The Senate convened the third Special Session of 2017 this afternoon and quickly passed Senate Bill 3001, which would issue road bonds yearly until 2021. The legislation would formally authorize the state to proceed with the sale of up to $1.6 billion in road bonds.
During the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017, $800 million would be released for road construction and highway maintenance. That figure would be reduced to $400 million in fiscal year 2018 and $200 million in both fiscal years 2019 and 2020. Any amount not sold in a fiscal year may be carried over and issued in any subsequent year before July 1, 2021. These funds would be matched by federal dollars. Provisions in the bill clarify funds can only be used for state road employees and state road projects.
The legislation is currently being considered in the House of Delegates.
The Senate is in recess until 5 p.m.
The Senate met briefly Monday evening, adopting SCR 301. The resolution provides for the issuance of bonds under the Roads to Prosperity Amendment of 2017.
The Senate has adjourned the 3rd Extraordinary Session of 2017, Sine Die.
The House of Delegates met this afternoon to convene for a third Extraordinary session of the 2017 Legislature.
The House took up Senate Bill 3001 after it was passed by the Senate. The bill would issue road bonds over the course of four years ending in 2021. It would be matched by federal dollars, decreasing amounts each year. The first year would release $800 million to go towards road and highway maintenance. Definitions in the bill clarify that the money can only be used for state road employees and/or state road projects.
The bonds would benefit all 55 counties, according to Delegate Eric Nelson.
The House passed SB 3001 with no amendments.
The House is in recess until 5:30 p.m.
The House adopted SCR 301 - Providing for issuance of bonds under Roads to Prosperity Amendment of 2017.
The House adjourned its 2017 third Extraordinary session.
The Senate completed action on three bills and amended and passed another during a late afternoon floor session.
The body amended and passed Senate Bill 2003, which implements special hiring procedures for the Department of Highways and Tax Divisions. The legislation is intended to expidite hiring, particularly for auditors to keep an eye on road project financing and taxes. This bill now heads to the House of Delegates for consideration.
The completed bills this afternoon include:
House Bill 201, which will exempt military retirement income from personal income tax beginning next year.
House Bill 203, which will increase tax credits for rehabilitation of historic buildings and structures.
House Bill 205, which strengthens the West Virginia Jobs Act. The act gives job preference to the local labor market on state funded projects.
Following a recess until 9 p.m., the Senate returned to concur in the House amendments to Senate Bill 2003, coompleting legislative action on the bill.
The Senate has adjourned until Nov. 13 at Noon.
The House of Delegates met for several hours on Tuesday, passing a few bills quickly.
House Bill 201 was passed 95-1. The bill would exempt military retirement income from personal income tax. The House attempted to include social security recepients into that group, but the amendments were ruled not germane to the bill. The legislation goes to the Senate for consideration.
House Bill 203 was also passed, by a vote of 95-0. The bill relates generally to tax credits for rehabilitation of historic buildings and structures.
House Bill 205 was passed by a vote of 94-1. The bill relates to the West Virginia Jobs Act.
The House is in recess until 5:30 p.m. today.
The House met briefly again to pass Senate Bill 2002 - Allowing certain tax information be shared with designated DOH employees. The bill completes legislation.
The House is in recess until 8:30 p.m.
The House met again to pass SB 2003 - Implementing special hiring procedures for DOH and Tax Division. The bill passed with an additional amendment offered by Delegate Howell. The Senate concurred in the House amendment for the bill to complete legislation.
The House is now adjourned sine die.
The Senate passed two bills and introduced two others during a brief afternoon floor session on Tuesday.
The body amended the House amendments and passed Senate Bill 2002. This legislation, which would allow certain tax information to be shared with designated DOH employee to ensure contractors on winning state highway bids are in good standing on their taxes, will now head back to the House of Delegates for consideration.
The Senate also suspended the constitutional rules to quickly pass Senate Bill 2005, which deals with finding and declaring claims against the state.
The Senate is in recess until 3 p.m.
The Senate met briefly at Noon to convene the Second Special Session of 2017.
The body accepted the resignations of Ronald Miller and Mike Hall. They are replaced by Senators Stephen Baldwin (D- Greebrier) and Mark Drennan (R -Putnam) respectively.
The Governor called the special session to deal with issues regarding Department of Highways hiring following the approval of the road bond. There are also plans to exempt veterans' retirement income from personal income tax.
The Senate is in recess until 2 p.m.
On Monday afternoon, the Senate suspended the constitutional rules to quickly pass Senate Bill 2002, which allows certain tax information to be shared with designated DOH employee. This legislation is intended to ensure contractors on winning state highway bids are in good standing on their taxes.
Senate Bill 2003 , which implements special hiring procedures for the Department of Highways and Tax Divisions, was read a first time. The legislation is intended to expidite hiring, particularly for auditors to keep an eye on road project financing and taxes.
The Senate has adjourned until Tuesday at Noon.
The House met to pass Senate Bill 2002 -Allowing certain tax information be shared with designated DOH employees. The House passed an amendment to the bill which will go to the Senate for concurrence.
The House read House Bill 203 - Relating generally to tax credits for rehabilitation of historic buildings and structures - for a first time.
The House is adjourned until noon tomorrow.
The House of Delegates met at noon for the Second Extraordinary session.
The House had to make a few appointments as vacancies were left by Delegate Nancy Foster and the late Delegate Tony Lewis.
Del. Diana Graves (R-Kanawha) was appointed to replace Foster and Del. D. Rolland Jennings (R-Preston) to replace Lewis.
Gov. Jim Justice called a special session to address the passage of the road bond, among other pieces of legislation. The House read House Bill 201 - Exempting military retirement income from personal income tax - a first time, and refered House Bill 202 - Allowing certain tax information to be shared with designated employees of Commissioner of Highways - to committee.
The House will re-convene at 5 p.m. today.
The Joint Committee on Education Oversight will meet at 6 p.m. or immediatly following the floor session. The Health Committee Joint meeting was cancelled.
Today, both the House of Delegates and state Senate met briefly to officialy adjourn the 1st Extraorinary Session of 2017 Sine Die, or, "without day". Before they adjourned, both bodies received a veto message from the Governor regarding HB 113, selling of the Jackie Withrow state hospital by the DHHR.
The House of Delegates and state Senate are asjourned Sine Die.
This evening, both the House of Delegates and state Senate combined to pass the FY 2018 Budget Bill and a package of bills to fund road improvement projects.
Senate Bill 1013, the Budget Bill, passed both bodies today with strike and insert amendment for the budget that limits cuts to Medicaid and higher education through use of transfers and expected surpluses. The bill was an agreed to version with the Senate and House of Delegates which includes $4.225 billion budget for general revenue. The bill goes to the governor for his consideration.
Also, the Legislature passed SB 1006, increasing funding for the road fund, and, SB 1003, relating generally to WV Parkways Authority. These measures will also go to the Governor for his consideration.
The Legislature also adopted HCR 2, providing for an adjournment of the Legislature until June 26, 2017.
Both the Senate and House of Delegates will reconvene at 11:00 a.m. on June 26th, 2017.
The Senate met today and took up Senate Bill 1013, the Budget Bill, which had been passed by the House earlier in the week. The Senate did a strike and insert amendment for the budget that limits cuts to Medicaid and higher education through use of transfers and expected surpluses. Chairman Hall told the Senate that the bill was an agreed to version with the House of Delegates which includes $4.225 billion budget for general revenue. The bill returns to the House for their concurrence.
Also, the Senate passed SB 1006, increasing funding for the road fund. The House had adopted a House Finance 'strike and insert' amendment and passed the bill and the Senate amended it further and sent it back to the House.
The Senate also considered two similar measures relating to the sale of state owned hospitals. SB 1011, selling Hopemont Hospital, was rejected on concurrence and, HB 113, relating to the sale of Jackie Withrow Hospital by the DHHR, was passed and completed legislation.
The House of Delegates met this morning to discuss Senate Bill 1017, the Tax Reform Act of 2017. The bill was passed by the Senate late last night. Delegates rejected a motion to reject the bill on first reading, suspended the constitutional rule requiring a bill be read on three seperate days and amended it to reflect the work of the Conference Committee on HB 107. The bill was passed overwhelming with bipartisan support.
Also, the House of Delegates had SB 1006, increasing funding for the road fund. The House adopted a House Finance 'strike and insert' amendment on 3rd Reading, and passed the bill.
Both bills now head to the Senate for their concurrance.
After a recess, the House of Delegates passed two similar measures relating to the sale of state owned hospitals. SB 1011, selling Hopemont Hospital and, HB 113, relating to the sale of Jackie Withrow Hospital by the DHHR, both were passed and now head to the Senate for their consideration.
The House is in recess until 7:30 p.m.
House Finance will meet at 5:45 p.m. in 460M.
The Conference Committee on HB 106 will meet at 3 p.m. in 208W.
The Senate overwhelmingly passed its latest versions of the Tax Reform Act of 2017 and the Budget Bill during a floor session Thursday evening.
Senate Bill 1017 raises the consumer sales tax from 6 to 6.5 percent with the provision that it will go down to 6.25 percent when the state's personal income tax is reduced by 20 percent. The legislation reduces the personal income tax by 5 percent starting Jan. 1, 2018 and then by an additional five percent each of the next three years if certain economic triggers are met. This results in a potential 20 percent cut in income taxes over the four-year period.
The bill includes a graduated severance tax that has our energy sectors paying more when prices are high and less when prices are low. The legislation gets rid of certain tax exemptions such as telecommunications, communications, transportation and digital downloads, while also providing a $150 tax rebate for those making $10,000 or less per year and a $100 rebate for those making between $10,000-$25,000 per year. Under the latest plan, wages over $150,000 would not be subject to a tax cut.
In total, the bill provides for roughly $82 million in new revenue.
The current Senate budget, laid out in Senate Bill 1018, uses figures and revenue estimates from this latest tax reform bill described above. The result is a $4.35 billion budget that includes Medicaid funding without cuts, lesser cuts to higher education, money for the Governor's Save our State fund and an average 2 percent teacher pay raise.
The Senate is adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m.
The Conference Committee for the public employee furlough bill will meet tomorrow at Noon in 208W
The House of Delegates convened in a brief session at 10 a.m. on June 15.
House Finance met immediately following the floor session.
The House is in recess until 2 p.m.
The House convened briefly again around 2:30 p.m.
The House is adjourned until 10 a.m. tomorrow.
House Finance will meet at 9 a.m. tomorrow in 460M.
The House of Delegates convened around noon on June 14 to pass a version of the budget bill.
The House passed Senate Bill 1013 - the budget bill- with a strike and insert amendment that essentially put the House budget into the bill. During debate, Delegate Barbara Fleischauer (D-Monongalia) offered an amendment to restore funding to West Virginia University and Marshall University. The amendment was rejected.
According to House leadership, its version of the budget restores more funding to higher education than the Senate version.
The budget bill passed by a vote of 69-30.
The House adjourned until 10 a.m. tomorrow.
House Finance will meet at 4:30 p.m. in 460M and again at 9 a.m. tomorrow.
The Senate introduced Senate Bill 1016, which would create a license tax on successful bidders for road construction contracts, during a very brief morning floor session.
The Senate is in recess until 5:30 p.m.
The Senate convened briefly this evening as the body continues to review the House version of the Budget Bill.
The Senate has adjourned until Noon tomorrow.
The Senate passed its version of the Budget Bill during a Tuesday evening floor session.
After receiving an updated revenue estimate from the Governor, the Senate passed a budget that spends the $4.225 billion the state is projected to take in and does not increase taxes.
The bill includes a $34.1 million cut to Medicaid, which equates to a $136 million cut in terms of federal matching dollars lost. The budget measure also cuts higher education by $33 million, an amount that is spread across most of the state's public colleges and universities.
The legislation does not include a teacher pay raise and provides no money for the Governor's SOS fund.
The bill now heads to the House of Delegates for consideration.
Also, on Tuesday, the Senate assigned conferees to work out the differences in the public employee furlough bill (HB106). The House version provides for back pay when the furloughed employees return, while the Senate version does not.
The Senate has adjourned until tomorrow at 11 a.m.
The House of Delegates gaveled in session to explain budget negotiations.
The Conference Committee on House Bill 107 will meet at 1 p.m. in 451M.
House Finance will meet at 2 p.m. in 460M.
The House is in recess until 4 p.m.
The House read House Bill 115 - the budget bill - a first time in a session that convened around 5:30 p.m.
The House also read Senate Bill 1006 - Increasing funding for State Road Fund - a first time.
The House also refused to concur in the Senate amendments to House Bill 106 - Relating generally to the furlough of public employees during declared fiscal emergency.
The House is in recess until 8:30 p.m.
The House is adjourned until 11 a.m. tomorrow.
The Senate passed a bill that lays out the provisions for furloughing publlic employyees in the event of a fiscal emergency (HB106), as well as a bill relating to the West Virginia Healthcare Authority (HB117), during a morning floor session on Tuesday.
The Senate plans to use this afternoon to work with the Governor's office on a budget plan that could be voted on as soon as this evening.
The Senate is in recess until this evening at 5 p.m.
The Senate advanced three bills during a brief floor session Monday afternoon.
House Bill 106 , legislation to furlough the state's public employees, advanced to second reading along with House Bill 117, which relates to the West Virginia Health Care Authority. The Budget Bill was advanced to third reading with the right to amend.
The Senate is adjourned until tomorrow at 11 a.m.
The conference committee for House Bill 107 will meet at 3:30 p.m. in room 460M.
The House of Delegates convened briefly on Monday, June 12, to announce plans moving forward with the budget.
Delegate Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, said negotiations have been ongoing throughout the weekend and the conference committee on the tax bill (House Bill 107) will meet at 3:30 p.m. in the House Finance committee room (406M).
The House Finance committee will meet at 4 p.m. in 460M.
The House is in recess until 5 p.m. today.
The House met briefly around 6 p.m.
A conference committee meeting on HB107 was announced for 9 a.m. tomorrow in 451M.
House Finance will meet tentativley at 10 a.m. in 460M.