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Phil Kabler

Statehouse Reporter
  • Phone 304-348-1220
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Kabler, Phil

Gainer acknowledges ‘growing pains’ in state pay shift


State Auditor Glen Gainer said Thursday he recognizes there are “growing pains” in changing state employees from semi-monthly to biweekly pay periods, including the perception that employees are receiving l...

Lottery Commission to continue anti-‘casino night’ campaign


For now, the Lottery Commission will rely on public education and awareness campaigns to crack down on charities’ “casino night” fundraisers that technically are illegal under state law.


High-tech betting options would expand under proposal


State Racing Commissioners Wednesday approved several legislative proposals for the 2016 session, including a bill to legalize advanced deposit wagering.

Commissioner Bill Phillips made the motion for legislation f...

State employees file grievances over biweekly paycheck schedule


State employees stand to lose millions of dollars in wages because of a quirk in switching state pay periods from twice monthly to biweekly, according to the findings of an employee grievance.

The mid-year switch f...

Capitol buzz: Hive removed from Holly Grove mansion


Angry crowds are not unheard of at the state Capitol Complex, but the one dispersed Monday was a bit different.

Department of Agriculture apiarist Wade Stiltner was called in Monday morning to remove a hive of bees...

EDA takes ownership of Building 3


Capitol Complex Building 3 has new owners, a change necessary to proceed with a $28.5 million bond issue that will help pay a large portion of the $34 million cost to renovate the circa-1951 office building.

The We...

Hearing set on bid to stop Capitol security work


A hearing has been set next week for a Putnam County building contractor that wants to stop work on a $3.04 million Capitol Complex perimeter security project.

McClanahan Construction of Poca is seeking an injuncti...

Sales overflowing under craft beer law, retailers say


Legislation intended to help grow the state’s nascent craft beer has been a success in its first weeks — so much so that many craft brewers are having difficulty keeping up with demand.

That includes ...

Lawsuit could delay Capitol Complex security project


Plans to complete a $3.04 million Capitol Complex security upgrade by mid-December could be delayed by a lawsuit from a contractor that was the low bidder, but didn’t win the contract for the project.

On Mon...

Law restricts WV elected officials’ self-promotion using taxpayer money


West Virginia public officials will have to strictly limit the number of pictures of themselves that are posted on their official agency websites, trash any banners or displays featuring their names and/or photos and tos...

WV tax collection down $5M in July


State tax collection in July came up $4.8 million short, hurt by a continuing downturn in energy prices, as well as policy changes that allowed more than $30 million in taxes normally due in July to be ...

Capitol security renovations about to begin


Changes will soon be coming to the state Capitol Complex grounds, with the awarding of a $3.04 million contract to enhance security around the Governor’s Mansion and to convert two parking lots next to the Culture...

WV elections panel declines to clean up public campaign law


It will be up to the Legislature to clean up confusing language in the law for publicly financed West Virginia Supreme Court campaigns, after the State Election Commission decided Thursday not to clarify the issue throug...

AG’s office looking into ‘telephone town hall’ FCC testimony


The attorney general’s office is reviewing Congressional testimony given Tuesday by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler that at least two Capitol Hill publications concluded could bar public off...

Campaign to let people know about illegal ‘casino nights’


Lottery commission aims to teach such events are illegal, instead of crack down

By Phil Kabler

Staff writer

West Virginia Lottery commissioners on Tuesday endorsed a public awareness campaign to remind ...

Historic 1960 Humphrey-Kennedy debate took place in WV


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Organizers of a campaign to bring a 2016 presidential debate to Charleston are hoping history is on their side — in the form of a groundbreaking 1960 debate held here.

On May 4, 19...

Ex-council members thought they were right to defend employee


Paula Boggs and Grace Russell told an Ethics Commission hearing examiner Thursday they believed they had done nothing wrong when they voted to authorize spending up to $10,000 of town of Piedmont funds to defend a town e...

Officials report high response to Workforce surveys


More than 30 percent of state contractors have completed and returned WorkForce West Virginia surveys of wages paid to their construction workers, which will be used to calculate new state prevailing wage rates, WorkForc...

Panel offers suggestions for saving racing industries


In the future, the state’s thoroughbred and greyhound racing industries could feature:

| Off-track betting at upscale sports bars and, perhaps, country clubs around the state.

| Racetrack-sponsored soc...

Too soon to know if PEIA retiree premiums will rise


Days after the state Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board was notified the plan will need nearly $60 million of premium increases for active state employee coverage for the 2016-17 plan year, Administration of...

PEIA premiums expected to rise next year


A five-year run with no premium increases for Public Employees Insurance Agency coverage is likely to end on July 1 of next year, PEIA Finance Board members were told Thursday.

Shrinking reserve funds and an antici...

Department of Commerce says all prevailing wage documents accounted for


All documents received by WorkForce West Virginia regarding its ongoing recalculation of the state’s prevailing wage rate have been accounted for and provided to the Legislature and to the public, with any possibl...

Financial turmoil means sluggish year for state investments


Turmoil in Greece and in the Chinese stock market meant a tough month for state investments in June, resulting in state pension funds closing out the budget year June 30 with only about 1.5 to 2 percent growth, the state...

WorkForce leaders haven’t been subpoenaed over wage rate


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It was not immediately clear Monday if the legislative leadership intends to subpoena WorkForce West Virginia officials to testify under oath regarding its recalculation of the state’s p...

Tractor-trailers on Turnpike concern Parkways Authority members


Issues with errant tractor-trailer trucks – from wrecks that backed up Fourth of July holiday traffic to replacement of a tollbooth demolished in June – were a focal point of Thursday’s Parkways Auth...

Workforce provided prevailing wage emails, documents show


Documentation from the Department of Commerce indicates that WorkForce West Virginia provided thousands of pages of documents, e-mails and other communications regarding input for developing a new methodology for recalcu...

GOP lawmakers subpoena prevailing wage documents; state says it’s turned over everything


In a highly unusual move, legislative leaders subpoenaed the acting director of WorkForce West Virginia on Tuesday, demanding documents they contend show the state agency relied on data “provided by outside labor ...

Turnpike holiday traffic up over last year


Fourth of July holiday traffic on the West Virginia Turnpike was up slightly over last year, but up substantially from the last time the holiday fell on a Saturday, state Parkways General Manager Greg Barr said Monday.

‘Casino night’ fundraisers under fire


Plans by the state Lottery Commission to crack down on charities that host “casino night” fundraisers using gaming devices that technically are illegal under state law has drawn a lot of criticism – ...