–Supporters of the proposed development near Morgantown that will include a new WVU baseball stadium as well as office and retail space are getting nervous.  The bill that creates the tax increment financing program for the development has been hung up in the House Judiciary Committee.  But Senate President Jeff Kessler, a big supporter of the project, continues to insist that he’s confident the bill will pass before the midnight deadline. Judiciary Chairman Tim Miley says he’ll put the TIF bill on the agenda today.

–House Minority Leader Tim Armstead was displeased with a compromise on the Governor’s prison reform bill, which has passed the Senate and is now moving in the House of Delegates.  Armstead objects to a provision that allows nonviolent offenders to enter a supervised release program six months before their sentence is up.  Look for Armstead to propose amendments to the bill on the House floor.  Despite Armstead’s objections, the bill could still get as many as 30 Republican votes, I’m told.

–Many legislative observers are wondering just how a bill authorizing a Pendleton County vote on whether to allow a gambling casino has made it as far as it has.  The bill passed the Senate and has even gotten some traction in the House, which is more resistant to gambling bills. House Finance Committee Chairman Harry Keith White holds the key. If he does not put the bill on his agenda today, it’s dead.

–At the start of the session, supporters of a tougher seat belt law did not give their bill much chance for passage.  However, the bill making it a primary offense for not buckling up cleared the House and is on track for passage in the Senate today. The legislation allows the police to stop you for not wearing your seat belt.

–Republican U.S. Senate candidate, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito has at least one Primary Election challenger for 2014.  Former West Virginia House of Delegates member Pat McGeehan has announced his candidacy.  The Hancock County Air Force veteran says he’s running because he believes “West Virginians deserve a constitutional conservative choice for U.S. Senate,” but his candidacy is an extreme long shot.

–Two-time Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney was making the rounds at the State Capitol Tuesday.  Maloney was in Charleston to judge a student business ethics competition and stopped by for an appearance on Talkline.  Maloney, who lost two gubernatorial races to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, says he has not ruled out another run for office, but right now he’s enjoying private life and, in particular, a new grandchild.

–An estimated 300 people rallied at the State Capitol Tuesday in support of more funding for the Medicaid Waiver program.  That program uses state and federal money to pay for in-home health care for West Virginians who would otherwise have to go to nursing homes.  The advocates say the program saves taxpayers money because it keeps people out of more expensive institutional care.  Nearly 2,000 people are currently on the waiting list.

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Comments

  • CaptainQ

    DING DONG! THE BILL IS DEAD, YES IT DIED, THE BILL IS DEAD! DING DONG, THE CASINO BILL IS DEAD!

    (The Pendleton County one, that is!)

    http://www.whsv.com/news/headlines/House-Kills-Casino-Bill-202391811.html

  • CaptainQ

    We now interrupt our regularly scheduled 'debate' for a breaking news item of interest to all West Virginians.

    Senator Joe Manchin of WV and Senator Pat Toomey of PA announce a compromise legislation on requiring background checks for gun purchases:

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/senators-announce-deal-gun-background-check-bill-145147692--election.html

    I used to think that Joe Manchin was a savvy and smart politician, but MoJo has seemed to forgotten that he's a WEST VIRGINIA Senator who doesn't have the 'Teflon' legacy of either the late Robert Byrd or Jay Rockefeller. Joe Manchin has set himself up for a huge fall with an electorate who value their guns more than life itself. I really never thought MoJo would want to take such a high risk with his political future! Oh well, like the old saying, "in for a penny, in for a pound."

    • Hop'sHip

      Don't forget that the electorate, even in West Virginia includes women, some of whom care about kids as much as they do guns. The mentality prevalent on this site might not be representative of the entire state or Manchin would have never beat the wingnut that ran against him. Manchin said he was going to Washington to get things done. If people had wanted another obstructionist in Washington, they could have sent Rush's neighbor.

      • Wowbagger

        At this point this has nothing to do with kids except their value as stage props for Obama.

    • wirerowe

      I think that Senator Manchin will be a marked man by the NRA for as long as he is in political office. He will not be able to charm his way back into good graces with them. After the Connecticut disaster I said that the ban or restrictions on assault weapons and multi round ammo clips would go no where but that background checks might make it. Now I even wonder with all the apparent public support if the background checks will get through the house. Tightly enforced background checks would have meant that Maynard in Mingo County could not have bought a gun and may have prevented the Virginia Tech perp from getting a weapon although this one is not so clear. Background checks would have had no impact on the ability of those in the Aurora Colorado, Columbine, tuscon, Newtown, CT or the Major Assad disasters to purchase weapons because these individuals had not officially been in the mental health system.Over a longer period of time Mother Jones statistics show that in 49 of the major gun mass killings that the guns were purchased legally and in 12 of the major gun mass killings the guns were purchase illegally.

    • GregG

      I have to agree Captain. Although I'm not concerned about having a stronger background check to buy a gun, I don't believe any form of "gun control" is going to stop Newtown type killings. Yea, ol' Joe is hanging himself. What he should be doing is fighting for a law to start hanging criminals and finding funds to providing mental health facilities for those that need it before they kill.

      • wirerowe

        I agree with every thing you said Greg.

    • Wowbagger

      Captain,

      I really think that Joe plans to be a one termer and then cash in as a lobbiest. He really likes the lime lights and a high profile should raise his asking price. He will be 72 or 73 by the time his term is up and as discussed elsewhere the retirement should provide a pretty good base salary. Of course it is not dependant on years of service.

  • NorthernWVman

    What happened to all the firearm related bills? Yep thats right, got stuck in the House after the Senate overwhelmingly supported it.

  • mntnman

    After a mediocre education reform bill, prison reform bill, etc, where exactly is the economic development/reform bill for WV. Tax receipts dropping, budget being cut, but nothing from our government to increase economic development, unless of course you count a new baseball field for WVU. Ah well....

  • CaptainQ

    MORE news ala-carte! LOVE IT!

    –So let me get this one straight. WVU wants a new baseball stadium so this bill will create a new tax for Morgantown residents to pay in order to finance it’s construction? Really? I don’t even live in Morgantown and this sounds like a hokey idea to me!.

    –Anyone surprised that the Governor’s Prison reform bill got watered down in the Senate? Tim Armstead acts like things like this should never happen. Oh well, that’s politics! .

    –As one who is proud to live in Pendleton County, I have been watching this casino bill with great interest. Last year’s attempt (led by Walt Helmick) didn’t get as far as this one has already. Like last year’s failed bill, the Senate’s version of the casino bill would bypass current law and not allow the voters of Pendleton County a say in the matter. At least the version that passed through committee in the House allows a countywide vote. If this bill’s going to pass, the very least the lawmakers in Charleston could do is let Pendleton County residents vote on it, like has been done in every other WV county considering gambling expansion. Why the WV Senators (and in particular, Senator Clark Barnes) have such disdain and loathing for Pendleton County that they wanted to RAM the casino down our throats with no right to vote on it is beyond me. Whether the Fisher Mountain casino’s a good idea or not isn’t the point. The point is the last time I checked, it’s WV law that individual counties had to right to vote for or against gambling expansion. Why would the majority of WV Senators want to take that right away for Pendleton County? It REALLY sounds fishy to me. .

    –Why would anyone want to fight the seat belt bill? Seems like a no-brainer to me, it’s all about safety. Why not give the police the right to pull you over if you’re not wearing a seat belt? They can already pull you over for just about anything else, why not this too?.

    –Not to sound mean, but Pat McGeehan has as much chance to take the GOP Senate nomination from Shelley Moore Capito as I have of setting foot on the moon. Good luck Pat, hope you have plenty of money and time to waste for the next two years..

    –Bill Maloney is fast becoming the GOP version of Jim Humphreys. My advice to Bill, “quit while you’re behind!” Have fun with your new grandchild and leave politics to the professionals..

    –The Medicaid Waiver program for in-home health care for those who need it is a great idea. I truly hope this passes, but in the WV legislature, ‘good ideas’ have a tendency to ‘die on the vine.’ If wisdom was electricity, all of our elected lawmakers in Charleston put together wouldn’t have enough power to light a single Christmas tree bulb. Sad, but true.

    So, there's 'my take' on all these comments, it's going to be an interesting end to this year's legislative session. To quote former NFL star Chad Johnson: "Get your popcorn ready!"

    • Hop'sHip

      Captain: They have broadband access in Pendleton County? I'm impressed. All you need now is a casino.

      • CaptainQ

        What we need FIRST is a VOTE by Pendleton County residents to see if they want a casino. Why is it that the Democrats are always so 'gung ho' about fighting voter 'disenfranchisement' and yet on THIS bill (passed by overwhelming Senate Democrat support) does precisely that to the folks of Pendleton County? We expect this sort of thing from GOP Senator Clark 'Judas' Barnes, but NOT from the party of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Barack Obama. What gives? Guess like all things political, the Democrats are in favor of battling voter disenfranchisement ONLY when it benefits THEM. To quote the late Jim Nabors as Gomer Pyle: "Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!"

    • GregG

      Dig deep enough Captain and you will find that the casino thing is being pushed in this manner because a selected few stand to make big money. This is America Captain, damn the rights of the average citizen, everything revolves around the elite few and big business.

    • stophating

      @CaptQ

      I may be wrong (and anyone can correct me if I am), but I believe the TIF takes regular sales taxes and instead of the money going into the general fund it goes to the project.... I'm not certain though

      • CaptainQ

        That's still taking 'tax money' to fund the project. I was wrong in believing it was a 'new tax' or tax level, but now this sounds even WORSE! I am reminded of the old saying "rob Peter to pay Paul."

        • stophating

          @CaptQ

          For once we are in complete agreement.

    • Hillboy

      Captain, I believe TIF borrows from projected future property taxes, which are expected to increase because of the development, to pay for some or all of the development costs. It shouldn't result in new taxes for residents. It is a subsidy of sorts for the developers, however, since their future property taxes are paying for their own development. At least that's the way I think it works. I get a little queasy feeling about these types of arrangements where it isn't 100% clear what is actually taking place.

      • CaptainQ

        It's still a bad deal to me, no matter how you slice it.

        • Hillboy

          You could certainly make the case that it is unfair to developers who construct a project without a hefty tax break.

  • Wowbagger

    Nothing to promote long term economic development, but the nannys have their seat belt law and it appears Morgantown will get it's TIF further reducing the tax base for the overall operation of state government.

    Hoppy, you forgot an important one one. How is the pepperoni roll bill doing?

    Personal note: I have always used seat belts since around 1961 when my dad and I drilled holes and bolted them to the floorboards of our Ford, but do not think they should be required by law!

    • CaptainQ

      Thanks for reminding us all, Wowbagger!

      Gee, after all the initial 'hype' about the pepperoni roll bill, what happened to it? Or did our lawmakers finally come to their senses and just drop this stupid idea altogether?

      • GregG

        Captain the pepperoni roll thing must have gotten placed on the back burner. Our elected officals have bigger fish to fry. Like passing a law to protect Halliburton's hydraulic fracking fluid ingredients. Allowing the people to know what is being pumped into their water supply could be detrimental to Halliburton's profit margin.

        • NorthernWVman

          It is NOT being "pumped" into our water supply. Stop the scare tactic. You sound as if you are one of the envious ones that have recieved nothing.

          • GregG

            Thanks for the educational information NorthernWVman. Not to change the subject.... but would you be interested in a nice piece of ocean front property in Kanawha County? It even has a brand new, state of the art, evironmentally safe combination toilet/kitchen sink. Which I'm sure you would appreciate.

        • wirerowe

          Greg I agree becuase of concern about ground water and surface runoff we need to be very vigilant about the impacts on water quality that is why laws are on the books.. In addtion transparency is always a good thing. But Lisa Jackson our former beloved EPA admistrator said that there has neve been a documented case of where fracking has contaminated water supply.

          • GregG

            I wonder if she would be interested in a beach front home in Kanawha County?

          • wirerowe

            We disagree Greg but good one I got a good laugh out of that.

  • Hop'sHip

    Tomorrow: Requisite ruminations from the Dean.

  • GregG

    Maybe it's just me, but I feel that it is rather ridiculous that a Grandmother has to fight this state to get in-home health care which is far cheaper than going to a nursing home. Yet our state is fighting to place a convicted meth cooking dope head back in their own home and provide them "drug rehab" care.