Late lunchtime rundown today, and it’s just a few tidbits.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s prison reform bill came to the Legislature yesterday, largely the same as the bill introduced last year. The bill died in the House on the last night of session last year; Zack takes a look at it’s fate for this year in tomorrow’s Daily Mail.
Two other corrections-related stories. Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Benjamin discussed the effectiveness of drug courts Tuesday with legislators. Benjamin said the courts are a cheaper alternative to prison and cut down on repeat offenders.
Embattled director of juvenile services Dale Humphreys was fired yesterday. Humphreys and the DJS have faced heat for close to a year concerning conditions at the juvenile center in Salem; the division is accused of focusing too much on punishment and not enough on rehabilitation.
The governor’s office announced today Stephanie Bond, supervisor at the Kenneth “Honey” Rubenstein Juvenile Center in Davis, will step in immediately as acting director.
Education continues to take center stage in the Legislature. The Senate Education Committee pledged to take a vote on the governor’s reform bill by March 7, with unions crying foul on the timeline and the bill’s contents.
Legislators also heard about issues surrounding select teachers “abusing” the amount of paid leave they are afforded in their contracts.
I’ll have some more information about the education reform package for tomorrow’s Daily Mail, ahead of the Senate Education’s afternoon meeting where the bill’s up for discussion again.
The AARP also laid out it’s legislative agenda: first and foremost, they want safer streets for walkers and bicyclists.
Lastly, a congressional subcommittee delved into West Virginia’s purchase of routers today. Legislators battled with administrators of the grant program; some heralded state legislative auditor Aaron Allred’s report while other’s disputed its findings.
I’ll have an updated story, with the latest in the state’s decisions concerning the grant implementation moving forward, for tomorrow’s Daily Mail.