Sorry for the recent drop-off in lunchtime rundown posts everyone (here’s hoping you missed them!), but last week was a little hectic in the newsroom. Look for many more posts this week, as the Legislature is back in town for September’s interim meetings.
We’ll start off this week with a few agriculture stories. Newly-appointed Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss recently asked all state agencies to prepare two budgets for fiscal year 2015, a regular budget and another with a 7.5 percent cut. Agencies have now submitted those reports to the state budget office, and the Daily Mail has now taken a look at a few of them.
The state agriculture department is looking to cut nearly all funding from its predator control fund, which state sheep farmers say would have a traumatic effect on their business.
The predator control program, which is run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services division but funded by the state ag department, works with dozens of livestock producers around the state, helping them protect their flocks from coyotes, free-ranging dogs and other threats that hurt the animals, and farmers’ pocketbooks.
In other news…
- Marijuana lobbyists believe support is growing in the Mountain State to legalize pot, at least for medical uses. Matt Simon, a West Virginia native and legislative analyst with the Marijuana Policy Project, will speak to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Health about marijuana regulations.
- There also will be a symposium on child poverty during interim meetings this week.
- Corrections officials will begin moving inmates at the Industrial Home for Youth in Salem to the Sam Perdue Juvenile Center in Bluefield and the James. H. “Tiger” Morton Juvenile Center in Kanawha County. A judge ordered the Salem facility closed earlier this year following allegations of abuse.
- The Associated Press reports newly-announced Senate candidate Natalie Tennant has some catching up to do in fundraising efforts. Republican candidate Rep. Shelley Moore Capito had more than $2.8 million at the end of June, according to campaign finance reports, and had already spent more than $400,000.