West Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler is sticking with the same leadership team heading into next month’s 60-day regular session.
Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley, remains the majority leader while Sen. Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, will continue to lead the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Bob Plymale, D-Wayne, the Senate Education Committee and Sen. Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Chairman Palumbo says he expects a busy regular session with the key issue being education reform.
“It’s going to be on the top of most legislators’ minds and I think that’s going to be maybe the most significant thing we address this session,” Palumbo said.
Any education reform issues would make their way through the education and finance committees ahead of the judiciary committee. Palumbo expects his committee to get another big issue, prison overcrowding.
“It’s a major problem in our state and that is a judiciary issue and I’m hoping we’ll be able to address in a comprehensive way this year,” Sen. Palumbo said.
A national group has been working with the state on analyzing the overcrowding situation. A legislative working group has also been involved.
Palumbo says he’s humbled and thankful to have been chosen by President Kessler to once against chair the judiciary committee.
“I try to run an efficient meeting and be open with the suggestions from members on what they would like to see done,” he said. “If they have concerns about things, talk to them, and not rush through the process and try to produce the best product that we can.”
The regular legislative session begins Feb. 13.