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Phil Kabler

Staff Writer
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Kabler, Phil

32 state, local candidates have yet to file financial disclosures

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A total of 32 candidates for state and local offices have yet to file required financial disclosure statements with the state Ethics Commission, commission records show.

Lobbyist spending disclosures due soon

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In the past 25 years, lobbyists have spent more than $8.6 million on legislators and other public officials, according to data complied by the state Ethics Commission.

WV budget special session may start in later this month

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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin likely will call a special session to take up the 2016-17 state budget later this month, whether there’s agreement in the Legislature on a budget plan or not, Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss said ...

Poll shows Trump, Sanders, Justice with leads

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Donald Trump holds an overwhelming lead in West Virginia’s Republican presidential primary, while Bernie Sanders has a smaller lead in the state’s Democratic primary, according to a new poll released Tuesda...

Grover Norquist tax pledge could affect WV budget talks

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One factor contributing to the now 52-day state budget impasse could be that one-fourth of the members of the House of Delegates have signed Republican political activist Grover Norquist’s no tax increase pledge.<...

Democrats meet about state budget, but await Republican action

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Senate Democrats met in caucus Monday evening to get an update on the state budget impasse, but Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, said Tuesday that Democrats remain in a “holding pattern” awa...

Statehouse Beat: Leadership needed in budget battle

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Well, here it is May, and still no state budget passed.

WV Supreme Court dismisses petitions to block biweekly pay for court employees

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Petitions by two associations of state court employees to block their transfer from twice monthly to biweekly pay have been refused by the state Supreme Court.

GOP challenger slams Mooney for not representing district

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In nearly seven months of campaigning for the 2nd Congressional District seat, Martinsburg mortgage broker Marc Savitt said he’s crossed paths with Rep. Alex Mooney exactly once, at a Lincoln Day dinner in Jeffers...

Greenbrier casino sees rise in revenue, other casinos on decline

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As state Lottery revenues continue to decline, hit by competing casinos in border states as well as the downturn in the state economy, one location appears to be bucking the trend, according to figures presented Tuesday ...

Medicaid payments may falter if budget not reached

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Health care providers around the state are being put on notice that the state may have trouble paying for Medicaid services if the budget impasse is not resolved.

GOP candidates for 38th, 40th disagree on prevailing wage, right-to-work

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Republican candidates in the House of Delegates 38th and 40th Districts said Friday they want to bring common sense to the Legislature, even if that means defying leadership at times.

Statehouse Beat: Senate legal fees pile up

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Despite having 10 full-time attorneys on staff, the Senate paid Flaherty, Senasbaugh & Bonasso $20,667.50 to draft a friend of the court brief for Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, in the state Supreme Cou...

WV bond rating downgraded; leaders told to brace for ‘worst-case scenario’

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As the West Virginia budget impasse heads into its sixth week, the Tomblin administration is advising legislative leadership to prepare for a worsening economic outlook.

GOP candidates for WV House of Delegates focus on economic development

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Two candidates in the Republican primary for the House of Delegates 36th District are relative newcomers to the state, but want to bring their perspective to promote economic development efforts in the Legislature.

Small WV Racing Commission appeals cost big bucks

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Appeals hearings for fines of as little as $100 or $250 against racetrack personnel are costing the West Virginia Racing Commission thousands of dollars apiece.

Cabell delegate Reynolds in long race for AG

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As one who runs long-distance races in his spare time, Doug Reynolds is in his longest race of all, hoping to be elected state attorney general in November.

Statehouse Beat: Carmichael’s RFRA opposition makes him a target

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As previously noted, one of the remarkable moments in a decidedly unremarkable session was Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael’s emotional floor speech supporting an anti-discrimination amendment to the...

Budget, taxes topic of discussion with Democratic candidates for House

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Democrats running in the House of Delegates 32nd District offered proposals Thursday for balancing the budget, growing the economy and improving public schools — including some unconventional ideas.

Tomblin: No special session until there’s a budget agreement

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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said Wednesday he doesn’t plan to call the West Virginia Legislature into special session to pass the 2016-17 state budget until there’s agreement on how to close a $270 million budget...

Most WV government employees to move to biweekly pay in May

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Most West Virginia state employees will move from twice monthly to biweekly pay, beginning in May, after a vote by three government officials on Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Carmichael optimistic about closing budget gap

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, said Monday he believes the Legislature will close a $270 million shortfall in the 2016-17 budget through a combination of tax increases, spending cuts, and one-time fu...

Biweekly pay transition for state employees could resume in May

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A controversial plan to switch thousands of state employees from twice-monthly to biweekly pay could resume in May, pending the outcome of a vote Wednesday by the Enterprise Resource Planning Board.

Statehouse Beat: Lack of urgency marks budget impasse

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As the state budget impasse approaches its second month, I’m struck not only by the lack of progress but seemingly the lack of urgency to get a compromise worked out.

Ethics Commission reduces complaint backlog

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A backlog of complaints filed with the state ethics commission has been reduced by more than half, Executive Director Rebecca Stepto told commissioners Thursday.

Treasurer candidate puts focus on transparency

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State treasurer candidate Ann Urling said Wednesday she wants to bring more efficiency and transparency to the office.

Budget shortfall down to $146.3M; 2016–17 budget still in limbo

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A budget deficit that was projected in January to exceed $350 million when the 2015-16 budget year ends June 30 is now sitting at a $146.3 million shortfall, thanks to mid-year spending cuts and an infusion of funds from...

WV Treasurer Perdue lauds veto of insurance bill

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State Treasurer John Perdue praised Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of a bill that, as originally drafted, would have reversed a 2015 state Supreme Court decision requiring insurance companies to seek out beneficiari...

Statehouse Beat: Much ado about Capitol security?

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Now that the first legislative session under the new locked-down Capitol security is over, it’s time to see what we got for our $350,000 or so of taxpayer expense.

Overall lottery revenue down slightly for 2015–2016

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State video lottery revenues saw a rare uptick in February, compared to the same month in 2015, but West Virginia’s acting Lottery director attributed that more to comparatively good weather this winter — n...

PEIA cuts on front burner again

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Cuts in public employee health care benefits totaling $120 million are expected to be back on the table when West Virginia’s Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board meets Wednesday.

WV Supreme Court sides with Benjamin, Wooton on public campaign financing

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Less than two-and-a-half hours after they heard two hours of oral arguments Wednesday, acting West Virginia Supreme Court justices overturned lower court rulings and upheld the awarding of nearly $500,000 each in public ...

Showdown set over public funds in WV Supreme Court race

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Are timelines in the West Virginia Supreme Court public campaign financing rules guidelines or hard and fast deadlines?

GOP group conducts opposition research on Jim Justice

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Republican Governors Association spokesman Jon Thompson confirmed Tuesday that the RGA is conducting opposition research on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice.

Statehouse Beat: Tomblin gives Legislature excuse on budget

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‘Bill of goods’ doomed WV gaming bills, advocates say

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Misinformation and misunderstanding doomed several bills dealing with West Virginia’s gaming industry — including legislation to end state subsidies for greyhound racing at racetrack casinos, advocates said...

Certification deadline key in WV Supreme Court campaign finance case

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When the state Supreme Court hears arguments next week from attorneys for Justice Brent Benjamin and Bill Wooton, asking that they uphold the awarding of public campaign financing for both candidates for the May Supreme ...

WV Legislature punts spending bill into spring

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With no resolution to the budget impasse — and with new revenue estimates showing that West Virginia’s 2016-17 budget shortfall will be $92.4 million larger than projected in January — legislators ca...

Work continues on state budget after meeting with Tomblin

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House and Senate budget conferees may have a better idea of their next step toward completing the 2016-17 state budget this morning, following an afternoon meeting of legislative leaders with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin Monday...

Legislature's budget conference to begin Monday

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For House and Senate budget conferees, putting together the 2016-17 state budget will be like assembling a jigsaw puzzle with many of the pieces missing.

Statehouse Beat: Worst session in 27 years

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If I were to rank the 27 legislative sessions I've covered from best to worst, I would immediately be able to assign the just-ended 2016 session to 27th place.

Regular legislative session ends with impasse on budget

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Legislators closed out the 2016 regular session with a comparatively slow-paced 60th day — but facing an impasse on the 2016-17 state budget.

WV House passes budget plan

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After nearly three hours of debate Friday, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed its version of the state budget, 61-38, setting the stage for a contentious House-Senate budget conference and the prospect that legi...

Bill to reshape PEIA finance board goes inactive

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A bill to restructure the Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board, removing two positions currently held by union representatives, was moved to inactive status in the House of Delegates Thursday — avoiding ...

Senate passes budget proposal 29-5

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State senators passed their version of the $4.3 billion 2016-17 state budget Thursday on a 29-5 vote, although some senators wondered why, because it's balanced with $139 million of tax increases that don't exist because...

WV Senate Dems to protest GOP nominee rejections

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Outraged that the Republican-led Senate Confirmations Committee blocked half a dozen gubernatorial appointments Wednesday in what the committee's chairwoman said was a “partisan thing,” West Virginia Senate D...

Governor not impressed with legislative budget proposals

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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said Wednesday he's not impressed with legislative proposals to balance the 2016-17 budget — particularly the House of Delegates' plan to sweep unexpended funds out of agency accounts, and tak...

WV Senate passes spending bill that includes House rejects

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Senate Finance Committee members Tuesday passed the Senate's version of the 2016-17 West Virginia budget that would take no money out of the state's Rainy Day reserve funds to balance the budget.

‘Support isn’t there’ for WV highways bill, finance panel chairman says

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Legislation to raise more than $300 million a year for highways funding appears dead in the West Virginia House Finance Committee, after Chairman Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, announced Tuesday that “the support isn...

Greyhound subsidies appear safe for another year

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It appears that state subsidies for greyhound racing at racetrack casinos in Nitro and Wheeling will continue for another year, after the House Finance Committee halted consideration Tuesday of a bill to “decouple&...