Lots of news out of the statehouse today, so I’m going to do a Romenesko-style link rundown today.
- A speech by Sen. Mike Green, D-Raleigh, on the Senate floor yesterday has spurred debate on a Republican-backed bill requiring welfare recipients submit to random drug testing. Supporters say the move would funnel addicts into treatment programs, but opponents say the bill is unconstitutional and would only overburden the state’s already-swamped substance abuse treatment programs.
- While all the “voter ID” bills before the House and Senate have languished in committees since their introduction, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant is worried supporters of the measures will employ a rarely-used parliamentary procedure to yank the bills out of committee and put them before a full floor vote.
- Charleston attorney Nick Preservati is considering a run for Sen. Jay Rockefeller‘s seat in 2014. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito announced her candidacy for that seat last year.
- State Sen. Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, was taken to the hospital Tuesday night over blood pressure issues. He’s currently in Charleston Area Medical Center’s Memorial Hospital, and hopes to return to the Capitol soon.
- Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced new guidelines for hiring outside counsel, which will go into effect next month.
- House GOP members proposed five amendments to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin‘s education reform bill, which is on its second reading in that chamber today. One would reduce the size of the state’s education bureaucracy. Another would bring charter schools to the state.
Debates on those five amendments are ongoing at this time. Keep checking Capitol Notebook for updates when they become available, or follow Dave on Twitter.