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Media Alert: WV Press Legislative Lookahead is Friday at Culture Center in Charleston

Leadership presentations, panels on key economic indicators for 2023, workforce issues and education plans highlight the day

WV Press News Sharing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The annual West Virginia Press Association Legislative Lookahead starts at 10 a.m. on Friday in-person at the West Virginia Culture Center on the Capitol Complex in Charleston. 

The daylong preview of the 2023 Legislative Session includes four panels, including leadership presentations, and lunch and breakfast. There is no cost but registration is required by emailing your name, media affiliation and phone number to WVPA Executive Director Don Smith at donsmith@wvpress.org.

The event is open to all media – newspapers, television, radio and online – and guests. The panels will be recorded with the video being released later that day.

NOTE: There will not be a live-stream during the event.

The agenda, and confirmed participants, is as follows. Additional panelists are possible.

10 a.m. — West Virginia Legislative Leadership: Senator Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, president of the West Virginia State Senate; Delegate Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates; Delegate Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha, minority leader, West Virginia House of Delegates.

Summary — up to 75 minutes: The panel will discuss areas of focus and legislation they expect in the 2023 session. Each speaker will make a presentation. There will be questions from the media. 

11:15 a.m. — Key Economic Indicators for 2023: John Deskins, director of the Bureau of Business & Economic Research at the WVU Chambers College of Business and Economics, will outline some key economic indicators for 2023, give an update on the West Virginia economy, and look at possible impacts to the state’s budget.

Summary — 45 minutes: The discussion will focus on the existing West Virginia tax structure and possible areas change and improvement. There will be questions from the media. 

Noon — Lunch and networking: A time for refreshments, checking emails, conversation, and sponsor recognition.

1 p.m. — Workforce: Senator Rollan Roberts, R-Raleigh, chair, Senate Workforce Committee chair; Jane Marks, president, AARP West Virginia; Fred Albert, president, American Federation of Teachers – WV; Justin Williams, WV State Building & Construction Trades Council; Clinton Burch, Technical Education Officer, West Virginia Department of Education.

Summary — up to 90 minutes: The panel will discuss workforce needs, expected legislation, and what legislation can do to improve the situation. Each speaker will have 10 minutes for a statement. There will be questions from the media.  

2:30 p.m. — Education: Senator Amy Grady, R-Mason, chair, Senate Education Committee; George M. Zimmerman, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management, West Virginia University; Fred Albert, president, American Federation of Teachers – WV; Dr. Carla Warren, Director, Educator Development and Support Services, West Virginia Department of Education

Summary — up to 75 minutes: The panel will discuss proposed legislation, methods of increasing higher education participation, education funding, and the future of higher education in West Virginia. There will be questions from the media. 

Among confirmed media covering the event:

Matt Young, WV Press Association Network

Autumn Shelton, WV Press Association Network

Steven Allen Adams, Ogden Newspapers

Christina Myer, Parkersburg News and Sentinal

John McCabe, The Intelligencer & Wheeling News-Register

Mark Curtis, WOWK-TV13

Curtis Johnson, WSAZ News

John Raby, The AP

Leah Willingham, The AP

David Hedges, The Times Record and Roane County Reporter

David Beard, The Dominion Post

Charles, Young, WV News & The Exponent Telegram

Ian Karbal, Mountain State Spotlight

Amelia Knisely, The Register-Herald

Roger Adkins, The Gazette-Mail

Scot Refsland, West Virginia Daily News

Crystal Good, Black By God, The West Virginian

Joe Stevens, WMOV News

Chris Schulz, West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Randy Yohe, West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Eric Douglas, West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Jim Workman, West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The video of the event will be shared later Friday – by 6 p.m. – and available to the public.

The WVPA has also announced the dates of its other major events in 2023:

Feb. 2, 2023West Virginia Press Association Legislative Media Social: Media and legislators will gather at the West Virginia Culture Center at the State Capitol in Charleston on Thursday, Feb. 2, from 4 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. This media social will replace the traditional WVPA Legislative Breakfast.

Aug. 11-12, 2023 – West Virginia Press Association Convention: The summer convention and awards presentation will be held Friday and Saturday, Aug. 11-12, at Four Points in Charleston

The WVPA also plans to host regional meetings around the state in 2023, but those dates are not confirmed.

For additional information and questions, contact Smith at 304-550-0454 or donsmith@wvpress.org.