W.Va. Regular Legislative Session in the Books

The West Virginia Legislature adjourned Sine Die Saturday to wrap up the 2021 Regular Session. In total, the Legislature passed 282 bills, including the budget bill, in the 60-day session. Although Governor Justice allowed for a one-day extension of session for work on the budget, it was not needed.

The Legislature’s $4.495 billion budget was less than the Governor’s proposed $4.569 billion budget filed at the beginning of session, amounting to a $73 million dollar difference in revenue expenditures. The primary difference is a 1.5% cut by the Legislature to state agencies and ...

Sixty-day Legislative Session Reaches Halfway Point

This week, the West Virginia Legislative Session will officially hit the halfway point of their 60-day session. So far, the full Legislature has passed 13 pieces of legislation that have been sent to the Governor’s desk. As of this blog post, the House has passed 54 bills and the Senate has passed 89 bills. Committees are expected to see an increased workload while floor sessions will likely get longer over the remaining 30 days.

The Legislative Session has certainly looked a bit different due to COVID-19 protocols, but that hasn’t stopped either Chamber from tackling big issues ...

General Election Yields Significant Interest and Results

Citizens across the state and the country went out in record numbers last week to vote on the federal and state candidates of their choice. The results were significant to say the least. 

At the national level, turnout for the 2020 Presidential Election hit a 50-year high, with former Vice President and President-elect Joe Biden appearing to have a narrow, but insurmountable lead. While the country waits for the machinations of potential legal challenges and recounts to play out, much of the national focus has shifted to the two U.S. Senate run-offs in Georgia which could ultimately ...

A Growing Number of States Pass COVID-19 Liability Protections

Over the last several months, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted public policy responses on a number of fronts. In addition to the typical public health measures taken, such as “stay at home” orders and public mask mandates, we’ve seen policies enacted at both the state and federal levels aimed at curbing the devastating impact that shutdowns have had upon the economy nationwide. One such measure that has been gaining steam across the country is liability protections for businesses reopening in the midst of the pandemic. 

As more states expand the reopening process, and people ...

Posted in COVID-19, Elections
Focus Turns to 2020 General Election

With the month of July nearly complete, and many West Virginia counties experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 positives, attention has started to turn towards the State’s 2020 General Election slated for November 3rd.  With West Virginia’s Primary Election pushed back nearly a month due to COVID-19 concerns, many are wondering whether the General Election will bring a repeat of remote voting through an expanded absentee ballot process. 

During his daily COVID-19 press briefing, Governor Jim Justice fielded a question about the 2020 General Election and expressed his preference

W.Va. Legislators Resume Activities While Socially Distancing and Masking

For one of the first times since the end of the 2020 Regular Session, a number of state lawmakers gathered at the Capitol on Monday for a COVID-19 informational meeting of the House Health & Human Resources Committee. 

As expected, the meeting took on a distinctly different feel from a typical legislative interim meeting.  Members of the Health Committee socially distanced throughout the House of Delegates Chamber, with legislators maintaining several vacant seats between them.  Most in attendance wore masks throughout, including all of the House of Delegates staff and speakers ...

West Virginia Primary Election Finally Takes Place

West Virginians went to the polls yesterday – at least figuratively – as the state’s delayed 2020 Primary Election finally took place.  And the election brought with it a number of electoral surprises. 

With the postponement of the original May 12th election date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 250,000 voters took advantage of mail-in absentee voting or the early voting process.  Tens of thousands of more votes were cast in person at polling places throughout the State yesterday.  This year, the entire Board of Public Works, a majority of the West Virginia Supreme Court of ...

West Virginia Begins the Reopening Process

While adventures have always been plentiful in Wild and Wonderful West Virginia, much of that changed during the COVID-19 pandemic as social distancing and stay at home orders have kept out-of-state tourists and West Virginians close to home and inside. That’s about to change, at least in part, as West Virginia slowly and carefully begins the reopening process and lifts restrictions on many of the state’s outdoor and adventure industries.

Starting today (May 21), limited indoor dining, the Hatfield-McCoy trails, whiter water rafting, ziplining, outdoor recreation rentals ...

West Virginia Prepares to “Get Out” the Vote

As West Virginia cautiously begins the reopening process, attention is starting to turn towards the state’s primary election, which is approximately one month away.  With 2020 being a presidential election, there will be a number of high profile races on the ballot this year. Aside from the race for president, West Virginians will vote this year for governor and all other statewide officers on the Board of Public Works, three West Virginia Supreme Court Justices, all members of the House of Delegates and half of the State Senate, in addition to various county and local elections.

With ...

Business Surveys Look to Gauge Economic Impact of COVID-19

In recent weeks, we’ve witnessed countless instances of individuals and organizations stepping up to meet the burdens that the coronavirus pandemic has placed on all West Virginians.  Now, several business organizations are looking to get a clearer picture of the significant economic impact that has befallen the state. 

The West Virginia Association of Regional Councils (WVARC) has partnered with the West Virginia Development Office, the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority and the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce in an effort to maximize stimulus funds for West ...