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West Virginia House of Delegates

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West Virginia House of Delegates

Seal of West Virginia.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 14, 2015
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  Tim Armstead (R)
Majority Leader:   Daryl Cowles (R)
Minority leader:   Timothy Miley (D)
Members:  100
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art VI, West Virginia Constitution
Salary:   $20,000/year + per diem
Last Election:  November 4, 2014 (100 seats)
Next election:  November 8, 2016 (100 seats)
Redistricting:   West Virginia Legislature in special session
The West Virginia House of Delegates is the lower house of the West Virginia State Legislature, the state legislature of West Virginia. A total of 100 Members make up the legislature and meet at the State Capitol in Charleston. All members are elected to two year terms. Each member represents an average of 18,530 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 18,083 residents.[2]

As of March 2015, West Virginia is one of 19 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

See also: West Virginia State Legislature, West Virginia State Senate, West Virginia Governor


Article VI of the West Virginia Constitution establishes when the West Virginia State Legislature, of which the House of Delegates is a part, is to be in session. Section 18 of Article VI states that the Legislature is to convene its regular session on the second Wednesday of January of each year. Once every four years, on the year in which the Governor of West Virginia is inaugurated, the Legislature holds a thirty day recess after the first day of the session. This recess is designed to give the Governor time to prepare a budget.

Section 22 of Article VI limits regular sessions of the Legislature to sixty days. Regular sessions can be extended by a two-thirds vote of the members of both legislative houses.

Section 19 of Article VI gives the Governor of West Virginia the power to convene the Legislature into special session. Section 19 also requires the Governor to convene a special session if it is requested by three-fifths of the members of each legislative house.


See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions

In 2015, the Legislature will be in session from January 14 through March 14 .

Major issues

The major issues facing West Virginia lawmakers this session will be education, infrastructure, business retention and the state's budget. All four issues were to top the agenda for the last legislative session, but the state's water crisis took center stage instead. With the water issue under the control, lawmakers expect to be able to focus on the planned issues.[3]


See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions

In 2014, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through March 10.

Major issues

Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included legislation that benefits families, expanding education, state energy, and developing the economy.[4]


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 9 through April 14.

Major issues

Major issues include the availability of soft drinks in schools, repeal of the law allowing the sterilization of "mental defectives," and treatment of sexually-transmitted diseases.[5]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the House was in session from January 11 through March 10.


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the House was in regular session from January 12 through March 18.[6] An August 1 special session was called by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to pass legislation related to redistricting and other topics.[7] A second special session began on August 15, to replace the House of Delegates' redistricting plan. The House's plan, which passed during the first special session on August 1, must be vetoed because of errors. The plan contains duplicate voter precinct populations for districts in both Kanawha and Morgan counties.[8]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the House was in regular session from January 13 to March 20. Additionally, the Legislature met in special session from May 13 to May 19.[9][10]

Role in state budget

See also: West Virginia state budget and finances
West Virginia on Horizontal-Policypedia logo-color.png
Check out Policypedia articles about policy in your state on:

The state operates on an annual budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[11][12]

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in July.
  2. State agencies submit budget requests in September.
  3. Agency hearings are held in October and November.
  4. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the West Virginia State Legislature on or before the second Wednesday in January.
  5. The legislature adopts a budget in March or April. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.

West Virginia is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[12]

The West Virginia State Legislature is constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget. The budget must be balanced before the governor can sign it into law.[12]

Cost-benefit analyses

See also: Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative Cost-Benefit Study
Map showing results of the Pew-MacArthur cost-benefit study.

The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 which indicated that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. Among the challenges states faced were a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. West Virginia was one of 11 states that made rare use of cost-benefit analyses in policy and budget processes.[13]

Ethics and transparency

Following the Money report

See also: "Following the Money" report, 2014

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending.[14] According to the report, West Virginia received a grade of C and a numerical score of 72, indicating that West Virginia was "middling" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.[14]

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. West Virginia was given a grade of B in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.[15]



See also: West Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2014

Elections for the office of West Virginia House of Delegates took place in 2014. A primary election took place on May 13, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was January 25, 2014.


See also: West Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2012

Elections for the office of West Virginia House of Delegates were held in West Virginia on November 6, 2012. All 100 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was January 28, 2012. The primary election day was May 8, 2012.


See also: West Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2010

Elections for the office of West Virginia's House of Delegates were held in West Virginia on November 2, 2010.

All Delegates are up for election every two years. As a result of the primary election, the top vote-getting candidates for each party earn a place on the ticket in the general election. For example, if two Delegate positions are open for a district, the top two primary vote-getters for each party are eligible for the general election ballot.

Voters who come to the polls on the general Election Day will vote for the number of Delegate positions for their District. Note that a candidate must have received at least one vote in the primary in order to be on the ticket for the general election.

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was January 30, 2010. The primary Election Day was May 11, 2010.

In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $4,862,057 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were:[16]


See also: West Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2008

Elections for the office of West Virginia House of Delegates consisted of a primary election on May 13, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.

During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $4,355,230. The top 10 contributors were:[17]


See also: West Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2006

Elections for the office of West Virginia House of Delegates consisted of a primary election on May 9, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.

During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $4,894,204. The top 10 contributors were:[18]


See also: West Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2004

Elections for the office of West Virginia House of Delegates consisted of a primary election on May 11, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.

During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $4,043,863. The top 10 contributors were:[19]


See also: West Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2002

Elections for the office of West Virginia House of Delegates consisted of a primary election on May 14, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.

During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $3,362,345. The top 10 contributors were:[20]


See also: West Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2000

Elections for the office of West Virginia House of Delegates consisted of a primary election on May 9, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.

During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $3,601,514. The top 10 contributors were:[21]


Section 13 of Article 6 of the West Virginia Constitution states, "No person holding any other lucrative office or employment under this state, the United States, or any foreign government; no member of Congress; and no person who is sheriff, constable, or clerk of any court of record, shall be eligible to a seat in the Legislature."


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

In West Virginia, the Governor is responsible for filling all vacancies in the house.[22][23]

The executive committee of the political party that holds the seat must submit a list of three candidates to the Governor. The list must be submitted to the Governor within 15 days of the vacancy. The Governor must make a selection within five days of receiving the list. The person that is selected to fill the seat serves the remainder of the unfilled term.[23]


See also: Redistricting in West Virginia

The Legislature is responsible for redistricting in a summer session after Census data comes in; the Governor holds veto power.

2010 census

West Virginia received its local census data on March 23, 2011. The state grew a meager 2.5 percent with most growth by county seen in the northeast part of the state. The state's largest cities showed decline: Charleston decreased by 3.8 percent, Huntington decreased by 4.5 percent, Parkersburg decreased by 4.9 percent, Morgantown grew by 10.6 percent, and Wheeling decreased by 9.3 percent.[24]

The 2011 redistricting period was notable for the proposal of eliminating the state's multi-member districts, which ultimately failed. The Legislature passed plans in early August; Democratic Governor Ray Tomblin vetoed the House plan on August 17, 2011, calling for another session to begin the next day. On August 21, the Legislature approved revisions to the House plan, and struck down numerous Republican amendment including the replacement of the multi-member system with 100 single-member constituencies. Tomblin signed the plan on Friday, September 2, 2011.


Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 36
     Republican Party 64
Total 100

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the West Virginia State House from 1992-2013.

Partisan composition of the West Virginia State House.PNG


See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the West Virginia Legislature are paid $20,000/year. Legislators receive $131/day per diem during session, set by the compensation commission.[25]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

West Virginia legislators assume office the first day of December following the election.


The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body.[26]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, West Virginia House of Delegates
Office Representative Party
State Speaker of the House Tim Armstead Ends.png Republican
State House Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Anderson Ends.png Republican
State House Majority Leader Daryl Cowles Ends.png Republican
State House Majority Whip John O'Neal Ends.png Republican
State House Minority Leader Timothy Miley Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Whip Michael Caputo Electiondot.png Democratic

Current members

Current members, West Virginia House of Delegates
District Delegate Party Assumed office
1 Pat McGeehan Ends.png Republican 2015
1 Mark Zatezalo Ends.png Republican 2015
2 Ryan Weld Ends.png Republican 2015
3 Shawn Fluharty Electiondot.png Democratic 2014
3 Erikka Storch Ends.png Republican 2010
4 Michael Ferro Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
4 David A. Evans Ends.png Republican 2012
5 David Pethtel Electiondot.png Democratic 1998
6 William Romine Ends.png Republican 2000
7 Lynwood Ireland Ends.png Republican 2006
8 William Anderson Ends.png Republican 1992
9 Anna Border Sheppard Ends.png Republican 2011
10 Frank Deem Ends.png Republican 2015
10 Mike Azinger Ends.png Republican 2015
10 John R. Kelly Ends.png Republican 2015
11 Robert Ashley Ends.png Republican 2000
12 Steve Westfall Ends.png Republican 2012
13 Scott Cadle Ends.png Republican 2012
13 Michael Ihle Ends.png Republican 2015
14 Jim Butler Ends.png Republican 2012
15 Geoff Foster Ends.png Republican 2015
16 Sean Hornbuckle Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
16 Carol Miller Ends.png Republican 2006
16 James Morgan Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
17 Douglas Reynolds Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
17 Matthew Rohrbach Ends.png Republican 2015
18 Kelli Sobonya Ends.png Republican 2002
19 Ken Hicks Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
19 Don Perdue Electiondot.png Democratic 1998
20 Justin Marcum Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
21 Harry White Electiondot.png Democratic 1996
22 Michel Moffatt Ends.png Republican 2015
22 Jeff Eldridge Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
23 Joshua Nelson Ends.png Republican 2012
24 Rupert Phillips, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
24 Ralph Rodighiero Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
25 Linda Goode Phillips Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
26 Clif Moore Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
27 Joe Ellington Ends.png Republican 2010
27 Marty Gearheart Ends.png Republican 2010
27 John H. Shott Ends.png Republican 2012
28 Roy G. Cooper Ends.png Republican 2012
28 John D. O'Neal, IV Ends.png Republican 2010
29 Ricky Moye Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
30 Mick Bates Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
31 Karen "Lynne" Arvon Ends.png Republican 2012
32 Dave Perry Electiondot.png Democratic 2000
32 Tom Fast Ends.png Republican 2015
32 Kayla Kessinger Ends.png Republican 2015
33 Roger Hanshaw Ends.png Republican 2015
34 Brent Boggs Electiondot.png Democratic 1996
35 Andrew Byrd Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
35 John B. McCuskey Ends.png Republican 2012
35 Eric Nelson Ends.png Republican 2010
35 Chris Stansbury Ends.png Republican 2015
36 Nancy Guthrie Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
36 Larry Rowe Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
36 Brad White Ends.png Republican 2015
37 Mike Pushkin Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
38 Patrick Lane Ends.png Republican 2004
39 Ron Walters Ends.png Republican 2000
40 Tim Armstead Ends.png Republican 1998
41 Jordan Hill Ends.png Republican 2015
42 George "Boogie" Ambler Ends.png Republican 2012
42 Ray Canterbury Ends.png Republican 2000
43 Denise L. Campbell Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
43 Bill Hartman Electiondot.png Democratic 2002
44 Dana L. Lynch Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
45 Bill Hamilton Ends.png Republican 2002
46 Peggy Donaldson Smith Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
47 Danny Wagner Ends.png Republican 2015
48 Patsy Trecost II Electiondot.png Democratic 2015
48 Terry Waxman Ends.png Republican 2015
48 Tim Miley Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
48 Danny Hamrick Ends.png Republican 2012
49 Amy Summers Ends.png Republican 2015
50 Mike Caputo Electiondot.png Democratic 1996
50 Linda Longstreth Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
50 Tim Manchin Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
51 Brian Kurcaba Ends.png Republican 2015
51 Barbara Evans Fleischauer Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
51 Joe Statler Ends.png Republican 2015
51 Cindy Frich Ends.png Republican 2012
51 Amanda Pasdon Ends.png Republican 2010
52 Larry Williams Electiondot.png Democratic 1992
53 Randy E. Smith Ends.png Republican 2012
54 Allen V. Evans Ends.png Republican 1990
55 Isaac Sponaugle Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
56 Gary G. Howell Ends.png Republican 2010
57 Ruth Rowan Ends.png Republican 2006
58 Daryl E. Cowles Ends.png Republican 2006
59 Saira Blair Ends.png Republican 2015
60 Larry W. Faircloth Ends.png Republican 2012
61 Walter Duke Ends.png Republican 2015
62 John Overington Ends.png Republican 1984
63 Michael Folk Ends.png Republican 2012
64 Eric L. Householder Ends.png Republican 2010
65 Jill Upson Ends.png Republican 2015
66 Paul Espinosa Ends.png Republican 2012
67 Stephen Skinner Electiondot.png Democratic 2012

Standing committees

West Virginia
SLP badge.png
House Committees

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Banking and InsuranceEducationEnergy
Enrolled BillsFinance
Government Organization Committee
Health and Human Resources
Industry and LaborInterstate Cooperation
JudiciaryPensions and Retirement
Political SubdivisionsRoads and Transportation
RulesSenior Citizen Issues Committee
Small Business Entrepreneurship
& Economic Development

Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security

Joint Committees
Senate Committees

The West Virginia House has 18 standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, West Virginia
Partisan breakdown of the West Virginia legislature from 1992-2013

Throughout every year from 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the West Virginia State House of Representatives. The West Virginia House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. West Virginia was under Democratic trifectas for the final 13 years.

Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of West Virginia, the West Virginia State Senate and the West Virginia House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of West Virginia state government(1992-2013).PNG

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of West Virginia state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. West Virginia never finished higher than 48th in any year of the study.

Chart displaying the partisanship of West Virginia government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

External links


  1., "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
  2. U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population," April 2, 2001. Accessed February 13, 2014
  3., "Legislature has new makeup but several familiar issues of concern," January 14, 2015
  4. The State Journal, "Issues and Eggs kick off discussion of topics for legislative session," January 8, 2014
  5. State Journal, "Soft drinks in schools to be considered by WV Legislature," January 8, 2013
  6. West Virginia Legislature
  7. WTRF, Tomblin Calls Special Session for Redistricting, July 26, 2011 (dead link)
  8. The Republic, Tomblin: special session to begin Thurs to remedy House redistricting plan, Aug. 12, 2011
  9. 2010 session convenes dates for West Virginia Legislature
  10. 2010 session adjourns dates for West Virginia Legislature
  11. National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
  13. Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
  15. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  16. Follow the Money: "West Virginia House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
  17. Follow the Money, "West Virginia 2008 Candidates," accessed August 14, 2013
  18. Follow the Money, "West Virginia 2006 Candidates," accessed August 14, 2013
  19. Follow the Money, "West Virginia 2004 Candidates," accessed August 14, 2013
  20. Follow the Money, "West Virginia 2002 Candidates," accessed August 14, 2013
  21. Follow the Money, "West Virginia 2000 Candidates," accessed August 14, 2013
  22. West Virginia Legislature, "West Virginia Constitution," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Section, Article 4, Section 7)
  23. 23.0 23.1 West Virginia Legislature, "West Virginia Code," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 3-10-5, WV Code)
  24. U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers West Virginia's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," March 23, 2011. Accessed August 20, 2012
  25., "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
  26. West Virginia House Leadership