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Today in the Legislature

Saturday, June 28, 2008 - 01:16 PM

Legislature Passes Final Bill, Adjourns Sine Die
The Senate met today to pass House Bill 219, which was on third reading. Senate Bill 2010, the Senate’s version of HB219, was committed to the Rules Committee on third reading.

The House then approved the Senate’s changes to HB219 and passed the final version of the bill. It will now go to the Governor for his approval.

HB219 was the final bill of the Second Special Session of 2008. During the session, which began Tuesday, lawmakers passed 19 bills.

The Senate and the House both adjourned sine die.

Completed Legislation













Friday, June 27, 2008 - 07:01 PM

Senate Approves Changes to Appropriations Bill
During its Friday evening session, the Senate concurred in the House’s changes to Senate Bill 2019 and passed the bill.

Consideration of Senate Bill 2010, currently on third reading, was laid over one day. House Bill 219, originally the same as Senate Bill 2010, was amended on second reading and advanced to third.

The Senate adjourned until 11 a.m. tomorrow.


›› Completed Legislation

Friday, June 27, 2008 - 06:34 PM

House Meets Briefly to Pass Supplemental Bill
The House met briefly this evening to take up for consideration the passage of supplemental appropriations bill, Senate Bill 2019 . The bill was amended then passed and sent back to the Senate for final approval.

The House is adjourned until 11:00 a.m. tomorrow.




›› Completed Legislation

Thursday, June 26, 2008 - 03:10 PM

Senate Receives One Bill From House in Afternoon Session
Senators reconvened in the afternoon to receive House Bill 219, which was passed by the House earlier today. The bill was taken up for immediate consideration, read a first time and advanced to second reading.

Senate Bill 2010, which was originally the same as House Bill 219, was advanced to third reading with the right to amend.

The Senate adjourned until 6 p.m. tomorrow.





Thursday, June 26, 2008 - 01:37 PM

House Reconvenes and Passes Three Bills
The House reconvened this afternoon to receive messages from the Senate and to finish work on the House calendar.

One report received concerned the passage of amended House Bill 212, which the House passed with an additional amendment and sent back to the Senate for passage. Also taken up for consideration was amended House Bill 210, which the House concurred with Senate amendments and then passed.

The House also passed supplemental bill Senate Bill 2014, which has now completed legislative action and House Bill 219, which must now go to the Senate for its consideration.

The House is adjourned until 6:00 p.m. tomorrow.

›› Completed Legislation

Thursday, June 26, 2008 - 11:54 AM

Senate Amends, Passes Teachers' Retirement Bill
During its 11 a.m. session, the Senate amended and passed House Bill 210 after suspending the constitutional rule requiring a bill be read on three separate days. This bill deals with the transfer election of pensions from the Teachers’ Defined Contribution system to the Teachers Retirement System. The House must now concur in the Senate amendments before the bill can become law.

Senators also concurred in a House amendment to a Senate amendment to House Bill 212. The bill, which relates to the creation of a testing schedule for school bus drivers, was then passed again and sent to the Governor for his approval.

The Senate is in recess until 12:15 p.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - 04:35 PM

Evening Senate Session Sees Amendments to House Bills Prior to Passage
The Senate met this evening to accept House reports regarding the passage of nine bills by that body. The Senate took those reports up for immediate consideration and read them a first time. The constitutional amendment requiring a bill be read on three separate days was then suspended and the bills were read a second and third time.

Six bills were read three times and passed without amendments and have now completed legislative action. These bills are: House Bill 211, House Bill 214, House Bill 215, House Bill 216, House Bill 217 and House Bill 218.

Three bills were read three times and passed with amendments by the Senate and must now go to the House for their approval. These bills are: House Bill 210, House Bill 212, and House Bill 213.

The Senate also took up and passed a supplemental appropriation bill, Senate Bill 2014, which would make an appropriation to various state accounts from the General Revenue Fund. This bill now advances to the House for their consideration.

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - 04:07 PM

House Completes Legislative Action on Eight Supplemental Appropriation Bills
The House met in an afternoon session to accept reports from the Senate regarding action taken on eight Senate Bills. The House took up the reports for immediate consideration whereupon the bills were read a first, second and third time after suspending the constitutional rule requiring a bill be read on three separate days.

The bills that passed were all supplemental appropriations allocating state money, they included: Senate Bill 2011, Senate Bill 2012, Senate Bill 2013, Senate Bill 2015, Senate Bill 2016, Senate Bill 2017, Senate Bill 2018 and Senate Bill 2019.

The House adjourned for the evening and will reconvene tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - 01:38 PM

House Passes Nine Bills on to Senate
The House reconvened today at 11:00 a.m. to hear committee reports in which all bills were recommended for passage.

Nine of those bills were advanced to third reading and passed including House Bill 218, which would freeze the fuel excise tax.

House Bill 219, relating to the regulation and control of elections, was advanced to second reading. This measure seeks to modify certain provisions of current state campaign finance laws in order to comply with a decision by the United States Court for the Southern District of West Virginia in the matter of Center for Individual Freedom v. Ireland, et. al. That decision struck down several provisions of the State’s campaign finance laws deemed to be in violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The House stands in recess until 3:00 p.m. this afternoon.



Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - 12:58 PM

Senate Passes First Bills of Special Session
The Senate met today to receive reports from the Finance Committee. The committee recommended 12 bills for passage. Two of these – Senate Bill 2002 and Senate Bill 2003 – were read a second time and advanced to third reading. The remaining 10 bills were taken up for immediate consideration and passed after suspension of the constitutional rule requiring a bill be read on three separate days. The bills that passed were: Senate Bill 2011, Senate Bill 2012, Senate Bill 2013, Senate Bill 2015, Senate Bill 2016, Senate Bill 2017, Senate Bill 2018 and Senate Bill 2019.

The Finance Committee will meet briefly at 2:55 p.m. today in the Senate Chamber.

The Senate is in recess until 3 p.m. today.



Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 05:53 PM

Legislature Meets for Start of Special Session
Shortly after completing June interim meetings, members of the House and Senate met in their respective chambers at 5 p.m. today to begin the second special session of the year.

After the reading of the Governor’s call, identical versions of 19 bills were introduced in each chamber. Each bill was read a first time before being referred to a committee.

The House Finance, Judiciary, Government Organization and Education committees and the Senate Finance and Judiciary committees met immediately after the floor session to begin work. If necessary, those committees will meet again tomorrow at 9 a.m.

The Senate Confirmations Committee will meet tomorrow at 10:45 a.m. in the President’s Conference Room.

The House and Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› All bills introduced on this date


Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 02:45 PM

Special Session to Deal With Teachers Retirement System Funding, Vetoed Bills
The Legislature will convene for its 2nd Special Session of 2008 today, Tuesday, June 24th at 5:00 p.m. One key issue to be dealt with during this special session will be to appropriate state funds relating to the recent decision by state teachers to transfer assets from the Teachers’ Defined Contribution Retirement System to the State Teachers Retirement System.

Also included in the Governor's Call is the plan to freeze the expected increase in the tax on the wholesale price of motor fuel and creating a special fund to offset the loss in revenue this tax provides for the state Road Fund; as well as a bill clarifying state election law. A number of the bills to be introduced were passed by the Legislature during the 2008 Regular Session but vetoed due to technical problems. Several bills will also be introduced dealing with legislation to provide supplemental appropriation expending money to state agencies prior to the new fiscal year starting July 1, 2008.



Monday, June 23, 2008 - 03:49 PM

Lawmakers to Consider Gas Tax Freeze During Special Session
Legislative leadership and the governor announced at a press conference today that one of the major issues in the upcoming special session will be temporarily freezing the wholesale gas tax.

Due to rising gas and oil prices, the wholesale gas tax is set to automatically increase as much as 6 or 7 cents per gallon in October. The freeze would prevent an increase in the tax until Jan. 1, 2010, the governor said.

Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin noted that high gas prices have affected everyone in West Virginia and the rest of the nation. "By freezing [the gas tax],” he said, “this will mean more money back in people’s pockets."

To offset the loss in revenue from the freeze, the Legislature will consider a $40 million supplemental appropriation to pay for highway maintenance.

Speaker of the House Rick Thompson noted that maintenance services were significantly affected when the tax was last frozen in 2006. This time around, he said had assurances from the Division of Highways that "no services will be cut as a result of this freeze."

The special session – the second of the year – will begin at 5 p.m. tomorrow after the conclusion of monthly interim meetings.

Also at the press conference, the governor announced the approval of disaster relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The money will go toward helping those affected by the flooding on June 3. Residents affected by the flooding can find out information on receiving assistance by calling FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362).

In addition to Speaker Thompson and President Tomblin, several lawmakers attended the press conference. The Senate was represented by Majority Leader Truman Chafin, Finance Chair Walt Helmick, Government Organization Chair Edwin Bowman, and Health and Human Resources Chair Roman Prezioso. Delegates at the press conference included Judiciary Chair Carrie Webster, Finance Chair Harry Keith White, and Government Organization Chair Jim Morgan.



Sunday, June 22, 2008 - 04:22 PM

June Legislative Interim Committee Meetings Get Underway
Legislative interim meetings commenced today, Sunday, June 22nd, at the State Capitol in Charleston, WV. These joint meetings will continue through Tuesday, June 24th.

The Finance Subcommittee A, shown here, took up the issue of West Virginia's many fairs and festivals - and how state money is distributed and allocated for these events. A representative from the Grant Office within the Division of Culture and History spoke briefly about the compliance requirements in State Code 12-4-14, which governs Public Moneys and Securities, regarding required audits for recipients receiving $50,000 or more in state funds. The representative stated that grant recipients must be registered with the state Purchasing Division and with the Department of Administration before becoming eligible to receive funds.

Members plan to continue studying this issue among the other assigned study topics in the coming months.




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