Blog Archives

Tomblin Signs Mine Safety Bill

Governor Tomblin and House Speaker Thompson celebrated mine safety legislation recently passed and signed by Tomblin. The legislation is in response to the Upper Big Branch disaster in Raleigh County that killed 29 miners in April, 2010. Read the rest of this entry

WV Passes Exotic Animal Laws, Requires Permits

The legislature recently passed SB477, which makes owning “exotic animals” a privilege, not a right. What exactly is an exotic animal? Well, that’s up to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.

Delegate Larry Kump, R-Berkeley, says that “the phrase that comes to mind is ‘lions, tigers and bears, oh my!'” However, the Department could hypothetically decide whatever they choose. “This has drawn furor of some people who own exotic and not so exotic pets. Quite frankly, their confidence in the rule-making procedure is not good.” Read the rest of this entry

House and Senate Find Common Ground on Texting While Driving Ban

The WV House and Senate have met in the middle and compromised on the texting and driving bill. It will now be a primary offense if your caught texting and driving and a secondary offense for talking on your phone while driving.

“Give them the first year to get accustomed to the law. They’ll have to get a wired headset or get a blue tooth or some other means of using the phone instead of having one up to the ear,” said WV Senator Orphy Klempa. Read the rest of this entry

WV House Passes Ban On Texting While Driving

The West Virginia House of Delegates passed SB211 with a landslide vote, 87-12, outlawing the use of handheld devices to call or text while driving. The bill makes texting while driving a primary offense and talking on your phone without a hands-free device while driving a secondary offense. Drivers can be pulled over initially for primary offenses, while secondary offenses can only be issued after a primary offense. Read the rest of this entry

Tomblin Calls Special Session for Marcellus Shale

Map of Marcellus Shale natural gas.

Governor Tomblin has called a special legislative session to handle various issues concerning Marcellus Shale drilling throughout the state. Tomblin’s administration has been meeting with stakeholders to work on a compromise. The “Joint Legislative Committee on Marcellus Shale” recently, in November, drafted a bill to regulate Marcellus drilling. Their draft increases drilling permit fees from $$5,000 to $10,000 and requires drilling sites to be more than 625 feet from a house – current regulations require only 200 feet. The permit increase is meant to increase funding for inspectors and field staff. The draft bill also requires that such inspectors be paid at least $35,000 per year. Read the rest of this entry

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