WV House Speaker Miley announces leadership team - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV House Speaker Miley announces leadership team

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New Speaker of the House Tim Miley said from the get-go that he would prioritize stability over the status quo when establishing his leadership team.

Miley announced his team July 18, and many committee chairs and vice chairs kept their positions, but there are a few faces in new places on the leadership team. Miley said he kept a few things in mind when making his decisions, mainly ideology, talent and geography.

"I think we have a great team and look forward to continue working together to create more opportunities for economic success in West Virginia." Miley said.

Miley swapped the seats currently held by Delegates Brent Boggs, D-Braxton, and Harry Keith White, D-Mingo. White will now serve as House Majority Leader and Boggs will take on the role as chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee.

Miley said he did that because he wants to continue to work closely with White. White challenged Miley for the speakership position after former speaker Rick Thompson resigned in June. White eventually threw his support behind Miley.

Boggs has previously served on the Finance Committee and served as the committee's vice-chairman before becoming majority leader.

"I'm counting on Brent to get us through the next budget, which will be tight in the state of West Virginia," Miley told media outlets. "I trust Brent completely."

Miley will keep Delegate Randy Swartzmiller, D-Marshall, as speaker pro tempore and Delegate Mike Caputo, D-Marion, as majority whip. He also elevated Delegate Tim Manchin, D-Marion, to chairman of the Judiciary Committee — the seat Miley vacated when he was elected speaker — and named Delegate Mark Hunt, D-Kanawha, as vice-chairman of that committee. Both Manchin and Hunt have served on that committee for a number of years.

"Those two individuals are the most capable of leading the Judiciary Committee for the next year," Miley said.

And there are a couple of changes in the makeup of committee vice-chairs. In the Education Committee, Delegate David Perry, D-Fayette, will replace former vice-chairman Josh Stowers. Stowers resigned earlier this month to take a job with the West Virginia Treasurer's Office.

Perry, who currently is vice-chairman of the House Health Committee, will be replaced on that committee by Delegate Barbara Fleischauer, D-Monongalia. Miley said Fleischauer was jockeying for the vice-chairman position on the Judiciary Committee, but he said he thinks the Health Committee and constituents would be better served by having her in leadership of that committee.  

"She helped spearhead legislation to make it easier for disabled children to be on ventilators beyond their 18th birthday," Miley said. "She has a heart for people, and I think the Health Committee is where you need a heart for people."

Delegates who maintain their positions include:

  • Mary Poling, D-Barbour, chair of Education;
  • Jim Morgan, D-Cabell, chair of Government Organization;
  • Don Perdue, D-Wayne, chair of Health;
  • Doug Reynolds, D-Cabell, vice-chair of Finance;
  • Dale Stephens, D-Cabell, chair of Government Organization

Miley said many of the lawmakers on his team have worked collectively in the past several years to pass important pieces of legislation, including education and prison reform, the Ethics Act and the privatization of worker's compensation.

"The leadership team that I have assembled has made great strides for the citizens and businesses of West Virginia and I have great confidence they will continue their hard work to improve the lives of all West Virginians," Miley said.

The appointments are effective until the start of the 2015 legislative session.