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WV Legislative Update

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We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”.  If there was any doubt as to what circumstances this applies, then recall the weather last week.  It was some of the most oppressive summer weather in recent memory.  However, I didn’t complain.  If I were still railroading, the operating cab of an old locomotive would be about 115 degrees.

Although we choose the day weeks in advance, Jean and I decided to take in the WV Arts and Crafts Festival at Cedar Lakes, along with grandkids Kenzie and Carson.  Despite the heat and humidity, we had a great day and had the opportunity to see and meet some of the most talented artists and craftsmen around. 

The impeachment proceedings against one or more West Virginia Supreme Court Justices continue to move forward in the House of Delegates, with the Judiciary Committee beginning the investigation on behalf of the House.  The Judiciary Committee plans to meet, beginning this Thursday through Saturday; then again on July 19 for at least three more days in order to prepare articles of impeachment.  Each current Supreme Court justice is being investigated separately.  Each of the managers appointed on the Judiciary Committee will present their evidence to the full House of Delegates for a vote.  If adopted, it would then move to the Senate, where that body would serve as a jury in the proceedings.

The last several days continue to have ups and downs for higher education in West Virginia. Recently, Governor Justice appointed a blue ribbon commission to examine our West Virginia colleges and universities “so critical to our communities” and also expressing concern over “the continued erosion of their stability”.  Shortly after his announcement, a study was released from a Colorado think tank that was commissioned by the Higher Education Policy Commission.  While at this writing I have not reviewed the entire report, some of the initial recommendations, including combining the board of governors for four institutions - Bluefield State, Concord, Glenville and WV State – are non-starters for me.

Meanwhile, I have made a request to the House Speaker in a phone conversation late last week to serve as one of the three House members on this panel.  Whether I’m appointed or not, I certainly plan to have an active and vocal role, as I believe that higher education and our community and technical colleges have been financially cut to the detriment of our citizens and the economic future of our State.  Moreover, it always seems that discussions begin with GSC being one of the first targets, which offends me greatly as it should for everyone in central West Virginia; alumni and friends of GSC from around the State and beyond; and specifically Glenville and Gilmer County.

GSC has a positive story to tell and remains a vital component in the higher education system.  I think it is an absolute necessity that advocates for our smaller, regional institutions have a seat at the table to look out for their interests, needs and concerns.

Some good news emerged last week on the state budget front, as there should be a small surplus of approximately $20 million dollars for the fiscal year that ended on June 30.  While $20 million is no insignificant amount, when weighed in comparison to a $4.225 billion budget it’s a razor thin margin.  It’s certainly better to conclude the year in the black ink than in the red ink we’ve experienced recently.  However, the overall revenue collections are down in some key areas from previous years.

By law, half of any surplus must go into the Rainy Day Fund.  A portion of the remainder will likely go to:  Office of Drug Control Policy ($5 million); Volunteer Fire Department Workers Comp payments ($2 million); maintenance and expansion of stream flow gauges ($765,000); Division of Tourism ($2.5 million).  These initial priorities were placed in the back of the budget surplus section when the budget was approved.

No one had better rest on their laurels will a slight surplus.  Now that we’re in the first month of the 2019 fiscal year, there still is no report on PEIA from the Governor’s Task Force or from what source(s) the needed funding will be found.

Finally, Jean and I both are experiencing major problems in getting access to or communicating via Facebook.  Apparently, many others are experiencing similar problems, with screens on mobile devices going black.  Hopefully, this can be resolved soon. 

Please send your inquiries to my home office:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.  My home number is 304.364.8411; the Capitol office number is 304.340.3142.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

You may also obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and leave me a message on the Legislature’s web site at www.legis.state.wv.us/.  When leaving a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and the state government phone directory, may be found at www.wv.gov. Also, you may follow me on Facebook at “Brent Boggs”, Twitter at “@DelBrentBoggs” , as well as the WV Legislature’s Facebook page at “West Virginia Legislature” or on Twitter at twitter.com/wvlegislature.

Continue to remember our troops - at home and abroad - and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.  Until next week – take care.

Why is it that when tax dollars were spent on the higher education reorganization study by the Colorado NCHEMS group it is being keep secret from the public? Mr. Boggs how about helping out by informing voters how to get a copy of the report to read and decide for themselves?

Comment by Voters Watching  on  07.10.2018

A basic truism for a highly successful start up business is to offer a new top quality product in high demand at a price consumers can afford.

Why do Dr. Pellett and GSC’s Board of Governors reject the concept? Specifically, as printed in the Democrat there is a proposal to establish a premiere five year teacher education program at the College with grads to receive a masters degree in teaching. A program of that type is desperately needed in WV and it is not offered elsewhere.

Word circulating is that Dr. Pellet, the Board of Governors, and dominant members of the County’s elite have summarily rejected the idea.

One excuse heard is that local power brokers do not want WVU involved with the College. Yet, in the Democrat Dr. Pellett is quoted saying that he is working on a new nursing program with WVU’s involvement.

Is the true reason of veto of the innovative teacher education program because Dr. Pellet and the Board of Governors were not originators of the idea to automatically cause its rejection?

Dr. Pellett is invited to explain to the public and concerned alumni why the program would not be in GSC’s long term best interests.

Comment by Why Dr. Pellet and GSC BOG?  on  07.13.2018

Dr. Pellett, you attacked accuracy of the NCHEMS report in your Gazette article today.

It would be informative for you to give an Internet link to the report to permit it to be read and for you to publish a detailed critique of errors in it with backup evidence as proof.

Comment by GSC EMPLOYEE  on  07.13.2018
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