The Senate passed 17 bills on third reading today, including Senate Bill 306, or the Budget Bill. For the first time funds from the West Virginia Rainy Day Fund will be used to balance the budget for the 2015 fiscal year. The Budget Bill now moves to the House for further consideration. House Bill 4393, which would create the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, also passed the Senate and now moves back to the House for approval.
Of the bills that passed, seven completed legislation including House Bill 4284, or the Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act. The bill protects pregnant women in the workplace from discrimination due to their pregnancy, child birth or associated medical conditions.
House Bill 4256, which amends state police annual salary schedule, and House Joint Resolution 108, which is the Nonprofit Youth Organization Tax Exemption Support Amendment, were moved to the foot of bills on first reading. House Bill 4039 would authorize boards and agencies to promulgate legislative rules and was moved to the foot of bills on second reading. These bills will likely be taken up when the Senate reconvenes this evening.
The following committees will meet today:
The Senate is in recess until 6 p.m.
The Senate reconvened this evening to receive committee reports, adopt several House Concurrent Resolutions, advance 17 bills to second reading, advance one bill to third reading, pass two bills and complete legislation on five bills. House Bill 4256 was laid over on third reading.
Bills that completed legislation include Senate Bill 209, allowing special needs students to participate in graduation ceremonies, and House Bill 4175, creating the West Virginia Small Business Emergency Act.
One of the bills passed, House Bill 4363, was reconsidered by the Senate before passage. The bill would set up an informal dispute resolution process within the Department of Health and Human Resources for decisions which adversely impact behavior health providers.
House Bill 4343, which would create the West Virginia Project Launchpad Act, was one of the bills read a first time. The bill would allow the Governor to designate up to 10 geographic areas as economic development launch pads.
The Senate is adjourned until 11 a.m. tomorrow