CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The Republican-controlled West Virginia House has passed a bill that would eliminate the Department of Education and the Arts, including its cabinet secretary position, and move its agencies and programs elsewhere.
The bill was approved on a 60-36 vote Wednesday, mostly along party lines.
The bill that now goes to the state Senate would eliminate the position currently held by Gayle Manchin, the wife of Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin and a former state school board president.
The department’s agencies include Culture and History, Public Broadcasting, the Center for Professional Development, the Library Commission, Rehabilitation Services, and Volunteer West Virginia.
Manchin has sought the department’s preservation, saying it promotes and protects the state’s culture, history and artistry. The Gov. Jim Justice appointee restructured and reorganized the six agencies this past year.