It has been hard for a long time to say anything about politics that helps anyone with anything. If you say something to one side or the other, no one who might believe you needs to hear it; and no one who might need to hear it will believe you. Three-plus years of our politics has immunized…

It's 2020, and while most minds might be on the upcoming elections, there's another way you can have your voice heard and make a difference in government: take the census.

My parents always told me nothing good happens when you’re out late on the weekend. Point taken, but several important bills made it across the finish line just before midnight on the last night of the legislative session!

We tend to fear threats that we do not understand, and that may be prudent. But why do we not fear threats that we do understand? Influenza comes around every year, and it takes a toll as revealed by the information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control cited below. The data is for seven…

There are three basic necessities for life: Shelter, water and food. Each is vital to survival, but food is at the forefront of our daily lives. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Lunch plans give way to debates between co-workers. Dinner is a time for families to bond. Regardl…

As of early March, there were fewer than 200 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United States. Nonetheless Congress passed, and U.S. president Donald Trump signed, an $8.3 billion “emergency funding” bill theoretically related to containing the disease.

Before the next legislative session rolls around – and trust us, we’re in no hurry – we think leaders in the House of Delegates and the Senate, along with the governor, when he is not coaching high school girls basketball, ought to outline what their priorities are, focus on a few transforma…

On learning Russia had staged a massive disinformation campaign in the 2016 presidential election, schools across the country began adding digital literacy classes to their course offerings.

The events that transpired during the Greenbrier East and Woodrow Wilson High Schools girls’ basketball game have taken center stage in a discussion surrounding not only the statements of Governor Jim Justice but also the reactions of the WV State Police during the game.

As you have seen in the news, COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus, has arrived in the United States.

Wondering what’s going on in Charleston? Join the club! But seriously, several major issues are currently moving. Here’s a quick recap.

As state legislators, we are often asked what can be done to stop people from leaving West Virginia, to keep our best and brightest at home. We hear about it on the news, in the grocery store, and in our church pews – people are leaving West Virginia at an alarming rate and they are not comi…

Back in 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump promised that Mexico would pay for his proposed border wall. Turns out Mexico wasn’t interested, so Trump eventually resorted to declaring fake emergencies and illegally misappropriating money from the military budget.

Because West Virginia has deep and perplexing issues that have been allowed to fester for years and now need all hands on deck if we are to turn this ship of state against winds of misfortune, because tax revenues are struggling to meet budget projections and because a fix for the mightier o…

On Jan. 15, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. According to the US Constitution, that makes the ERA part of "the supreme law of the land."

It’s halftime at the West Virginia legislature. Like this year’s Super Bowl, we got off to a slow start, but I expect an exciting second half.

The adage that “history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce” could use some updating. There’s no reason it can’t be farce the whole time. (A week late last month) ended with a Hoppy Kercheval column lamenting that the Democrats have moved too far to the left. …

It should come as no surprise that many AARP members in the Mountain State and nationally tell us they can’t afford the medications they need, and are forced to make difficult choices as a result. In a recent survey of voters age 50 and older, four out of 10 people responded that they did no…

In December, I had the opportunity to speak to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works on an important issue facing our country, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). This disease is discussed scarcely and understood even less, so you may have not heard of it.

When lawmakers in West Virginia introduced formal resolutions this year, inviting rural and conservative parts of Virginia to join our rural and conservative state, we thought it was a one-note story, good for a nervous chuckle and a shake of the head. We hoped the world at large would not n…

The United States is the only industrialized country that does not guarantee its citizens paid family leave. A proposed bill in the West Virginia statehouse could change that in part – at least for state employees here in the Mountain State.

As we enter a new year, the running battle between the world’s governments and the world-changing technology known as “cryptocurrency” continues. As 2019 drew to an end, Swiss president Ueli Maurer asserted that Facebook’s digital currency (not a real cryptocurrency), Libra, has failed “beca…

On Jan. 14, Elizabeth Warren released a “Plan to Cancel Student Debt on Day One of My Presidency.” Warren would use the U.S. Department of Education’s “broad legal authority” to cancel up to $50,000 of debt on behalf of up to 42 million borrowers.

For those of you wondering where Gov. Jim Justice was hiding while some imposter, a stunt double, delivered the annual State of the State address, we can assure you that the guy at the podium Wednesday night was, in fact, our governor – minus any big ideas on how to move the state forward.

It feels like the calm before the storm in Charleston. The opening week was the quietest I’ve ever seen. As of today, we’ve completed 4 of 60 days...and the ONLY thing the Senate has considered is a resolution to invite Frederick County, Virginia to join West Virginia. (I’m told they’re not …

(Last month), after four long years of uncertainty, Congress came together to permanently secure healthcare and pensions for our nation’s coal miners. With an end of the year deadline looming Congress had to act to save the healthcare and pensions of nearly 100,000 coal miners and their fami…

I am a resident of Raleigh County (17 years and counting), was raised in Greenbrier County and lived there almost 25 years as an adult, and spent the majority of my working career (33 years) in Fayette County. I was blessed to serve as a teacher, coach and administrator at Meadow Bridge High…

When I was sworn in as the United States Senator for West Virginia, I knew I had big shoes to fill. Senator Robert C. Byrd was a giant in the Senate, known for his work on the Appropriations Committee which brought funding opportunities and projects to West Virginia. Today, I am proud to hol…

A turn of the calendar calls for revision of individual ideals and new goals to avoid any complacency we may have fallen into over the holidays. Business organizations typically use end of the year to honestly reflect on the previous 12 months. For state agencies, we must continue to find wa…

As West Virginia has been called to account for a child welfare system that has put about 7,000 foster children at heightened risk of experiencing homelessness, mental health problems, incarceration and addiction, a cadre of social conservative lawmakers – who have the audacity to hoist a “p…

The legislative session begins Jan. 8, 2020. This will be my fourth legislative session, and I always say, “It can’t get any wilder than last year.” I will not tempt fate this year! Here are several major issues coming our way.

A new government report presented to the West Virginia Legislature recommends removing public notices from your community newspaper and placing them on a state government website to reduce state spending.

Thirteen American colonies, assembled as a congress, issued a Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. By the end of the year George Washington’s troops were in dire condition: Hungry, ill, mauled in battle, and poorly clothed, some with rags wrapped around their feet because they lacked shoes.

As 1914 drew to a close, Europe had been at war for months. On the Western Front, opposing armies faced each other across a stalemated front line running from the North Sea to the Swiss border. On December 24, 100,000 soldiers from both sides of that line decided to create some peace on Earth.

West Virginia’s children are in crisis, and that spells a future in crisis for our state. There’s no simpler way to put it. Recent reports from the state Department of Health and Human Resources are dire and demand immediate attention and action. More children have been placed in foster care…

You may have heard about the Trump administration’s latest attack on very poor Americans: A punitive new restriction that will cut SNAP benefits for 688,000 people. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is our country’s most popular and effective nutrition assistance program.

Pocahontas County, West Virginia is one of the counties that hosts the Monongahela National Forest, which welcomes more than a million visitors to our state each year. However, the Monongahela National Forest occupies over 50 percent of Pocahontas County. And, because the forest is federally…

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy (in late July) released a report on wage theft in West Virginia. Wage theft can be defined in many ways. Some examples are minimum wage violations, overtime violations, illegal deductions, employee misclassification, and tipped minimum wage violations.

Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world, boasting revenues of more than $230 billion last year. But last month the company sued the U.S. Department of Defense over a paltry potential $10 billion spread over 10 years.

As we gather around the dinner table this Thanksgiving, it is important for us to reflect on the great blessings we share as West Virginians and Americans. It is easy to forget how blessed we are to live in a country with the greatest liberties and freedoms in the world, but Thanksgiving is …

Some say that the Murray Energy bankruptcy filing earlier this month spurred a bipartisan coalition of politicians in D.C. to introduce a bill to secure the pensions for nearly 90,000 retired coal miners. There is urgent financial trouble afoot, apparently.

A wave of protests is roiling Moscow. Millions of people, young and old, have been crowding the streets in Hong Kong. In Britain, members of the Conservative Party took to open revolt over Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move to sideline Parliament on Brexit. If democracy is dysfunctional and…

West Virginia is one of the most patriotic states in this great nation. During my time in the U.S. Senate, it has been my greatest honor to serve those who have served, and celebrate veterans and all they have given for our freedom. 

“Be Prepared” is a motto that we often talk about in my service with the Boy Scouts’ Buckskin Council, and it’s certainly one we live by at Appalachian Power. That’s why, when Appalachian Power was approached by The Education Alliance to be one of the first businesses involved in the WV Read…

Thanks to donations from the City of Montgomery, Mayor Greg Ingram and the Gambill Amusement Company, 48 children were given tickets for the carnival (last month).