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Senate Journal


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sdj-3rd day
WEST VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE

SENATE JOURNAL

SEVENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE

REGULAR SESSION, 2009

THIRD DAY

____________

Charleston, W. Va., Friday, February 13, 2009

The Senate met at 11 a.m.
(Senator Tomblin, Mr. President, in the Chair.)

Prayer was offered by the Reverend Steven Smith, United Disciples of Christ Church, Charleston, West Virginia.
Pending the reading of the Journal of Thursday, February 12, 2009,
On motion of Senator Foster, the Journal was approved and the further reading thereof dispensed with.
The Senate proceeded to the second order of business and the introduction of guests.
The Clerk presented a communication from the Board of Dental Examiners, submitting its annual report, in accordance with chapter thirty, article twenty-four, section seven of the code of West Virginia.
Which report was received and filed with the Clerk.
The Senate proceeded to the sixth order of business.
On motions for leave, severally made, the following bills were introduced, read by their titles, and referred to the appropriate committees:
By Senators Tomblin (Mr. President) and Caruth (By Request of the Executive):
Senate Bill No. 248--A Bill to amend and reenact §11-21-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the expiration of the alternative minimum tax; and providing for the expiration of the alternative minimum tax for tax years beginning on and after January 1, 2010.
Referred to the Committee on Finance.
By Senators Tomblin (Mr. President) and Caruth (By Request of the Executive):
Senate Bill No. 249--A Bill to amend and reenact §18-5-45 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the annual school calendar; providing that the instructional term shall commence on August 21; allowing county boards to extend the instructional term to June 13 if one hundred eighty separate instructional days have not occurred on or before June 8; and providing for the scheduling of additional noninstructional days prior to the commencement of the instructional term.
Referred to the Committee on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.
By Senators Green, White, Palumbo, Jenkins and Facemire:
Senate Bill No. 250--A Bill to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §31-20-5f, relating to inmate reimbursement to the authority for medical services provided to persons held in regional jails.
Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.
By Senators McCabe, Green, Stollings, Plymale, Facemire, Kessler and Bowman:
Senate Bill No. 251--A Bill to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §13-2H-1, §13-2H-2, §13-2H-3, §13-2H-4, §13-2H-5, §13-2H-6, §13-2H-7, §13-2H-8, §13-2H-9, §13-2H-10 and §13-2H-11; and to amend and reenact §29-22C-27 of said code, all relating to the authorization of municipalities, county commissions and certain boards of education to issue revenue bonds secured by lottery revenue for the purpose of acquiring or constructing public projects.
Referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.
By Senators Green, White, Palumbo and Stollings:
Senate Bill No. 252--A Bill to amend and reenact §29B-1-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to exemptions from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
By Senators Green, White and Palumbo:
Senate Bill No. 253--A Bill to amend and reenact §62-8-1 and §62-8-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to offenses by or against inmates; and penalties.
Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
By Senators Green, White, Palumbo, Stollings, Facemire and Kessler:
Senate Bill No. 254--A Bill to amend and reenact §31-20-5d of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to providing inmates a reduction in sentence for completion of education and rehabilitation programs.
Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Senators Fanning, Williams, Stollings, Plymale and Unger offered the following resolution:
Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 5--Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study deer/vehicle collisions (DVC) in West Virginia and establish public-private partnerships between the state and insurance companies to address and reduce DVC and to fund DVC countermeasures.
Whereas, DVC across the United States, including West Virginia, are a significant and increasing safety problem; and
Whereas, Nationwide, an estimated 1.5 million DVC occur annually, resulting in $1 billion to $2 billion in economic losses (e.g., insurance claims, property damage, time off work, etc.), 29,000 personal injuries and more than 200 human fatalities; and
Whereas, In West Virginia, the number of white-tailed deer reportedly killed by vehicles annually has risen substantially from just over 2,000 in 1978 to just over 19,000 in the year 2007; and
Whereas, The DVC problem and its potential countermeasures are complex, interdisciplinary issues with significant transportation safety implication; and
Whereas, Numerous methods have been used to minimize DVC, including in-vehicle technologies, deer whistles, roadway lighting, speed limit reductions, deicing salt alternatives, deer-flagging models, intercept feeding, passive deer crossing signs, dynamic deer crossing signs and sensors, roadside reflectors and mirrors, deer repellants, deer herd reduction, public information and education, roadside vegetation management, exclusionary fencing, wildlife crossings and roadway maintenance, design and planning policies; and
Whereas, The efficacy of many of these DVC countermeasures has proven to be ineffective. However, some of these measures show promise and should be more fully evaluated using science-based research methodologies; and
Whereas, The complexity and interdisciplinary nature of the DVC problem and its countermeasures require adequate research, funding, development of effective partnerships and appropriate exchange of information and technology; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study deer/vehicle collisions (DVC) in West Virginia and establish public-private partnerships between the state and insurance companies to address and reduce DVC and to fund DVC countermeasures; and, be it
Further Resolved, That representatives from Rahall Appalachian Transportation Institute at Marshall University, Division of Forestry and Natural Resources at West Virginia University, West Virginia Office of the Insurance Commissioner, West Virginia Department of Transportation and West Virginia Division of Natural resources and insurance companies from the state be appointed to serve on a committee charged with investigating the wide range of issues, concerns and contributing factors associated with DVC in West Virginia; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the committee prepare recommendations designed to effectively reduce DVC and fund DVC countermeasures in West Virginia; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2010, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.
Which, under the rules, lies over one day.
At the request of Senator Wells, unanimous consent being granted, Senators Wells and Foster offered the following resolution from the floor:
Senate Resolution No. 8--Designating Friday, February 13, 2009, as "Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day".
Whereas, It is estimated that close to 25 percent of eligible tax payers fail to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit; and
Whereas, Of those who do claim EITC, over 70 percent file their tax returns through a paid tax preparer and pay fees up to more than $2 billion annually; and
Whereas, In 2007, through the use of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) free preparation sites, West Virginia families received over $6.6 million in EITC refunds and more than $24 million in total refunds; and
Whereas, In West Virginia, nearly 30,000 free returns were completed at VITA sites in 2007, an increase of nearly 30 percent over 2006; and
Whereas, In 2008, more than 400 volunteers will run 87 VITA sites at locations across the state; and
Whereas, West Virginia is the only state to provide statewide coverage and involvement in every county; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate:
That the Senate hereby designates Friday, February 13, 2009, as "Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day"; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to representatives of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day.
At the request of Senator Wells, unanimous consent being granted, the resolution was taken up for immediate consideration, reference to a committee dispensed with, and adopted.
On motion of Senator Chafin, the Senate recessed for one minute.
Upon expiration of the recess, the Senate reconvened and resumed business under the sixth order.
Petitions

Senator Jenkins presented a petition from Pat Chapman and thirty-one West Virginia residents, opposing proposed changes to Public Employees Insurance Agency benefits.
Referred to the Committee on Finance.
The Senate proceeded to the seventh order of business.
Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 3, Urging Congress implement Homeowners and Bank Protection Act.
On unfinished business, coming up in regular order, was reported by the Clerk and referred to the Committee on Banking and Insurance.
Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 4, Requesting Joint Committee on Government and Finance study gray energy research benefits.
On unfinished business, coming up in regular order, was reported by the Clerk and referred to the Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining; and then to the Committee on Rules.
The Senate proceeded to the twelfth order of business.
Remarks were made by Senators Caruth and Chafin.
The Senate proceeded to the thirteenth order of business.
At the request of Senator Palumbo, the name of Senator Palumbo was removed as a sponsor of Senate Bill No. 252 (Exempting certain disclosures under Freedom of Information Act) and Senate Bill No. 253 (Relating to certain sexual offenses by or against inmates).
Pending announcement of meetings of standing committees of the Senate,
On motion of Senator Chafin, the Senate adjourned until Monday, February 16, 2009, at 11 a.m.
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