06 May 2010

Legislature Headed for Special Session

The Associated Press reports on details from the special session that Gov. Joe Manchin plans to call starting May 13, with education expected to dominate the agenda.

The bulk of lawmakers' time will likely be spent on proposals meant to improve West Virginia schools while also boosting its shot at federal Race to the Top grant funding. State education officials, responding to a challenge from Manchin, drafted the proposals last month.

The state Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety has recommended that "Manchin include a measure setting up special inspection teams that would focus on dangerous coal mines," the article said. AP reported separately on that proposal.

AP had also reported earlier that the session would feature legislation allowing for the sort of temporary, high-risk health insurance pool envisioned by the new federal health care law. The governor had cited the planned measure in a letter last week to U.S. Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius.

Lawmakers may also revisit bills vetoed from this year's regular session because of technical flaws. Administration officials tell The Register-Herald of Beckley that "off the table for now" is the nixed bill that would have given extra coal severance tax revenues to the state's 30 mining counties.

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