August 2023 interims

A standing woman looks at her phone while talking to three people sitting at a table with their laptops in front of them.

Making it through our first special session of the West Virginia Legislature

BY: - August 15, 2023

Well, we did it — we survived our first legislative interim and special session. And it was within a month of our launch.  The Monday before interims, we tried to determine who wanted to attend what sessions, which was just a guessing game since the agendas weren’t made available until later in the week. We […]

A hand hovers over a box with "yay" and "nay" buttons.

A look at what bills failed during West Virginia’s special session

BY: - August 14, 2023

A hurried special session wrapped up last Tuesday evening, where Legislators passed 35 of the 44 bills proposed to them in a packed proclamation from Gov. Jim Justice. Bills currently awaiting Justice’s signature include new policies for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations and several budget allocations for everything from pay raises and bonuses for […]

Budget appropriations drag out West Virginia special session; 35 of 44 bills passed

BY: and - August 9, 2023

The West Virginia Legislature ended a three-day special session Tuesday, where they passed 35 of 44 bills requested by Gov. Jim Justice.  After weeks of anticipation, Justice called the special session on Sunday afternoon with just 30 minute notice. The special session overlapped with previously scheduled interim meetings, leading to several being canceled between Sunday […]

State tries to address growing number of foster kids in residential care

BY: - August 9, 2023

The number of West Virginia foster kids in residential care is increasing, despite a federal mandate to reduce the number of children in facilities, some who are housed out of state.  There are currently 511 kids in residential care, state data shows. State health department leadership told lawmakers Tuesday that the department developed a new […]

Hornbuckle makes history as first Black man elected to WV’s minority leader position

BY: - August 8, 2023

House Democrats elected Del. Sean Hornbuckle as their minority leader, marking a historic moment for the party as he is the first Black man to take on the role. “I think it’s more of a testament to my caucus to have that confidence in me,” said Hornbuckle, D-Cabell. “It’s surreal to have the opportunity to […]

A sandstone building with "South Central Regional Jail" on the side of it sits in the background behind a parking lot.

Pay raises, bonuses and more: Legislators tackle jails in second day of special session

BY: , and - August 7, 2023

Almost exactly a year after Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for West Virginia’s jails — where correctional officer vacancy rates are at an all-time high and mortality rates for those incarcerated are some of the highest in the nation — the state Legislature tackled a number of proposed laws Monday attempting to […]

‘Third Grade Success Act’ implementation underway for new school year

BY: - August 7, 2023

State education leaders and schools are working to implement new reading and math teaching strategies as required under a new state law. The legislation, known as the “Third Grade Success Act,” also requires schools to staff new positions while the state is experiencing teacher and staff shortages.  West Virginia Department of Education leadership shared updates […]

The Lincoln Walks at Midnight Statue sits in front of the gold West Virginia State Capitol dome, with a blue sky with white fluffy clouds in the background.

WV legislative special session started Sunday with suspension of rules, fast-tracking bills

BY: , and - August 6, 2023

With just 30 minutes of notice from the governor, the West Virginia Legislature gavelled in Sunday for a special session where both chambers suspended rules to advance a number of bills to third reading with almost no discussion. While Gov. Jim Justice spent the early afternoon at the controversial LIV golf tournament at his Greenbrier […]