Member's Press Release

Release Date: 02/10/2015
Contact: House Communications Director Miranda Kessel at (304) 340-3323

Tim Armstead

House Passes Two Major Bills

Charleston – Today, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed two bills that are a part of the major agenda items for the first session of the 82nd Legislature.

H.B. 2005 Teacher Alternative Certification

Today, the House of Delegates took up H.B. 2005, which creates a pathway for the alternative certification of teachers in West Virginia.

The creation of an alternative certification program in West Virginia will provide an avenue for prepared and willing college graduates, as well as those interested in transitioning from their current career to a career in teaching.

“In my region there are many vacancies that go unfilled for qualified teachers in subjects such as math and science, and this legislation will help provide solution to this problem,” said Del. Lynne Arvon (R-Raleigh).

A report produced in 2014 by the WV Dept. of Education, found that there were 700 K-12 teaching vacancies. Currently, a portion of those vacancies are being filled by long-term substitute teachers not qualified to teach in the respective subject matter.

This legislation originated in the House Committee on Education chaired by Del. Amanda Pasdon (R-Monongalia).

Pasdon stated, “There are 280,000 children depending on us to make the best choices for them, to help them have the very best foundation that they can have to prepare them for the workforce of the 21st century. This legislation will create an avenue for qualified-individuals with real-world experience to lend their expertise and knowledge to teach our children.”

The bill was adopted for passage in the House by a vote of 60-35. The House also voted for this bill to take effect July 1, 2015.

The sponsors of H.B. 2005 include Del. Amanda Pasdon (R-Monongalia), Del. Danny Hamrick (R-Harrison), Del. Mark Zatezalo (R-Hancock), Del. William R. Romine (R-Tyler), Del. John B. McCuskey (R-Kanawha), Del. Ron Walters (R-Kanawha), Del. Steve Westfall (R-Jackson), Del. Lynne Arvon (R-Raleigh), Del. John Overington (R-Berkeley), Del. Paul Espinosa (R-Jefferson) and Del. Michel Moffatt (R-Putnam).

Bill sponsor, Del. Paul Espinosa (R-Jefferson) concluded, "This legislation provides our local school districts an additional tool to help ensure that our students have the most highly qualified teacher in their classrooms. This important education reform serves as another step we can take to bring us in line with other states.”

The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

H.B. 2011 Deliberate Intent

The House of Delegates passed H.B. 2011, a bill to clarify the deliberate intent exception to the WV Workers Compensation System. Simply put, this legislation will restore the originally accepted purpose of deliberate intent.

Lead sponsor of the bill, Del. Roger Hanshaw (R-Clay) stated, “This bill strikes a good balance between protecting the rights of both employees and employers, while also making sure that our small businesses aren’t driven out of business by the potentially devastating effects of lawsuits.”

The legislation originated in the House Committee on the Judiciary, chaired by Del. John Shott (R-Mercer).

“This bill helps restore the predictability of the court system, while also a preserving the right to a fair recovery,” added Hanshaw.

The sponsors of the bill include Del. Roger Hanshaw (R-Clay), Del. John Shott (R-Mercer), Del. Eric Nelson (R-Kanawha), Del. Matthew Rohrbach (R-Cabell), Del. Kelli Sobonya (R-Cabell), Del. Ryan Weld (R-Brooke), Del. Paul Espinosa (R-Jefferson), Del. Joe Statler (R-Monongalia) and Del. Carol Miller (R-Cabell).

The bill passed the House by a vote of 59-38.

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