Today in the Legislature

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 03:38 PM

Senator Cookman Takes Oath of Office
Senator Donald H. Cookman was sworn in this afternoon to the State Senate, filling in the vacancy left behind by former Senator Walt Helmick. The Senator’s brother-in-law, the Honorable Tom Keadle, presided over the swearing-in ceremony and delivered the oath.

The Senator’s wife Paula Cookman, son Donnie Cookman, and grandson Sam Cookman were present for the ceremony, along with many friends and officials of the state.

“I am overwhelmed and humbled to start this new chapter of my life,” said Senator Cookman. “I am delighted to be here and be a part of the legislative process.”

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin appointed the Senator to the position on January 23, 2013 after Helmick left the Senate to fill the position of Agriculture Commissioner.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 12:14 PM

Newly Appointed Senator Sam Cann Sworn In
Newly appointed State Senator Sam Cann (D-Harrison) was sworn in this morning in the Senate Chamber. Senator Cann is filling the vacancy created after Joseph Minard resigned upon his election as Senate Clerk.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin appointed Cann to the position in mid-January to serve out the remainder of the four-year term. Cann had been serving in the House of Delegates since he was first elected in 1994.

As a Senator, Cann will be serving as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Development and will also serve as a member on the Senate Committees on Pensions, Government Organizations, Agriculture, and Judiciary.

Members of Cann’s family, including his wife Phyllis, daughter Laura and three brothers, Carmine Jr., Jim, and Larry, were on hand for the ceremony while Senate Clerk Joseph Minard issued the oath.

Monday, January 14, 2013 - 03:43 PM

Constitutional Officers Take the Oath
Legislative leaders were on hand Monday afternoon to watch as the Board of Public Works along with Supreme Court Justices were sworn into office. Those who took the oath of office included Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, Treasurer John Perdue, Auditor Glen Gainer III, and Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis. Newly elected officials taking the office for the first time included Agricultural Commissioner Walt Helmick, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Benjamin administered the oaths.

Lawmakers in attendance included Senate President Jeffrey Kessler, Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall, Speaker of the House Richard Thompson, House Majority Leader Brent Boggs, and House Minority Leader Tim Armstead.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 - 11:26 AM

81st Legislature Members Convene for Opening Day
Today marks the opening day of the first session of the 81st West Virginia Legislature. Newly elected members will be sworn in at noon in their respective chambers. Members of the House and Senate will elect presiding officers which will include the Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, the House and Senate Clerks, Head Door Keepers and the Sergeant at Arms.

At 1:30, senators and delegates will reconvene in the House Chamber for a joint assembly to receive the election returns for the Constitutional Officers.


The 1st Regular Session of the 81st Legislature convened on opening day to swear in the newly elected members of the Senate and House of Delegates. Members of the Senate were sworn in by the Honorable West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Justice Brent Benjamin. Members of the House were sworn in by the Honorable Justice Menis Ketchum II.

The House and Senate re-elected House Speaker Richard Thompson and Senate President Jeffrey Kessler, respectively.

Also elected to their official positions were Senate Clerk Joseph Minard replacing former Clerk Darrell Holmes, Senate Sergeant of Arms Howard Wellman and Senate Doorkeeper Anthony Gallo. The House of Delegates re-elected House Clerk Gregory Gray, and elected House Sergeant of Arms George McClaskie and House Doorkeeper Tom Hively.

Immediately following the swearing-in ceremonies, Senators and Delegates reconvened in the House Chamber for a joint assembly to receive the statewide election returns.

Both the West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates have adjourned until Wednesday, February 13, 2013.

Today in the Legislature is a daily synopsis of legislative activities maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information.


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