Legislative session begins at noon; Justice set to give State of the State tonight

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The 60-day regular legislative session begins Wednesday at the state Capitol building.

One hundred members of the House of Delegates and 34 members of the state Senate will be on hand when the gavel comes down in both chambers at noon. They will spend the next two months introducing and debating bills with a few hundred gaining final approval.

Most of what happens Wednesday will be ceremonial; beginning at noon, both bodies will inform one another they are ready to go to work, and a group of legislators will go to the governor’s office to inform Gov. Jim Justice the legislature is ready to begin the session.

The spotlight on the opening days centers on the State of the State address. Justice will deliver his fourth address beginning at 7 p.m. The governor has used several props in his previous speeches, including whiteboards.

Justice will likely talk a lot about the accomplishments of his three years in the office as well as the state’s finances, bond rating, job creation and road work. You will be able to watch the address at our website.

The Senate will likely have only 33 members in their seats when things begin; Finance Committee Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, is recovering from a traffic incident that happened Saturday. Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, named Putnam County Sen. Eric Tarr as the committee’s new vice chairman on Tuesday.

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