UPDATE: West Virginia lawmakers OK bill creating new arts department

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia Legislature has passed a bill to establish a new arts department.

The bill creating the Department of Arts, Culture and History was approved 73-20 by the House of Delegates and 28-1 by the state Senate during a special session Monday.

Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill in March eliminating the Department of Education and the Arts, sending some of its duties to other state agencies. That came after the Republican governor fired department secretary Gayle Manchin, the wife of Democratic U.S. Sen Joe Manchin.

Under the latest bill, the commissioner of culture and history will become the curator of arts, culture and history and report directly to the governor.

The Educational Broadcasting Authority and the state Library Commission will remain independent agencies within the new department.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 3/14/2018, 1:10 P.M.

Gov. Jim Justice has appointed W. Clayton Burch as Acting Secretary for the Department of Education and the Arts, effective Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

Burch had been serving as Associate State Superintendent of Schools.

On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice fired former Secretary of Education and the Arts Gayle Manchin ahead of his decision on a bill passed by the West Virginia Legislature to dismantle the Department of Education and the Arts.

The governor has not decided whether to veto or sign the bill.


ORIGINAL STORY: 3/12/2018, 9:21 P.M.

West Virginia Republican Gov. Jim Justice says he has fired Secretary of Education and the Arts Gayle Manchin ahead of his decision on approved legislation to reorganize the agency.

Justice announced the move in a news release Monday. Manchin is a former state school board president and is the wife of Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin.

Lawmakers on Saturday passed a bill to dismantle the Department of Education and the Arts. The statement says the governor has not decided whether to veto or sign the bill.

Gayle Manchin had sought the department's preservation.

The department's agencies include Culture and History, Public Broadcasting, the Center for Professional Development, the Library Commission, Rehabilitation Services and Volunteer West Virginia. Those would either be absorbed by other departments or continue as separate agencies within the executive branch.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



 
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