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Phil Kabler  »  News  »  Columnists  »  Phil Kabler

Statehouse Beat: Haste makes waste with legislative bills

Normally, the pace of legislative activity slowly builds during the session, reaching a first crescendo on crossover day, Day 50, which is the last day for each house to pass bills originated in that body.

This year, activity has been geared...

Statehouse Beat: Haste makes waste with legislative bills

Normally, the pace of legislative activity slowly builds during the session, reaching a first crescendo on crossover day, Day 50, which is the last day for each house to pass bills originated in that body.

This year, activity has been geared...

Statehouse Beat: Reaction to oil train explosion different from Freedom leak

Two legislative sessions. Two local crises. Two very different reactions.

It’s natural to compare and contrast the Legislature’s reaction to Monday’s oil train derailment with the Jan. 9, 2014 Freedom Industries chemical...

Statehouse Beat: Democrats get transparency religion

Kudos might have been in order for Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley, who last week called out Senate leadership for working out details of a major rewrite of the prevailing wage act (SB361) in secret, closed-door meetings with so-called...

Statehouse Beat: Legislature following familiar script

For many years, on the 30th day of the legislative session, longtime Statehouse scribe Richard Grimes would write a column with the theme that the session is half over, and nothing much has happened yet.

This year, despite all the noise and...

Statehouse Beat: Letter has some questioning jail director’s departure

There’s been speculation about whether the timing of Regional Jail Authority executive director Joe DeLong’s resignation announcement had something to do with a letter he sent to legislators two weeks earlier, calling for repeal of civil ...

Statehouse Beat: Republicans make changes in a hurry

When Republicans took control of the Legislature, speculation was over what sort of time frame they would set for themselves to reverse eight decades of Democratic policies and implement their own agenda – a five-year plan, a four-year...

Toll talk easier than balancing budget
Toll talk easier than balancing budget

This one can probably go in the “talk is easy; governing is hard” file: Delegate Marty Gearheart, R-Mercer, has arguably built his political career around the issue of repealing tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike.

So some...

Statehouse Beat: More about organization’s expensive fundraiser dinner

One of the mysteries of the 2014 elections was how a little-known organization called Go West Virginia, headed by Elkins insurance agent Mark Scott, was able to contribute $355,000 to Grow West Virginia, a super-PAC also based in Elkins, that spent...

Statehouse Beat: A symbolic repeal of a symbolic law

Our new-look Legislature is poised to pass its first bill this session, a largely symbolic repeal of a law that itself is largely symbolic (HB2001).

Repeal of the 2009 Alternative Energy Portfolio Act will join a long list of feel-good bills...

Statehouse Beat: Lobbyists quick to wine and dine new leaders

With the shift of power in the Legislature following the November elections, lobbyists did not waste any time wining and dining the new leaders-to-be, lobbyist spending disclosures for September-December filed with the Ethics Commission show....

Statehouse Beat: Repeal bill on fast track

Republican campaigns last fall followed a simple but effective template: Find some link, however tenuous, between your opponent and Barack Obama — and then hammer on that connection in multiple attack ads.

For many Democrat incumbents,...

Statehouse Beat: Republican staffers draw higher wages than counterparts

One of the goals of the new Republican leadership in the Legislature is to create good-paying jobs, and it looks like they’ve decided the best place to start is at home.

A number of new full-time House and Senate staffers are drawing...

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