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Legislative LookAhead: West Virginia lawmakers talk education at preview

By Curtis Johnson, WSAZ News

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) — House and Senate leadership touched tax cuts and reform within West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources, but they also discussed several others Friday, including education, at a Legislative Lookahead in Charleston.

The event, organized by the West Virginia Press Association, gave legislative leaders and experts a chance to discuss their priorities ahead of the state’s 60-day, regular session, which begins Wednesday.

Among other items, House and Senate leaders spoke about an apprenticeship program to boost the number of those with college degrees, plans to use money from the state’s record surplus to improve infrastructure and fix deferred maintenance.

They also discussed funding for the state’s Public Employee Insurance Agency and concerns no fix could impact hospital care for families across West Virginia.

Senate President Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, even announced one fix could pass his chamber Wednesday, referencing a measure that passed the Senate with broad support last year before dying in the House.

Other speakers touched on the state’s economic outlook and workforce shortage, many tying everything back to education. …

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