CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The recent escape of an inmate at the South Central Regional Jail in Charleston could be a topic of discussion when the state legislature begins interim committee meetings Sunday at the state capitol.
The first meeting scheduled is that of the Oversight Committee on Regional Jails and Correctional Facilities. State Regional Jail Authority David Farmer is first up on the committee’s agenda for his monthly report on the jail system.
Inmate Todd Boyes was apprehended while swimming across the Rio Grande River in Laredo, Texas by border patrol two weeks ago. Boyes escaped from South Central on Oct. 25. His escape was reported about 40 hours after it happened. Five correctional workers have been suspended without pay as part of an ongoing internal investigation.
Boyes is currently fighting extradition.
The interim schedule has 27 committee meetings over the three-day period. The Senate never adjourned from last month’s special session in order to do confirmations this month. The Senate Confirmations Committee is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Monday. There’s a Senate floor session scheduled for noon Monday to take up the governor’s nominations for various boards and commissions
House of Delegates Speaker Tim Armstead (R-Kanawha) said discussions will continue this week on proposed education initiatives along with talks about the state budget for next fiscal year.
“We want to be able to get this budget done during the regular session and ensure we do not have a repeat of last year,” Armstead told MetroNews.
Recently released tax collection numbers show actual collections just $8 million behind estimates four months into the fiscal year. The numbers are encouraging, Armstead said.
“We still have a ways to go. We’re not out of the woods and we understand that,” he said. “There are probably going to have to be some additional reductions we are going to have to make and additional prioritization.”
Armstead believes the state’s revenue issue has hit bottom and is beginning to bounce back.
The final two interim committee sessions are scheduled for Dec. 3-5 and Jan. 7-9. The January session will be just ahead of the beginning of 60-day regular session set for Jan. 10.