Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin still finalizing his legislative agenda - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin still finalizing his legislative agenda

Posted: Updated:
  • GovernmentGovernmentMore>>

  • WV Senate race firing up thanks to 'war on coal'

    WV Senate race firing up thanks to 'war on coal'

    Monday, July 28 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-07-28 18:29:34 GMT
    The race for West Virginia representation in the U.S. Senate is firing up, in more ways than one. In the first television advertisement released for the West Virginia Senate race, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant shuts off power to the White House.
    The race for West Virginia representation in the U.S. Senate is firing up, in more ways than one. In the first television advertisement released for the West Virginia Senate race, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant shuts off power to the White House.
  • Rep. Nick Rahall addresses need for Congress to 'act' on VA legislation

    Rep. Nick Rahall addresses need for Congress to 'act' on VA legislation

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:27 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:27:49 GMT
    U.S. Rep.Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., said July 25 on the House floor leaders needed to come together and act to complete legislation that addresses shortfalls within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    U.S. Rep.Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., said July 25 on the House floor leaders needed to come together and act to complete legislation that addresses shortfalls within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • West Virginia sees high rates of health insurance coverage

    West Virginia sees high rates of health insurance coverage

    Saturday, July 26 2014 10:00 AM EDT2014-07-26 14:00:27 GMT
    A new report done by Wallet Hub, a company whose motto is to focus on “financial decisions and saving money,” found only 6 percent of West Virginians do not have health insurance coverage.
    A new report done by Wallet Hub, a company whose motto is to focus on “financial decisions and saving money,” found only 6 percent of West Virginians do not have health insurance coverage.
SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV -

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin didn't show much of his hand during a legislative preview session sponsored by the Associated Press Feb. 7.

But sometimes a smile is all it takes.

Tomblin smiled when asked about plans for an ethane cracker to materialize in West Virginia, and when a reporter asked what the smile meant, Tomblin simply answered "optimism."

Tomblin has been buoyed by the relief of an end to the near-constant campaigning he's been through since 2010. He said he's putting the "final touches" on the bills he intends to propose to the Legislature, and the long-standing tradition of taking up the administration's bills within the first 10 days of a legislative session would stand.

"It may take a few extra days on finalizing an education bill, but I'm confident we'll have all our bills ready to go within the first 10 days of the session," Tomblin said.

Tomblin touted a few successes for the state: the dropping of the state's food tax, the phase-down of the business franchise tax and an upgraded bond rating.

"As we go into this coming session, I think probably … a great deal of the time will be spent on education," Tomblin said.

In a slight tip of his cards, Tomblin said he couldn't get into details yet, but Feb. 13, which is the scheduled date for Tomblin's State of the State Address, the public would hear about "flexibility in calendars and flexibility at the local level."

"If you're not able to read by the third grade, you really start getting behind," Tomblin said. "Our focus will be, as our students graduate from high school, they either have skills ready for the work force or skills to go into higher education.

"We realize not everyone is cut out to go on to higher education, but we encourage those who are."

On the topic of prison overcrowding, Tomblin said the most important focus is stopping recidivism.

He also said the deadline for a decision on health care exchanges is due Feb. 15, but the state is still negotiating with the federal government on dealing with consumer outreach. His plan for West Virginia has been for West Virginia's insurance commissioner to continue to register insurance carriers within the state, but for the federal government to handle the technical parts of the program, such as the website.

Tomblin said he plans to kick off a campaign next week called "Get high, don't get hired," to help people interested in getting jobs to get help with their addictions.