From the Well


At the center of the West Virginia state capitol is an area known as “The Well.” It is the informal gathering place for lobbyists, reporters, constituents and lawmakers. Centrally located between the chambers of the House of Delegates and Senate, The Well is often where information is shared, alliances are formed and deals are made.

From the Well

Legislature authorizes exemptions to employer COVID-19 vaccine mandates


Brian Skinner COVID-19, Employers, Government & Policy, Legislation, Workforce
COVID-19

By Brian Skinner, Esq. Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of vaccines critical to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. After determining the vaccines met applicable statutory standards and the agency’s specific safety and efficacy standards, the FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for the vaccines under Section …Read More

State to Launch Intermediate Court of Appeals


Brian Skinner Courts, Justice, State Government

By Brian J. Skinner, Esq. Gov. Jim Justice recently announced the state is accepting applications of candidates interested in serving as judges on the newly created Intermediate Court of Appeals. During the 2021 regular session, the West Virginia Legislature enacted Senate Bill 275, or the West Virginia Appellate Reorganization Act of 2021. Legislators debated an …Read More

Redistricting: Changes will affect legislative elections


Brian Skinner Elections, State Government, State Legislatures

By Brian J. Skinner, Esq. Recently you may have read about a series of meetings around the state designed to share information with the public about how state lawmakers should redraw congressional and legislative boundaries. Under the West Virginia Constitution, the state Legislature is required to redraw the lines every 10 years, using U.S. Census …Read More

New Report Explains How Governments Can Leverage Federal Funds to Partner with Local Nonprofits


Brian Skinner ARPA, Government & Policy, Local Government, State Fiscal & Economic Policy

By Brian Skinner, Esq.  The National Council of Nonprofits has issued a report on how state and local governments can partner with nonprofit organizations in their communities to use relief funds distributed through the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) by expanding existing programs or creating new ones.   Congress expressly declared in the ARPA that state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments may use their allocations of the $350 billion in Coronavirus …Read More

West Virginia and American Rescue Plan Act Funds


Brian Skinner ARPA, Budget, COVID-19, Government & Policy, State Fiscal & Economic Policy

By Brian Skinner, Esq. State governments, including West Virginia, are beginning to receive the first allocations from $193.5 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The ARPA, signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, establishes the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund.  The Fiscal Recovery Funds are intended to provide support to …Read More

Debriefing the 2021 WV Legislative Session – Broadband


Brian Skinner Broadband, Legislation
Broadband

By Brian Skinner, Esq. After months of discussion, the legislature enacted H.B. 2002, creating a statutory framework to support, encourage, and expedite the expansion of broadband throughout the state. The bill, passed the Senate unanimously and the House with just one dissenting vote, was signed by the Governor on April 28, 2021, and becomes effective …Read More

Debriefing the 2021 WV Legislative Session – Oil & Gas


Brian Skinner Gas and Oil, Legislation
Oil and gas

By Brian Skinner, Esq. Oil and gas issues were not at the top of the 85th West Virginia Legislature’s agenda during its first regular session. Only one bill directly related to the industry was enacted. Senate Bill 404 amends the Natural Gas Horizontal Well Control Act by authorizing the state Department of Environmental Protection to …Read More