meeting scheduled for this weekend.
“House leadership wants to work on a long-term fix, which is very encouraging,” West Virginia American Federation of Teachers President Christine Campbell said during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline.”
Gov. Jim Justice said Thursday that West Virginia teachers, school service personnel and other state employees should consider it a “happy day,” with plans progressing to freeze pending Public Employees Insurance Agency health premiums for a year and to give fiscally prudent pay raises.
A bill that would allow companies to drill on minority mineral owners’ land without their consent moved from committee to the House of Delegates floor Friday afternoon, but not without an hour of public comments and nearly three hours of committee deliberation.