Under the Dome delivers a review of the issues being considered by
state government and the 84th West Virginia Legislature of West Virginia. It provides
information on matters that affect WVU and higher education.
The University has a number of issues it is following for the 2020 Regular Session
of the Legislature. Three major areas of focus are the soft drinks tax, the budget
and campus carry.
The soft drinks tax has supported the building, operation and maintenance of the
medical, dental and nursing schools for decades. This valuable revenue – approximately
$14 million a year – provides for many of the important programs Health Sciences
offers to our state as well as the education and training of the next physicians,
nurses and dentists who will serve our communities. A repeal of this valuable resource
would be devastating. We will continue to advocate for its importance to the University
and our mission as a land-grant institution.
It is not certain that campus carry will be considered during the upcoming session.
We will continue to argue for local decision-making authority to remain with our
Board of Governors.
Over the past few months, revenue collections have missed estimates, and the Justice
Administration was previously considering the potential for a 4.5% budget cut for
State agencies and departments. In December 2019, however, revenue collections
were $6.9 million above estimates and about 1.2% above prior year receipts. No
cut is anticipated at this time.
There still remains a $33 million shortfall that will need to be made up if revenue
collections do not meet expectations in the coming months for FY21.
Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy announced that Governor Justice will present a balanced
but “flat” budget to the Legislature during his upcoming State of the State address.
Hardy also stated that there are no plans at this time for the governor to propose
a third pay raise for teachers and State employees.
Governor Justice will deliver his State of the State address on Wednesday,
January 8. We will provide an update of the priorities he announces then and
any issues that surface from legislative priorities that are announced in the coming
New Members and Appointments
Governor Justice has made appointments to the Legislature over the past few months.
House of Delegates
• Trenton Barnhart (R-Pleasants) was appointed to replace Jason Harshbarger, who
resigned due to new
• T. Kevan Bartlett (R-Kanawha) was appointed to replace Sharon Lewis Malcolm, who
• John R. Pitsenbarger (R-Nicholas) was appointed to replace Greg Boso, who resigned
due to new
Legislative Calendar and Important Dates
January 6-7, 2020
First Day of Regular Session
January 8, 2020
Governor’s State of the State Address
January 8, 2020
WVU and WVU Extension Day at the Capitol
January 21, 2020
Monongalia/Preston County Day at the Capitol
January 29, 2020
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Day at the Capitol
February 5, 2020
Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol
February 7, 2020
Higher Education Day at the Capitol
February 26, 2020
Last Day of Regular Session
March 7, 2020
WVU at the State Capitol
Travis Mollohan and Rocco Fucillo, both from WVU’s State
Government Relations team, represent WVU at the State Capitol during the legislative
session. They can answer questions about any issues addressed by the legislature.
You can contact them at: Travis Mollohan (
or Rocco Fucillo (
To learn more about the legislature, including district maps,
bill tracking, committee assignments and a summary of legislative activities, please
To learn more about WVU’s legislative and government relation initiatives, please