Archive for February 2008

W.Va. Legislature passes pay raise for lawmakers

February 29, 2008

By Scott Finn

The West Virginia Senate passed a $5,000 pay raise for lawmakers Friday. It would take effect next year. The bill now goes to Governor Manchin, who says he’ll sign it into law.   

Pay for state legislators will increase from $15,000 to $20,000 a year. They’ll also receive more money for expenses.

On the floor today, most Senators argued that the pay raise was long overdue. Senate Judiciary Chairman Jeff Kessler says the hardest part is leaving your family behind, even when your ten-year-old son is begging you to stay.  Only one Senator, Vic Sprouse of Kanawha County, spoke against the pay raise.   

The pay raise passed, 20 to 13. Voting against the pay raise were Senators Barnes, Bailey, Boley, Caruth, Deem, Facemyer, Foster, Guills, Hall, Plymale, Foster, Sprouse, Sypolt, and Unger.   

Several Senators switched sides since they voted on a similar pay raise last year. Bailey, Caruth, Facemyer and Guills voted for the pay raise last year, but voted against it this year.  Senators Jenkins, Prezioso, and Stollings voted against the pay raise last year but for it this year. 

Manchin dislikes House’s teacher pension plan

February 29, 2008

By Scott Finn

Governor Manchin is unhappy with a House proposal on pensions for school employees. The House wants to spend up to $78M to help school employees switch from the ailing 401-K-style plan to the state-managed pension plan. Manchin wants the 19,000 school employees who change plans to pay more of the burden.

If you build it, math will come

February 29, 2008

By Clark Davis

There’s an old saying that looks can be deceiving. At Marshall, that is certainly the case in one classroom. What looks like a giant toy is actually a machine to make math more understandable.

The push is on for the nationwide transition to digital television

February 29, 2008

By Cecelia Mason

By February 19, 2009, most US TV stations will have digital-only signals. That means anyone who has an older TV and is not on cable or satellite will need to get new equipment to watch TV.

Mountaintop-removal hearing generates strong turnout

February 29, 2008

Here’s a sample of opinions from supporters and opponents of mountaintop-removal mining who spoke Wednesday at a public hearing. Sen. Jon Hunter, D-Monongalia, scheduled the hearing for a bill he introduced that would effectively ban the mining practice by making it illegal to dump excess rock and dirt into streams.

This video also includes an update on efforts to put Blair Mountain on the National Register of Historic Places.

Inside the world of graffiti artists, and the cost of their ‘work’

February 29, 2008

Is graffiti art or vandalism? And what’s the point of risking jail just to spray paint on public property? Producers Jeremy and Chuck Kleine peer inside the world of graffiti artists, and the costs to victims of their work.

Chamber president discusses First Amendment concerns with bill

February 28, 2008

Steve Roberts, president of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, talks to Anna Sale about the free speech concerns that businesses have with the Worker Freedom Act.

The legislation, which passed the House of Delegates this week, would allow employees to opt out of employer-sponsored meetings concerning unions and politics. This interview aired on the television program Outlook. Below are links ot the interview, and segments that first aired on The Legislature Today and West Virginia Morning.