There was a standing-room only crowd in the governor’s reception room this morning as Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Sen. Joe Manchin, former first lady Gayle Manchin and others gathered to unveil Manchin’s official gubernatorial portrait.
I attended that ceremony (click here to watch a live stream) and had an opportunity to speak with portrait artist Larry Bruce Bishop about how he created the portrait. Look for that in tomorrow’s Daily Mail.
In other news:
- Manchin, Tomblin, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and Rep. Nick Rahall spoke to thousands of union members at a United Mine Workers rally at the Civic Center on Monday. The union, which is protesting actions by Patriot Coal to take away retirees’ benefits, then led a march through downtown Charleston to the company’s headquarters. Sixteen members, including president Cecil Roberts, were arrested by Charleston Police for disorderly conduct.
- State residents are receiving more money in their tax returns this year. While that’s great for the family budget, it’s hurting the state’s bottom line. As Dave reports in today’s Daily Mail, the state paid $45 million in tax refunds in March. That’s quite a bit more than the $32 million budget officials expected, and way more than the almost $29 million paid out in March of last year. As a result, the state could be looking at a $50 million revenue shortfall by the end of the budget year.
- Here’s my story about the creation of Sen. Joe Manchin’s gubernatorial portrait, featuring an interview with the junior senator and some interesting facts about governors’ portraits. Again, don’t forget to look for my story in Wednesday’s Daily Mail for an interview with the artist.