3/23/2018 - It's the comedy of politics.

Gov. Jim Justice has fired Gayle Manchin who is WV Secretary for Education and the Arts, whose job would be eliminated if he signs a bill on his desk to eliminate the agency.

Manchin posted a public statement yesterday in defense of the elimination of the agency, in which she offered to resign, the statement angering Gov. Justice.

He said he fired her because she would not resign.

Gayle Manchin is talking about her firing at the hands of Governor Jim Justice. In a press release, Marchin urged the Governor to veto a bill that would dismantle her department.

It overseas everything from public TV, to the Cultural Center. She says millions of dollars of federal grants for arts and science could be lost.

"Well, I mean they could lose all of it. I mean once money is frozen, or they start taking - federal money starts going back - it's very difficult to reclaim that," Manchin said.

Meanwhile the bill is on Justice's desk to eliminate the agency.

3/12/2018 - A Republican bill dismantling the Department of Education and the Arts is headed to the governor.

Delegate Larry Rowe, D-Kanawha, again argued against passage, saying "This is going to destroy arts in West Virginia. Always, always the first thing to be cut is the arts."

The West Virginia Public Broadcasting agency has had already had some serious cutbacks in funding.

Manchin was the only woman in his cabinet, and last week Gov. Justice appointed on one woman in a 15-male committee to oversee PEIA problems, then after called to task, appointed a few women. The Department of Education and the Arts dates back to the Caperton administration. Caperton, in 1989, proposed a constitutional amendment that would have placed responsibility for public education with the department, rather than with the state Board of Education.

The amendment was defeated, but the department lived. There's a political element to the puzzle too, with former Gov. Joe Manchin's wife, Gayle Manchin, who is Secretary for Education and the Arts.

She will loose her $95,000 a year job.

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