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Frequently Asked Questions

How many members serve in the West Virginia Legislature? What are their term limits?
Who are my Legislators?
How do I contact my state lawmakers?
How does a Bill Become Law in West Virginia?
How do I view the full text of a bill?
How do I find the status of current legislation? Or if a bill has been signed by the Governor?
Is the State Code available online? Is it searchable?
Are the House of Delegates and Senate Journals available online?
Where can I find committee meeting schedules and agendas?
When does the Legislature meet?
What does it mean when a bill is “effective from passage”? Or effective “90 days from passage”?
What is the Joint Committee on Government and Finance?
The website is behaving erratically, how can I fix this?

How many members serve in the West Virginia Legislature? What are their term limits?

West Virginia has a bicameral Legislature comprised of 134 members - 34 Senators and 100 Delegates. They are part-time, citizen lawmakers elected by the people.

Representing 17 districts, members of the Senate serve four-year terms with half of those seats up for election every two years. The presiding officer is the President who is formally elected by the Senate membership. In addition to Senate oversight duties, the President is the second ranking constitutional officer in West Virginia. He or she succeeds the office of Governor in the event of a vacancy.

Members of the House of Delegates represent 58 districts. They are elected for two-year terms with all of the seats up for election every two years. The Speaker is the presiding officer and is formally elected by the members of the House. He or she is the state's third ranking constitutional officer and is third in line of succession for the office of Governor.


Who are my Legislators?

You can easily locate the lawmakers who represent your district by clicking on District Information on the homepage. From here, you can choose either Senate or House District maps to view the legislators for your county.


How do I contact my state lawmakers?

The Website provides e-mail addresses and telephone numbers for each lawmaker. To access this information, choose either the Senate or House link on the lefthand side of the homepage. You then will be prompted to choose a legislator from a drop-down box. To obtain home mailing addresses, you may request a copy of the legislative directory by calling toll-free at 1-877-565-3447 or at (304) 347-4836.


How does a Bill Become Law in West Virginia?

To review how laws are made in West Virginia, click on the Educational tab located at the top of the West Virginia Legislature's homepage. Options will appear below this link, one of which (Bill Becomes Law) will allow you to follow the path of a bill through the legislative process.


How do I view the full text of a bill?

Bill text from 1993 through the current year are now available online in html (web) format. However, some bill text from 1993-1999 may be unreliable due to older data systems losing some bill text information. To view a bill online, click on the Bill Status tab located at the top of the homepage, locate a bill using the various search criteria provided, then click on the name of a bill (ie. SB 133) to show bill text in html format.

To download a bill in Wordperfect (.wpd) format, click on the Bill Status tab located at the top of the homepage, select the appropriate year and session, then click on the "Download Bills (.wpd)" link located at the top of the page. If you cannot find the bill you are looking for, or to obtain copies of bills from earlier years, please call the Legislature's Reference & Information Office toll-free at 1-877-565-3447 or at (304) 347-4836.


How do I find the status of current legislation? Or if a bill has been signed by the Governor?

Click on the Bill Status tab located at the top of homepage. Then, choose the year and session you wish to review. Choose either Senate or House Bill History to find the current status of the legislation you are reviewing. Other search options are available, allowing you to easily locate more specific information.


Is the State Code available online? Is it searchable?

The Code is available in full on the Legislature’s Website. Choose the West Virginia State Code link on the homepage. You will have two options to navigate through the Code. A drop-down box allows you to select each chapter. Additionally, a search engine is available for a keyword search.

For example, if you are looking for state laws regarding “environmental protection,” simply type those words into the box and click on the search button. All portions of the Code containing these words will appear.


Are the House of Delegates and Senate Journals available online?

Yes. You can find both the House and Senate Journals under the Bulletin Board tab located at the bottom of the homepage.


Where can I find committee meeting schedules and agendas?

Committee meeting schedules and agendas can be found under each respective chamber’s tab at the top of the West Virginia Legislature’s homepage by selecting the Committee link option.


When does the Legislature meet?

The Legislature meets for 60 consecutive days, usually beginning the second Wednesday in January. In years with a Gubernatorial Election, the 60-day Regular Legislative Session begins the second Wednesday in February.


What does it mean when a bill is “effective from passage"? Or effective “90 days from passage”?

The effective date dictates when a bill that has been passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor will take effect and enforced as law. “Effective from passage” means the law will be current as of the day it was passed. Other effective date criteria given, most commonly “90 days from passage”, will dictate a certain start date when that law becomes effective.


What is the Joint Committee on Government and Finance?

This committee, comprised of both Senate and House leadership, oversees many legislative offices that serve both chambers. To locate Joint Committee offices, click on the Joint tab located at the top of the West Virginia Legislature's homepage.


The website is behaving erratically, how can I fix this?

Your browser probably needs updated - an outdated browser will cause items on your screen to be out of place or to not be visible. This site functions best when viewed in the newest versions of FireFox, Internet Explorer or Google Chrome. Click on the names to download, the updates are free and easy to install. If you still have problems, please contact our Web Administrators.


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