A legislative look-ahead for 2019

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(Charleston) The 2019 legislative session in West Virginia starts next week. Today at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston, lawmakers talked about the issues expected to come up during the session.

Of course, all that could change after the governor’s State of the State Address also next week. 10th District House Delegate Vernon Criss (R) said of the governor’s State of the State Address next week “I don’t know how privy he will let us be prior to the speech, but it will be a surprise.”

Some topics making their way onto lawmakers’ agendas are teacher pay and Public Employee Health Insurance. 10th District House Delegate Vernon Criss (R) said, “Obviously the teacher pay raise and the additional funds to put into the PEIA trust fund that the governor has announced, we’ll all be interested to see how he decides to do that.”

Also talk of taxes. The idea of removing a state social security tax was brought up as well as further reduction of an inventory tax. But when taxes are removed revenue gaps must be filled. WV Senate President Mitch Carmichael (R) said, “Certainly we have to fill that gap and give the counties opportunities to look at ways to be innovative. But what I will assure the counties is we will not cut that tax until we have mechanisms to back fill [the tax revenue].”

High on the list is also medical marijuana. WV Senate President Mitch Carmichael (R) said,”We already have a medical marijuana bill on the list. The problem has been the federal government and how we implement that in conjunction with federal law.” He added that we shouldn’t expect to see recreational marijuana on the agenda.

Haley Brown

Haley Brown

Multimedia Journalist

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