Stepping back into the state capital, the West Virginia House of Delegates prepares to tackle the big issues when they convene for the Legislature's 60-day session next Wednesday.
"(We're) trying to implement the 180-day calendar and making it a true 180 days, nutrition in the school also continues to be an issue... so you'll see a lot of education issues addressed this session," says Delegate John Ellem (R-Wood County). "I also think another big issue that will come up will be prison overcrowding."
People required to file disclosure forms must now reveal certain spousal information.
"I would like to see the Ethics Act further strengthened in terms of lobbyist disclosures," Ellem says. "Perhaps disclosures of the sources and amounts of lobbying fees, which would probably be a pretty hot topic."
Universal background checks may be up for discussion but not much more on guns with the state.
"With all the attention being addressed at the federal level, with our hands already full with education and prison overcrowding, I don't foresee us addressing any gun control measures," Ellem says.
They passed a whole series of regulations on fracking not more than a year ago.
"I think the feeling of most legislators is, 'let's give that time to work through' and see how the industry and environment and the land owners, all the affected parties -- how they're able to deal with those new regulations and new laws," Ellem says.
How the session plays out remains to be seen since the Legislature now has many more members.
"This session's going to require us to communicate, both parties to communicate more than ever," Ellem says. "To be willing to work together more than ever because we are so evenly divided.
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