Under the Dome is an update on actions and activities of the West Virginia Legislature, provided during the regular legislative session, interim sessions and special sessions for West Virginia University faculty and staff by WVU’s Office of State and Local Relations. This issue provides a review of recent legislative interim meetings, executive appointments and the gubernatorial transition.
The Legislature held interim meetings from December 4-6 in Charleston.
- During the December interim session, the Joint Standing Committee on Finance and Tax Reform received a briefing from Department of Revenue staff, including Cabinet Secretary Bob Kiss, on the State budget projections for the current fiscal year and FY 2018. Secretary Kiss stated that the budget deficit for next year will be more than $400 million. The committees also heard on the status of the State’s pension and investment plans and an update on PEIA benefits.
- The Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources discussed the State’s oral health plan and Medicaid expenditures on oral health.
- The Joint Committee on Government Organization and Operations received a report from the Office of Fleet Management on the status and cost of the State vehicle fleet and approved language for potential legislation for the 2017 session.
- The Tax Reform Subcommittee heard a presentation on the history of taxation on business personal property.
- The Joint Committee on Health received a report from DHHR Secretary Karen Bowling on substance abuse treatment continuum of services.
- The Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability heard from the Advisory Council of Classified Employees, Advisory Council of Faculty and Advisory Council of Students on how budget cuts have greatly impacted higher education institutions. Dr. Roy Nutter was present to represent the Advisory Council of Faculty.
- The Joint Government Accountability, Transparency and Efficiency Committee heard from Vice President Rob Alsop on the need to provide increased flexibility for higher education institutions. Marshall President Jerry Gilbert also spoke to the committee about how budget cuts have adversely impacted higher education institutions.
The next interim meetings will be January 9-11, 2017.
The first day of the 83rd session of the West Virginia Legislature will convene on February 8, 2017, to start their regular 60-day session.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin appointed two new members to the WVU Board of Governors – Thomas A. Heywood and Benjamin M. Statler.
Gubernatorial Transition and Inauguration
Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that Provost Joyce McConnell will serve as co-coordinator of his transition. Provost McConnell will join Marshall’s Provost Gayle Ormiston in this role. Provost McConnell will also serve as a co-chair of the transition committee focusing on higher education. In addition to the provost, several WVU faculty and staff will serve on the new governor’s transition committees. The committees met on December 15 in Charleston.
For more information on the WVU faculty and staff who participated in the gubernatorial transition committees, please see the WVU Today article.
The governor-elect’s inauguration will be held at the State Capitol at 1:00 p.m. on January 16, 2017.
WVU at the State Capitol
Travis Mollohan and Rocco Fucillo, both from WVU’s State and Local Relations, represent WVU at the State Capitol during the legislative session. They can answer questions about any issues addressed by the Legislature.
Contact info: Travis Mollohan (email@example.com) or Rocco Fucillo (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To learn more about the Legislature, including district maps, bill tracking, committee assignments and a daily summary of legislative activities, please visit www.legis.state.wv.us/index.cfm.
To learn more about WVU’s legislative initiatives, please visit https://governmentrelations.wvu.edu.