Print and broadcast media from across West Virginia will gather Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the West Virginia Culture Center at the Capitol for a series of panels previewing the top issues in the state.
“This annual preview, which was started years ago by then Associated Press state bureau chief John Bolt, gives the media insight into legislative agendas and major issues that will be addressed during the 2019 legislative session,” said Don Smith, executive director of the WVPA. “The West Virginia Press Association now assists an editors group in hosting the Lookahead.”
“Having the event at the Culture Center makes it a great opportunity for media to meet with more legislators and hear from other business, industry and association leaders,” Smith said.
The agenda for Friday is as follows:
Panel 1. – 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.: Marijuana, moderated by Mary Heath, executive editor of the Journal of Martinsburg
– Del. Mike Pushkin, D-37thDistrict, Miniority Vice Chair of the House Health Committee
– James Berry, Associate Professor and Medicial Director, WVU Medicine
– Diana Stout, West Virginia Treasurer’s Office
– Jessie Forbes, counsel for the Office of Medical Cannabis – WV Department of Health and Human Resources
Panel 2 – 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.: State Budget, moderated by Greg Moore, executive editor of the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
– Del. Vernon Criss, R-10thDistrict, vice chairman of the House Finance Committee
– Sen. Ron Stollings, D-7thDistrict, Senate Finance Committee
– Ted Boettner, WV Center on Budget and Policy
– Mark Muchow, WV Budget Office, tentative
Leadership Presentations – Noon until 1:30 p.m.: Lunch discussion, moderated by Don Smith, executive director the West Virginia Press Association:
Keynote addresses by Senator Mitch Carmichael, President of the W.Va. Senate; Delegate Roger Hanshaw, Speaker of the W.Va. House of Delegates; Delegate Tim Miley, House of Delegates Minority Leader; Senator Corey Palumbo, Senate Minority Whip; and Updates on other topics on legislative interest for 2019.
Panel 3 – 1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Education– moderated by Christina Myer, executive editor of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel:
– Steve Paine, West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools
– Dale Lee, president West Virginia Education Association
– Fred Albert, president, American Federation of Teachers, W.Va.
– Sen. Patricia Rucker, R-16th District, State Senate Education Committee chair, tentative
– Del. Danny Hamrick, R-48th District, Clarksburg, House Education Accountability Committee, tentative
Media will also hear from other officials and business and industry leaders on legislative agendas.
Smith also noted lunch will be served on-site, sponsored by the WV Medical Association, from Bridge Road Bistro of Charleston.
As for parking, there is metered parking at the Capitol Complex and free parking at Laidley Field with Capitol Shuttle Transportation. For GPS, the exact location is West Virginia Culture Center at the Capitol Complex, 1900 Kanawha Blvd E, Charleston, WV 25317. For parking, the exact location is Laidley Field, 1549 Piedmont Rd, Charleston, WV 25311.