West Virginia Insurance Federation
c/o Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP
Jill C. Rice
P.O. Box 11887
Charleston, WV 25301
304.357.9929
jill.rice@dinsmore.com

News Room 2009



W.Va. lawmaker Miley named new Judiciary chair

December 8, 2009

House Judiciary Vice Chairman Tim Miley will now take over the committee in the West Virginia Legislature.

Manchin selects new chief of staff

December 8, 2009

Gov. Joe Manchin has chosen from within his cabinet for his new chief of staff.

Justices reverse insurance antitrust verdict

December 3, 2009

West Virginia's Supreme Court of Appeals reversed a $4,233,627 antitrust verdict against Erie Insurance, finding that Mercer County Circuit Judge William Sadler incorrectly identified Erie subsidiaries as separate corporations.

Editorial: City, counties in need of greater financial flexibility

December 2, 2009

A work group appointed by West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin is looking for ways to modernize the state's tax system, and it is likely to turn attention to matters that could affect local governments.

Manchin chief of staff Puccio steps down

December 1, 2009

Gov. Joe Manchin's longtime friend, confidant, and long-serving chief of staff announced Tuesday he is stepping down at the end of the month.

Workers' comp changes debated at public hearing

November 17, 2009

More and more injured workers fail to get needed medical treatment under new state rules created after a 2005 law privatized the state's workers' compensation system, lawmakers were told Tuesday evening.

Report urges new court of appeals

November 16, 2009

West Virginia should create a new appeals court to unburden the state Supreme Court, a judicial reform panel appointed by Gov. Joe Manchin recommends.

Lawyers for W.Va. workers' comp claimants to be discussed

November 14, 2009

Some state lawmakers are questioning why injured workers can't hire lawyers to represent them when BrickStreet and other insurance companies deny them the right to receive medical care.

City pension funds to get look in Legislature

November 12, 2009

Legislation to help bail out 47 critically underfunded municipal police and firefighter pension plans is likely to top the agenda for a special session of the Legislature next week, officials said Thursday.

Gasoline tax may go to lawmakers in special session

November 10, 2009

Legislative leaders expect to adjust the built-in escalator in the gasoline tax in West Virginia so it is stabilized when they return next week for a special session originally focused on troubled municipal police and fire pensions.

West Virginia may again look at cell phone ban

November 4, 2009

The state Division of Motor Vehicles supports both an outright ban on texting and restrictions on talking, according to Deputy Commissioner Steve Dale.

High Court: Law comes first

October 25, 2009

While working to promote a balanced and fair interpretation of the law, members of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals also are hoping to boost public confidence in the high court.

Getting to Work

October 5, 2009

Following three public hearings and hours of testimony, Governor Joe Manchin's Independent Commission on Judicial Reform will now get to work. "I don't think it will be easy," Commission Chairman Carte Goodwin told MetroNews. "Just the sheer volume of information we've gathered in the past several weeks is immense and that's going to take a lot of work in itself."

BrickStreet makes final payment

September 30, 2009

BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Co. announced it has made a $43.5 million final payment to the state Offices of the Insurance Commissioner to settle debts incurred during the transition from a state-operated insurance plan to a private workers' compensation insurance company.

Official sees battles over state judges

September 14, 2009

The head of the West Virginia judges' association is worried that "significant forces" are trying to change the way judges do their job.

Work continues on bailout for police, fire pensions

September 14, 2009

State lawmakers and Manchin administration officials are making progress on a plan to help bail out near-bankrupt city police and firefighter pension plans around the state, but a spokesman for Gov. Joe Manchin said Monday a special session is unlikely this week.

No W.Va. lawmaker consensus for aiding city pensions

September 14, 2009

West Virginia cities and towns seeking help with their police and fire pension funds may not yet have enough votes in the Legislature to pass a relief proposal, lawmakers said Monday.

Manchin: Push pension bill back

September 14, 2009

October is off limits for calling a special session on the troubled municipal police and fire pensions in West Virginia cities, Gov. Joe Manchin insisted Monday.

Wheeling Joins Home Rule Battle

August 7, 2009

Officials in Wheeling, Charleston and Bridgeport, W.Va., want to protect their state-granted home rule powers, so they are seeking to join Huntington's lawsuit against the West Virginia Insurance Federation.

Insurance Federation, City Agree to Ordinance Injunction

August 7, 2009

The City of Huntington agreed to an injunction on a new ordinance aimed at recouping losses on dilapidated property.

W.Va. employers' workers' comp costs to drop

August 6, 2009

Some West Virginia employers will pay less for workers' compensation coverage in November.

Circuit Court Grants WVIF's Motion for Injunctive Relief

July 30, 2009

The Circuit Court of Cabell County granted the West Virginia Insurance Federation's Motion for Injunctive Relief on Thursday, July 30. The Court's Order, which was agreed to by the parties, enjoins enforcement of the City of Huntington's Ordinance. The Ordinance would have forced insurance companies to withhold $2,000 of every $15,000 of insurance proceeds payable to a policyholder following a total fire loss within the City. The captured payment would have been held in escrow by the City and not released until all debris from a fire loss had been cleared from the property.

Preliminary injunction agreed to in insurance case

July 30, 2009

The city of Huntington has agreed to a preliminary injunction, which stops enforcement of an ordinance aimed at ridding the city of burned-out structures.

Insurance group challenges WVa home rule pilot

July 21, 2009

An insurance group is challenging West Virginia's experiment giving four cities greater freedom from state control.

Home rule challenged in court

July 20, 2009

A pilot program designed to give cities more autonomy is being challenged in court, and the ramifications of the case could affect the second largest city in Harrison County.\

Fire destroys 2 Ridgewood homes

July 14, 2009

Fire destroyed two homes along Ridgewood Road early Tuesday morning in the hills above Ritter Park.

Insurance Companies and Huntington At Odds

July 03, 2009

The West Virginia Insurance Federation wants a judge to strike down a new city ordinance in Huntington.

Suit targets home rule

July 03, 2009

The West Virginia Insurance Federation is contending in a lawsuit that a pilot program giving Huntington and three other cities home rule powers is unconstitutional and should be terminated.

Insurance Federation lawsuit seeks end to home rule program

July 02, 2009

The West Virginia Insurance Federation is contending in a lawsuit that a pilot program giving Huntington and three other cities home rule powers is unconstitutional and should be terminated.

GOVERNOR MAKES APPOINTMENTS TO INDEPENDENT JUDICIAL REFORM COMMISSION

June 15, 2009

The Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor to serve as Honorary Chairwoman
Gov. Joe Manchin today announced his appointments to the Independent Commission on Judicial Reform, including the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice, to serve as the Honorary Chairwoman.

GOVERNOR'S SPECIAL SESSION CALL FOR JUNE 15

June 15, 2009

I, JOE MANCHIN III, GOVERNOR of the State of West Virginia, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 7, Article VII of the Constitution of West Virginia, do hereby call the Legislature of West Virginia to convene in Extraordinary Session at twelve o’clock noon on the fifteenth day of June, two thousand nine, in its chambers in the State Capitol, City of Charleston, for the sole purpose of considering and acting upon the following matters:

GOVERNOR'S SPECIAL SESSION CALL

May 29, 2009

The following is the language from the official special session call...

17 items on list for special session

May 28, 2009

transmission tax for high-voltage power lines and changes in liquor-license bidding are among issues legislators could take up when they finish work on the state budget.

Lewis County Fire Departments Want Billing Ordinance Passed

May 26, 2009

Chief Michael Young says fire departments always respond to accidents in case they are serious and people need to be extracted from their vehicles.

Governor Manchin yesterday approved and signed Senate Bill 398 -- changes & revisions to the Graduated Drivers' License program for teen drivers in West Virginia.

May 8, 2009

The provisions of the new law will take effect ninety days from passage -- which will be July 10, 2009.

'I'm Not Giving Up'

April 20, 2009

Governor Joe Manchin says he'll call state lawmakers into special session sometime during or after their extended session that begins May 26.

Justice keeps options open for 2010 run

April 8, 2009

Shortly after being appointed and sworn in to fill the vacancy on the state Supreme Court Wednesday, Justice Thomas McHugh made clear he will not run for the seat in 2012.

Lawmakers extend session to June for budget

April 8, 2009

With a resolution adopted by the Senate and House Wednesday, legislators are on track to wrap up the 2009 regular session about the same time as the school year ends for most children in West Virginia.

State senator files paper for 2012 governor's race

April 8, 2009

West Virginians chose their last governor just five months ago, but Sen. Jeff Kessler believes it pays to plan for the future.

Manchin Orders Review Of State Judicial System

April 4, 2009

Governor Joe Manchin has signed an executive order creating a nine-member panel to "evaluate and recommend reforms" to the state's judicial system, which has largely been the same for the past 25 years.

Get the Feeling You're Being Watched? If You're Driving, You Just Might Be

March 27, 2009

The village of Schaumburg, Ill., installed a camera at Woodfield Mall last November to film cars that were running red lights, then used the footage to issue citations. Results were astonishing. The town issued $1 million in fines in just three months.

Justice Joseph Albright dies

March 22, 2009

West Virginia Supreme Court Justice and former longtime legislator Joseph P. Albright died late Friday in Pittsburgh where he was undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer. He was 70.

Albright Obituary

March 21, 2009

West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. Albright died Friday evening, March 20, 2009, at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian of complications of esophageal cancer. He was 70.

Manchin agenda moving forward, but economy looms

March 20, 2009

Gov. Joe Manchin's legislative agenda is moving forward largely intact, but everything happening under the Capitol dome from now on is being measured by an economic situation that seems to change by the week.

Lawmakers resisting tax hike proposal

March 19, 2009

A House bill that would hike insurance policy taxes to boost struggling municipal police and firefighter pension funds may be dead on arrival if it reaches the state Senate.

City: Pay Up For Teardowns

November 12, 2008

Stanley Rogerson owned the house at 2800 Eoff St. for 15 years before city officials used $7,285 in federal Community Development Block Grant money to demolish it.

Governor Names Longtime Administrator as Deputy Chief Of Staff

March 6, 2009

Gov. Joe Manchin today appointed Harry Bergstrom as deputy chief of staff for the Manchin administration. Bergstrom, a longtime Division of Highways administrator, has worked in a variety of state government roles the past 31 years.

State not 'judicial hellhole,' professor says

February 19, 2009

The Mountain State doesn't deserve its reputation as "judicial hellhole," a Texas law professor told legislators Wednesday.

Lawmakers propose reining in W.Va. insurance agency

February 18, 2009

West Virginia gives its insurance commission a lot of leeway over regulating workers' compensation coverage. But pending legislation could change that.

Manchin's proposed budget has no pay raises, no tax hikes

February 12, 2009

Gov. Joe Manchin's proposed $4.32 billion 2009-10 budget plan contains no new pay raises for teachers or state employees, and no tax increases, Manchin administration officials said Wednesday.

Lawmakers say speech State of State address hit mark

February 12, 2009

State lawmakers said Gov. Joe Manchin struck the right tone and touched on the right issues in his State of the State address Wednesday, and they're keenly aware of the economic constraints they'll face this session.

State's National Guard authorized for storm cleanup, if needed

February 12, 2009

Gov. Joe Manchin has authorized the use of National Guard troops to help clean up from severe thunderstorms that knocked out power to thousands, caused widespread damage and killed at least one person.

Thousands without power from high winds in Kanawha Co.

February 12, 2009

More than 7,000 customers in Kanawha County remained without power at 3:15 p.m. today, the result of the storm that crashed through the state on Wednesday afternoon.

Lawmakers propose insurance regulatory reforms

February 11, 2009

A broad insurance regulatory reform bill that would create a national office of insurance and monitor the insurance industry for systemic threats was proposed by lawmakers Wednesday.

Insurance agent sues over contract

February 11, 2009

A Rupert insurance agent has filed a civil complaint against a Rainelle insurance company, claiming a Rainelle man reneged on a contract after the defendant purchased the plaintiff’s insurance business.

Lawmakers have mixed views on surcharge to help firefighters

February 10, 2009

Local lawmakers' reaction is mixed to a legislative proposal to increase the surcharge on homeowners' insurance to help pay for a financial incentive to retain volunteer firefighters.

Fire chief proposes 'pension' as VFD incentive

February 2, 2009

State Fire Marshal Sterling Lewis said he believes giving volunteer firefighters a pension-like benefit after they retire is the best idea he's heard to combat widespread staffing shortages.

Tennant the new face in WVA executive branch

January 19, 2009

There is a new face among those sworn in on West Virginia's executive branch.

Manchin to attend Obama inaugural

January 19, 2009

After being sworn in for his own inauguration today, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin will head to the nation's capital to watch history take place on Tuesday.

Armstead says GOP can remain ‘force’ in Legislature

January 19, 2009

Republicans are small in number under the Capitol dome but large in ideas, so expect them to remain an aggressive force in setting policy, House Minority Leader Tim Armstead vowed Monday.

Democrats hopeful for second term

January 19, 2009

Democratic lawmakers expect Gov. Joe Manchin to steer the ship of state through a churning sea of economic waves with the same cautious conservatism that led him through his first term.

‘A new West Virginia’

January 19, 2009

Buffeted by a fresh snow and plunging temperatures, Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin took the oath of office for a second time Monday and called for “a new West Virginia,” one that shuns the bleak outlook of an economic doomsday and builds on strides made over the last four years.

Legislature to keep eye on economy

January 15, 2009

As the 79th Legislature convened at noon Wednesday at the Capitol, the national financial crisis loomed large.

Ross named to replace Proudfoot in House

January 9, 2009

Former state Sen. Mike Ross has been appointed to succeed Delegate William D. Proudfoot, who died in an auto accident two days before Christmas.



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