CHARLESTON, W.VA. — The 2017 West Virginia AP Legislative Lookahead featured four panels and a record turnout of media.
Held at The Charleston Gazette-Mail, the Legislative Lookahead started at 9 a.m.
The panels were as follows:
9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. – Legalization of Marijuana. Moderator: Matthew Burdette, executive editor at The Inter-Mountain in Elkins.
- Danny Bragg, Green is the New Black/Mountaineers for Marijuana
- Eric Johnson of the Charleston Police Department
- Del. Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha
- John “Ed” Shemelya, national coordinator of National Marijuana Initiative.
- Jim Wilson, executive director of The Gatehouse in Elkins
10:30 to 11:45 a.m. – Budget. Moderator: Rob Byers, executive editor, Charleston Gazette-Mail.
- Del. Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, House Finance Committee chairman.
- Sen. Mike Hall, R-Putnam, Senate Finance Committee chairman.
- Brian Lego, economic forecaster, West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research.
- Ted Boettner, executive director of the West Virginia Center of Budget & Policy.
11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Lunch. Speaker: Senate President Mitch Carmichael. Moderator: Damon Cain, executive editor of The Register-Herald in Beckley.
Higher Education – 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. – Moderator: John McCabe, managing editor of The Intelligencer in Wheeling.
- Corley Dennison, vice chancellor for academic affairs, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.
- Marshall University President Jerry Gilbert.
- Joyce McConnell, West Virginia University provost and vice president for academic affairs.
- Jessica Carter, executive director, West Virginia Independent College and Universities
Primary/Secondary Education – 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. – Moderator: Christina Myer, executive editor at The Parkersburg News and Sentinel.
- Del. Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson, chairman of the House Education Committee.
- Vincent de Paul Schmidt, superintendent of West Virginia’s Roman Catholic school system.
- Dale Lee, president of West Virginia Education Association.