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Phil Kabler  »  News  »  Columnists  »  Phil Kabler

Statehouse Beat: Lobbyist expenditures hit record

There may be new faces in leadership positions in the Legislature, and new attitudes on policies and issues, but from lobbyists’ perspectives, the party went on as usual during the 2015 regular session.

The leadership may have changed in...

Statehouse Beat: Lobbyist expenditures hit record

There may be new faces in leadership positions in the Legislature, and new attitudes on policies and issues, but from lobbyists’ perspectives, the party went on as usual during the 2015 regular session.

The leadership may have changed in...

Statehouse Beat: Cash-strapped counties can’t absorb another tax cut
Statehouse Beat: Cash-strapped counties can’t absorb another tax cut

Although today marks only the second major meeting of the legislative Select Committee on Fair Taxation, many observers believe that among the taxes subject to the committee’s slashing will be personal property taxes on business inventory and...

Statehouse Beat: More on non-profit salaries

Last week’s item on the number of officials of nonprofit organizations/legislative lobbyists who have six-figure salaries generated a good bit of comment.

The list focused primarily on business and corporate-related associations, and some ...

Statehouse Beat: Nonprofit leaders well paid, according to reports

Back near the end of the session, a reader sent a note raising issues with what he considered exorbitant salaries of officials of nonprofit organizations operating in the state, many of whom also function as registered lobbyists on behalf of their...

Statehouse Beat: Unproductive 2015 session not a bad thing

Given that the 2015 legislative session was an especially regressive one, it’s probably just as well that for most legislators, it was also a particularly unproductive session.

More than half of the Legislature – 60 delegates and...

Statehouse Beat: Previous tax “reform” panels amounted to little

If history is any indication, the work of the legislative Joint Select Committee on Tax Reform, which begins meeting today at the Capitol, will amount to little.

The committee is scheduled to spend the morning going over previous tax reform...

Statehouse Beat: Problems haunt state building

Though he died in 2010, Charleston real estate developer Al Summers continues to haunt the state.

The Greenbrooke Building, which Summers sold to the state in 2009 for $10.5 million although it was assessed at the time for $1.5 million (he also...

Statehouse Beat: Next governor will have difficult job

After months of speculation, it was a little anti-climatic when Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced he was staying put in Washington rather than opting for a third term as governor.

While some state Democrats were practically begging Manchin to ...

Statehouse Beat: Legislature has marching orders

Sitting through three consecutive hours of April interim meetings, in the same chair in the same committee room, provided a fascinating dichotomy.

At one point, we had the legislative leadership giving the new Select Committee on Tax Reform its...

Statehouse Beat: Vague ‘trinkets’ bill leaves problems for Ethics Commission

Members of the Ethics Commission will have an interesting challenge ahead as they try to draft rules to enforce a rather sketchily drawn bill barring public officials from using public funds for self-promotion, informally known as the...

Statehouse Beat: former Mingo senator gets $30K parting gift

It had to be shock for Truman Chafin last November when he lost the state Senate seat he had held for 30 consecutive years to used car dealer Mark Maynard, a Republican who essentially ran an unfunded campaign.

However, the Mingo County Democrat ...

Statehouse Beat: 2015 will go down as the erroneous session

Coverage of the three “religious freedom” bills introduced in the Legislature this session – all three very similar to each other and also very similar to the measure that provoked so much controversy in Indiana –...

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