The United States is the only industrialized country that does not guarantee its citizens paid family leave. A proposed bill in the West Virginia statehouse could change that in part – at least for state employees here in the Mountain State.

As we enter a new year, the running battle between the world’s governments and the world-changing technology known as “cryptocurrency” continues. As 2019 drew to an end, Swiss president Ueli Maurer asserted that Facebook’s digital currency (not a real cryptocurrency), Libra, has failed “beca…

You don’t mess with Mother Nature and you most certainly did not lie to Grandma! Grandma had this “little birdie” that told on anyone who lied to her.

On Jan. 14, Elizabeth Warren released a “Plan to Cancel Student Debt on Day One of My Presidency.” Warren would use the U.S. Department of Education’s “broad legal authority” to cancel up to $50,000 of debt on behalf of up to 42 million borrowers.

For those of you wondering where Gov. Jim Justice was hiding while some imposter, a stunt double, delivered the annual State of the State address, we can assure you that the guy at the podium Wednesday night was, in fact, our governor – minus any big ideas on how to move the state forward.

It feels like the calm before the storm in Charleston. The opening week was the quietest I’ve ever seen. As of today, we’ve completed 4 of 60 days...and the ONLY thing the Senate has considered is a resolution to invite Frederick County, Virginia to join West Virginia. (I’m told they’re not …

(Last month), after four long years of uncertainty, Congress came together to permanently secure healthcare and pensions for our nation’s coal miners. With an end of the year deadline looming Congress had to act to save the healthcare and pensions of nearly 100,000 coal miners and their fami…

A turn of the calendar calls for revision of individual ideals and new goals to avoid any complacency we may have fallen into over the holidays. Business organizations typically use end of the year to honestly reflect on the previous 12 months. For state agencies, we must continue to find wa…

I am a resident of Raleigh County (17 years and counting), was raised in Greenbrier County and lived there almost 25 years as an adult, and spent the majority of my working career (33 years) in Fayette County. I was blessed to serve as a teacher, coach and administrator at Meadow Bridge High…

When I was sworn in as the United States Senator for West Virginia, I knew I had big shoes to fill. Senator Robert C. Byrd was a giant in the Senate, known for his work on the Appropriations Committee which brought funding opportunities and projects to West Virginia. Today, I am proud to hol…

In March of 1804, French dragoons secretly crossed the Rhine into the German Margraviate of Baden. Acting on orders from Napoleon himself, they kidnapped Louis Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Enghien. After a hastily convened court-martial on charges of bearing arms against France, the duke was shot.

Thirteen American colonies, assembled as a congress, issued a Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. By the end of the year George Washington’s troops were in dire condition: Hungry, ill, mauled in battle, and poorly clothed, some with rags wrapped around their feet because they lacked shoes.

The legislative session begins Jan. 8, 2020. This will be my fourth legislative session, and I always say, “It can’t get any wilder than last year.” I will not tempt fate this year! Here are several major issues coming our way.

A new government report presented to the West Virginia Legislature recommends removing public notices from your community newspaper and placing them on a state government website to reduce state spending.

As 1914 drew to a close, Europe had been at war for months. On the Western Front, opposing armies faced each other across a stalemated front line running from the North Sea to the Swiss border. On December 24, 100,000 soldiers from both sides of that line decided to create some peace on Earth.

As West Virginia has been called to account for a child welfare system that has put about 7,000 foster children at heightened risk of experiencing homelessness, mental health problems, incarceration and addiction, a cadre of social conservative lawmakers – who have the audacity to hoist a “p…

You may have heard about the Trump administration’s latest attack on very poor Americans: A punitive new restriction that will cut SNAP benefits for 688,000 people. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is our country’s most popular and effective nutrition assistance program.

Pocahontas County, West Virginia is one of the counties that hosts the Monongahela National Forest, which welcomes more than a million visitors to our state each year. However, the Monongahela National Forest occupies over 50 percent of Pocahontas County. And, because the forest is federally…

Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world, boasting revenues of more than $230 billion last year. But last month the company sued the U.S. Department of Defense over a paltry potential $10 billion spread over 10 years.

West Virginia is one of the most patriotic states in this great nation. During my time in the U.S. Senate, it has been my greatest honor to serve those who have served, and celebrate veterans and all they have given for our freedom. 

Once upon a time, having a job at a newspaper meant working in one of the most imposing buildings in town, inhaling the acrid aroma of fresh ink and the dusty breath of cheap newsprint and feeling mini-earthquakes under our feet every time the presses started to roll. For those of us old eno…

With hunting season just around the corner, hundreds of thousands of hunters in West Virginia are preparing to head into the woods. Hunting, obvious to any native West Virginian, has always been an important part of our culture here in the Mountain State. Many do this for sport, to connect t…

Freedom of the press, of speech, of religion, of assembly and to petition the government are woven, like stars in the flag, into the fabric of the First Amendment.

INDUSTRIAL HEMP. If you’ve seen new crops that look like leafy vegetables in fields this summer, there’s a good chance it’s industrial hemp. Our region provides ideal topography for growing and hundreds of acres were planted this year. Growing industrial hemp is a risk/reward venture. If the…

You may not be ready for next year’s elections, but in political time, they’re coming up fast. Even politicians who aren’t running for president are crafting their stump speeches. Which means that at some point you’re almost certain to hear someone announce, sternly, “I. Will. Not. Compromis…

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy (in late July) released a report on wage theft in West Virginia. Wage theft can be defined in many ways. Some examples are minimum wage violations, overtime violations, illegal deductions, employee misclassification, and tipped minimum wage violations.

The German war machine rolled over tiny Denmark in April 1940. With Denmark’s government under German control, the Danish ambassador to the United States assumed the authority to grant the U.S. the right to establish military bases on Greenland in 1941. The U.S. needed to move a lot of aircr…

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the New York Times reports, fears “ransomware” attacks against America’s voter registration systems in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. In response, it’s launching a program that …

During the 2019 legislative session when teachers, school administrators, parents, regular citizens and some Democratic legislators were advocating for more wrap-around social services funding for our schools to address the deep and troubling psychological effects of the opioid drug crisis o…

Where did the summer go? As Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote in 1860, “Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.” Here’s a quick recap of several major issues facing our state which we cannot leave in the shadows.

We have two kinds of water problems: too much and not enough. The oceans cover 70 percent of our planet, and they contain 97 percent of the water on the planet. Samuel Coleridge in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner: “Water, water every where, Nor any drop to drink.”

America, John Quincy Adams said in 1821, “goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.” That’s as good a summary ever spoken of the non-interventionist position.

As a young boy in West Virginia, I loved being outside whenever I had the chance. Being a Boy Scout gave me the freedom to spend time outdoors and while I was there, I learned new skills, leadership qualities and gained friends and mentors that helped shape me into the United States Senator,…

On July 22, 2019 close to 45,000 Scouts, adult leaders and staff members will create the third largest city in West Virginia, virtually overnight. The city will stand for 12 days. What is this event, should you consider visiting and, if so, what should be your visit strategy?

We come from different political parties, represent two different parts of the state and sometimes vote differently as a result. As two of the youngest members of the West Virginia State Senate, however, we hold much in common.

“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border,” U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) pointed out in an Instagram video on June 18.

One night a few years ago, my partner woke up delirious with fever, a bright rash, and joint pain so bad he couldn’t get out of bed without help. I was scared — mostly for his health, but also for our financial situation, which weighed heavily on me during our 4 a.m. ride to the emergency room.

Middle school children are vaping in school, hiding paraphernalia in bathroom ceiling tiles, due to the effortless availability and need to be a part of the latest fad that is killing our children. West Virginia residents ages 18 and older are dying for oxygen related to a breath-taking dise…

Broadband access is critical in the 21st century, but West Virginia is sadly still far behind the rest of the country when it comes to internet coverage. Our mountainous terrain and low population density make it extremely difficult and expensive to build out broadband infrastructure without…

Democrat firebrands Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey unveiled their “Green New Deal,” a multi-trillion-dollar effort to overhaul the energy industry and slash America’s net greenhouse gas emissions to zero within a decade.