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Today in the Legislature

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 06:51 PM

Senate Reconsiders Calorie Posting Bill
The Senate reconsidered Senate Bill 419 and passed the measure by a narrow margin. This bill would create, within the Governor’s Office of Health Enhancement & Lifestyle Planning (GOHELP), a program to increase consumer awareness of healthy menu choices. It would require all chain restaurants with more than 15 national locations to post an item's caloric content on their menu board at the point of purchase. Short term menu items (less than 30 days) would not be required to be listed. There would also be a provision for posting at drive-through windows.

There were 50 bills advanced from second to third reading. Four of those bills were advanced to third reading with the right to amend including Senate Bill 537, which would relate to workers’ compensation and Senate Bill 677, which would require certain corporations to provide members and managers’ names upon request.

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Labor - 9:00 a.m. - 208W
Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W

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



Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 04:09 PM

House Completes Legislative Action on Special Hunting and Fishing License
In an afternoon split session, the House received a message from the Senate that they passed House Bill 2795 with an amendment. The House unanimously passed the amended bill which would create a special hunting and fishing license for persons with a life-threatening condition who are under 21. This bill is the fifth piece of completed legislation during the 79th Regular Session.

Nine bills were voted on this afternoon, all of which passed to the Senate. If you knowingly file false information with the Secretary of State you would be charged with a misdemeanor according to House Bill 3194. Litterbugs beware, House Bill 3197 would authorize municipalities that have adopted anti-litter ordinances to appoint special litter prevention officers. These officers would have authority to issue citations, summonses and sign complaints. Condemnation commissioners would get a raise from $50 to up to $200 a day if House Bill 3224 becomes law.

A hefty 40 bills were on second reading including: House Bill 2868 which would create and maintain the West Virginia Autistic Children's Trust Fund. It would also create a tax credit for contributing to a trust fund for the future support of an autistic minor. House Bill 3051 would provide immediate family members and funeral directors with veterans' death certificates at no cost.

The House will reconvene at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

›› Completed Legislation

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 01:56 PM

House Recognizes Late Delegate Proudfoot, Several Bills Unanimously Advance

The House session started with a somber tone today. Members adopted House Resolution 46 which commemorated the life of the Honorable William D. "Bill" Proudfoot. He represented the 37th District for 18 years, until his passing on December 23, 2008. Members of Proudfoot's family (Lynn Currence Proudfoot pictured) were presented with a copy of the resolution and the House extended its sympathy at the passing of one of their beloved colleagues.

Eighteen bills were presented on third reading today and all of them passed to the Senate for its consideration. Twelve of those passed unanimously.

House Bill 2133 would increases the penalties for littering. The minimum fine for depositing less than 100 pounds of litter would increase from $50 to $100. The Supreme Court would be required to increase the mandatory community service sentence from eight to 16 hours. If the offender deposits over 100 pounds of litter, the Supreme Court would be mandated to sentence the person to 24 to 40 hours of community service.

House Bill 2415 would identify salvia divinorum as a hallucinogen and add it to the list of controlled substances. Any person who possess a material, compound, mixture or preparation intended for human consumption which contains salvia divinorum would be guilty of a misdemeanor and jailed up to six months and/or fined $1,000.

House Bill 2538 would provide a framework for distributing legislative funds to supplement alternative language education programs for limited English proficient students.

After discussion from several members, House Bill 2747 passed 72-28. The bill would create a temporary reinvestment fee for health insurers, third party administrators and others to assist in funding health information technology in the state. The bill specifies the various fee options and clarifies that all health insurers contribute equally to the West Virginia Health Information Network Account (WVHIN).

The following committees will meet today:
Government Organization- 1:15 p.m.- 215E

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Banking and Insurance- 10 a.m.- 215E
Health and Human Resources- 4 p.m.- 215E

The House is in recess until 2:30 p.m. when they will finish voting on the nine bills that remain on third reading.

›› Completed Legislation

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 01:24 PM

Total Number of Bills to Pass the Senate Reaches 135
The Senate passed 33 bills in this morning’s session. As of 12:30 p.m. 135 bills have been passed in the Senate and sent to the House for consideration.

Of those bills passed, Senate Bill 142 would make changes to the Tourism Development Act, such as providing text credits for a small scale tourism development project or an auxiliary tourism facilities development project .

Senate Bill 488 would require parental or legal guardian consent for minors between the ages of 14 and 17 to use a tanning device. Minors under the age of 14 would have to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Senate Bill 719 would allow police officers to keep their service weapon upon retirement.

Husband and wife duo, Matthew and Karen Bright of Newburg, West Virginia, played guitar and sang for the Senate. They performed an original composition, "The Hills of West Virginia Calls Me Home," which they wrote based on their strong feelings for the state of West Virginia.

The following committees will meet today:
Banking and Insurance - 2:00 p.m. - 208W
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 451M
Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W

The Senate is in recess until 5:00 p.m.



Monday, March 30, 2009 - 06:37 PM

Senate Passes 16 Bills in Evening Session, 35 Bills Advance to Third Reading
During a 5:00 p.m. session of the Senate, members passed 16 bills, bringing the total number of bills passed by the Senate to 102. Of those bills passed, Senate Bill 554 would require registered sex offenders to pay a registration fee of $25, which would be deposited in the West Virginia State Police Retirement System.

Senate Bill 483 would establish the Caregivers Consent Act, allowing for a caregiver who is not a parent, legal custodian or guardian of a minor, to consent to health care for a minor through an affidavit.

Senate Bill 470 would regulate the use of a utility-terrain vehicle on the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Area.

Thirty-five bills were advanced to third reading. Of those advanced, Senate Bill 488 would require parental consent for persons under age 18 to use a tanning device or facility. Also, a person under the age of 14 would be required to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Economic Development - 9:00 a.m. - 451M
Government Organization - 10:00 a.m. - 208W
Transportation and Infrastructure - 10:00 a.m. - 451M
Rules - 10:45 a.m. - President's Conference Room
Banking and Insurance - 2:00 p.m. - 208W
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 451M
Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W

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



Monday, March 30, 2009 - 01:29 PM

Live Classical Music Ushers in the Week as Senate Passes Four Bills
The Senate passed four bills upon third reading today. Senate Bill 15 would limit the liability of Parks and Recreation of the Division of Natural Resources, county parks and recreation commissions, boards of park and recreation commissioners and owners of land used for public parks and recreation purposes in the event that injury, loss or damage is caused intentionally or by negligence by someone who is not an agent or employee of any of these institutions. Senate Bill 56 would award a bonus to teachers who are recipients of a National Board for Professional Teaching certificate. Senate Bill 333 would base the ratio of students pursuing a nursing career on the school’s total net enrollment. House Bill 2795 would create a special hunting and fishing license for persons with a life-threatening condition who are under twenty-one years of age.

The Montclaire String Quartet from the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra performed several compositions in the Senate chamber this morning before session began. The quartet performed a majestically sweeping rendition of West Virginia’s state song, West Virginia Hills. Members of the quartet were: (top, from left) Amelia Chan, Margie Cooper (bottom, from left) Sandra Groce and Andrea Digregorio.




The following committees will meet today:
Banking & Insurance – Immediately upon adjournment – Senate Chamber
Government Organization - 1:00 p.m. - 208W
Agriculture - 2:00 p.m. - 208 W
Pensions - 2:00 p.m. - 451M
Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Economic Development - 9:00 a.m. - 451M

The Senate is in recess until 5:00 p.m.



Monday, March 30, 2009 - 01:26 PM

House Passes Bill Granting Salary Bonuses for Renewed Teaching Certificates
Seven bills were presented on third reading today and all passed on to the Senate for its consideration. This makes the total number of bills passed in the House to date at 109. Some of the bills passed today include: House Bill 2753 would continue the Design-Build Pilot Program of the Division of Highways until June, 2011. The bill would amend the pilot program to allow ten additional special projects. It specifies that an aggregate total of $150 million would be expended by the Division of Highways for the projects.

House Bill 2957 would develop a program to collect the name, longitudinal and latitudinal data of all cemeteries within West Virginia through the WVU county cooperative extension services. Once implemented, extension workers, along with members of local 4-H organizations, would collect the data with GPS devices. They would provide the data to the Historic Preservation Section of the Division of Culture and History, which would serve as a repository for the information.

House Bill 2967 would encourage teachers who have achieved a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certificate to renew their certifications when they expire after 10 years. The bill clarifies that the $3,500 bonus would be paid to teachers with a renewed certificate in each year it is valid. It also authorizes a reimbursement of the renewal certification fee (currently $1,150) for teachers who complete renewal.

Twenty-six bills were on second reading today, and 41 were on first reading. House action is picking up as legislative deadlines have passed and are approaching. The 47th Day deadline passed yesterday and bills were due out of committees in their house of origin. This ensures three full days of reading before the April 1 cross-over deadline.

The following committees will meet today:
Judiciary- 1:15 p.m.- 410M
Health and Human Resources- 4 p.m.- 215E

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

›› Completed Legislation

Friday, March 27, 2009 - 05:54 PM

Four Bills Move in House Evening Session
The House reconvened at 5 p.m. to vote on legislation, advance the reading of bills and receive reports from committees. House Bill 3192 would require reports to the Governor from state agencies to be made available electronically. House Bill 3196 would declare certain claims against the state and its agencies to be moral obligations of the state. House Bill 3208 would include the hours of training county board members have acquired on the county report card. All of these bills passed unanimously.

House Bill 3340 would require the Higher Education Policy Commission, WV Council for Community and Technical College Education and State Board of Education to establish and maintain a longitudinal student data system and share education data. Federal Stimulus funds are available for states that use data to improve student achievement. Educators and Policymakers can use the system to analyze and assess student progress from early leaning programs, through post-secondary education and into the workforce.

The Finance and Judiciary committees reported dozens of bills to the floor this evening. Government Organization reported one bill, House Bill 2388. It would redefine the authority of the Racing Commission. The bill would increase members from 3 to 5, and change the qualifications for members. It would also create the position of Director of Racing.

Eight bills were presented on second reading such as: House Bill 2767 which would change the membership of the PEIA Financial Board; House Bill 2747 would create a temporary reinvestment fee for health insurers, third party administrators and others; and House Bill 2753 relates to the continuation of the Design-Build Program.

The House will adjourn until 11 a.m. on Monday.



Friday, March 27, 2009 - 03:08 PM

Senate Receives Committee Reports in Afternoon Session
The Senate reconvened at 2:30 p.m. today for a brief afternoon session to receive reports from standing committees. Among those bills received were Senate Bill 84, which would authorize municipalities to provide free parking for certain veterans, Senate Bill 388, which would create a new vehicle purchase tax credit and provide a full tax deduction for the purchase of a new car in the 2009 tax year and Senate Bill 621, which would allow private property owners to prohibit weapons, openly or concealed, on their properties.

The following committees will meet Monday:
Finance - 9:00 a.m. - 451M
Agriculture - 2:00 p.m. - 208W
Pensions - 2:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W

The Senate will reconvene at 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 30.



Friday, March 27, 2009 - 01:26 PM

Appalachian Children's Chorus Sings for the Senate, Six Bills Pass Chamber
The Senate passed six bills on third reading today and sent them to the House for consideration. Senate Bill 336 would change the failure to wear seatbelt from a secondary to a primary offense. This bill would also reduce the fine for offenders and no longer take away points from the offender's license. House Bill 2795 was passed in the Senate with amendments and sent to the House to be approved. The bill would create a special hunting and fishing license for persons with a life-threatening condition who are under twenty-one years of age.

The Appalachian Children's Chorus (pictured) sang before the Senate today. They performed renditions of "Peace on Earth" and "Take Me Home, Country Roads." The St. Joseph High School Lady Irish basketball team was honored today with Senate Resolution 48 for winning the 2009 Class A championship. Senate Resolution 49 recognized the West Virginia University Rifle Team for winning the 2009 NCAA championship.

The following committees will meet today:
Government Organizations - 12:45 p.m. - 208W
Judiciary - 1:30 p.m. - 208W

The following committees will meet Monday:
Finance - 9:00 a.m. - 451M
Agriculture - 2:00 p.m. - 208W
Pensions - 2:00 p.m. - 451M

The Senate is in recess until 2:30 p.m.



Friday, March 27, 2009 - 01:20 PM

House Passes 13 Bills During Morning Session, Adjourns Until Evening

The House will have another split session today and the Judiciary, Finance, Government Organization and Health and Human Resources committees will meet before they reconvene at 5 p.m. Time is running out to report bills from House committees to the floor, as the March 29 deadline is approaching.

The House passed 13 bills today and they will now move to the Senate for its consideration. House Bill 2464 would authorize county commission to designate location for early voting other than the county coutrhouse or annex. Upon discussion, the Judiciary chair informed members that the county clerks were in support of the bill. The bill passed 72-25.

House Bill 2621 would prohibit the use of cell phone and text messaging devices while operating a motor vehicle except when using a hands-free device or in the case of emergency. The House passed the bill 80-18. The first law banning the use of hand-held cell phones was driving was passed in New York in 2001.

House Bill 2885 would streamline the credentialing process for health care providers by establishing a uniform credentialing application, and creating a single Credentialing Verification Organization (CVO). Eight members voted against this bill.

The WVU Rifle Team (picured) was also recognized for winning the 2009 NCAA Championship earlier this month. They are the only team at WVU to have won a NCAA Championship, having won 14.

The following committees will meet today:
Judiciary- 12:30 p.m.- 410M
Finance- 12:30 p.m.- 460M
Government Organization- 3 p.m.- 215E
Health and Human Resources- 4 p.m.- 215E

The House will be in recess until 5 p.m.



Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 06:01 PM

House Evening Sessions Help Streamline Legislative Process
The House reconvened at 5 p.m. to receive several committee reports. By receiving these reports in the evening, the House is able to place recommended bills on the next days calendar. This speeds up the process during these final days of the Legislature. The House can also take up these reports and request the bills to be read for a first time during the session.

The Government Organization committee recommended a committee substitute to House Bill 2807. The bill recognizes Geographical Information System (GIS) User Groups such as the West Virginia Association of Geospatial Professionals to assist the development of the State GIS Plan.

The Judiciary committee submitted eight bills to the floor. House Bill 3224 relates to compensation for condemnation commissioners. The commissioners would now receive up to $200 for services in each eminent domain proceeding. House Bill 3194 would make knowingly filing false information with the Secretary of State a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, persons would be fined up to $1,000 or confined up to a year in jail.

The Education committee reported two bills this evening. The first (House Bill 3149) would change the board members of public service districts terms from six years to three years. The second ( House Bill 3146) relates to seniority rights for school service personnel.

Finance presented a plethora of bills, including: House Bill 3043 would prohibit extended coverage upon retirement based on years of service for new higher education employees; House Bill 2538 relates to supplemental funding for the provision of alternative programs for limited English speaking students; and House Bill 2870 would extend the deadline of the buyback provision provided under the Teachers' Defined Contribution Retirement System to the State Teachers Retirement System.

The House also received messages of passage from the Senate and those bills were assigned to the appropriate committees.

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Judiciary- 9 a.m.- 410M
Government Organization- 9:30 a.m.- 215E
Finance- 9:30 a.m.- 460M

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



Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 05:57 PM

Senate Receives Committee Reports in Evening Session
The Senate reconvened at 5:00 p.m. today to hold an evening floor session. Committee reports were received including Senate Bill 327, which would allow cities and other government agencies to title and operate mini-trucks for limited use on public highways with certain restrictions, Senate Bill 672, which would create the Mental Health Stabilization Act of 2009 and Senate Bill 763, which would clarify the Racing Commission's authority over certain thoroughbred race horses' registration.

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Finance - 9:00 a.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 9:00 a.m. - 208W
Transportation and Infrastructure - 10:00 a.m. - 451M

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



Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 02:12 PM

Capitol Belongs to the Wild: Legislature Celebrates Wildlife Diversity Day
Division of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Diversity Day was held at the State Capitol today. Many species of wildlife, some live, some stuffed, and some animatronic were on display to educate the public on animal life in the Mountain State. Species varied from some being native to West Virginia and others originating from all over the globe. Representatives from the DNR as well as other ecologically friendly groups brought educational information, as well as made presentations on how to recognize animals and plants around the state and how to better preserve West Virginia's natural beauty for generations to enjoy.

Pictured here is a Black Rat Snake which can be found in every county throughout West Virginia. These reptiles are known for their ability to habitate any region. As long as an area can accomodate the simple needs of food and cover, a Black Rat Snake can call that area home. Although the Black Rat Snake can feed on a number of other species, it prefers small mammals such as rats, which is how it got its name. Brave visitors who touched the Black Rat Snake could be seen throughout the halls proudly displaying stickers that read "I Touched a Snake Today."

Next is Mr. T, a 60-year-old desert tortoise, from the Zoo at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, WV. The desert tortoise, a species of tortoise native to the deserts of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, can grow from 4–6" in height and weigh 8–15 lb when fully grown. They also live to be 80-100 years old.

Also pictured (top) is Thunder, a female bald eagle from the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Morgantown, West Virginia. The WVRRC rehabilitates injured birds of prey along with continuing environmental education programs for the general public. As part of their outreach, the WVRRC offers presentations for schools and interest community groups. Thunder has been part of the WVRRC family since December 1992. She was hatched April 28th, 1992 and will be celebrating her 17th birthday next month.



Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 01:36 PM

House Honors the Late Tom Searls and 11 Bills Move to Senate
Fond memories swept over the Chamber as lawmakers adopted House Resolution 43 which commemorates the life of Glenn Thomas "Tom" Searls. An extraordinary reporter, friend, Marshall University alum, and loyal West Virginian, Searls had a passion for news at an early age. Growing up in Marmet, he sold the WV HillBilly and the The Grit door to door and also delivered The Charleston Gazette for which he would later write. In 2005 he was named Journalist of the Year by the West Virginia Association for Justice.

An expert in West Virginia State and small-town politics, Searls was highly respected by his peers. Robert C. Byrd called him a "reporter's reporter" upon Searls death on August 14, 2008.

After the resolution was presented, the House received messages from the Senate. The House concurred with an amendment on House Bill 3083 which would change the title. The bill would now become the fourth piece of completed legislative action.

Eleven bills passed the House today. House Bill 2702, House Bill 2703 and House Bill 2770 clarify language and provide technical clean-up to existing acts.

Most bills were passed unanimously such as House Bill 2535 which would create a solar tax credit for certain solar energy systems and House Bill 2734 which would guarantee that teachers would receive all of their money back if they transferred from the Teachers Defined Contribution System to the Teachers Retirement System.

House Bill 2567 was passed 93-3 and it relates to filing agency rules with the Secretary of State. The bill would require all agencies, boards and commissions that have rulemaking authority, to file all provisions of proposed rules electronically. Only one nay was recorded when House Bill 2722 passed. The bill would provide a $100 tax credit to certain businesses that are required to reprogram its cash registers because of a change in the food tax. These bills will now go to the Senate for its consideration.

The following committees will meet today:
Finance- 1:30 p.m.- 460M
Judiciary- 2 p.m.- 410M
Education- 3:30 p.m.- 434M

The House is in recess until 5 p.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 01:09 PM

Senate Passes Five Bills, Memoralizes Fallen Nicholas County Firefighters
Today the Senate passed five bills and sent them to the House for their consideration. Senate Bill 425 would require a disclosure highlighting the higher annual percentage rate in any refinancing of a consumer loan or sale that is not secured by residential real estate. Senate Bill 648 would require manual vote counting in certain counties. Senate Bill 650 would make the penalty for accessory-after-the-fact to certain crimes be made a felony.

The Senate read eight bills on second reading. House Bill 2795 would create a special hunting and fishing license for persons with a life-threatening condition who are under twenty-one years of age. Senate Bill 55 would base school nurse ratio on total net enrollment. Senate Bill 336 would change the failure to wear a seatbelt from a secondary to a primary offense.

All bills on first reading were immediately advanced to second reading.

The Senate adopted four resolutions today. Senate Resolution 44 memorialized Nicholas County firefighters Johnnie Hammons and Timothy Nicholas who were killed in the line of duty. Senate Resolution 45 designated March 26, 2009, "WV Home School Day." Senate Resolution 46 recognized May as “Lyme Disease Awareness Month.” Senate Resolution 47 congratulated North Marion High School girl's basketball team (pictured) for winning 2009 Class AAA championship.

The following committees will meet today:
Government Organization - 1:00 p.m. - 208W
Health & Human Resources - 1:00 p.m. - 451M
Banking and Insurance - 2:00 p.m. - 208W
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 451M
Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Finance - 9:00 a.m. - 451M
Transportation and Infrastructure - 10:00 a.m. - 451M

The Senate is in recess until 5:00 p.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 06:10 PM

Senate Passes School Calendar Bill to House
The Senate reconvened at 5:00 p.m. today to hold an evening floor session to present Senate Bill 249 on third reading. Senate Bill 249 would provide more flexibility to help schools achieve a 180-day curricular year. It passed and will be considered in the House in the coming weeks.

The Senate also received reports from standing committees. Eight of these bills were presented on first reading. Of these, Senate Bill 726 would create the WV Service Members Civil Relief Act and Senate Bill 744 relates to child custody plans for National Guard or military reserve parents.

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



Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 06:01 PM

House Passes Five Bills During Evening Session
The House met at 5:00 p.m. this evening where they continued business from today's House Calendar. During this time, five additional bills were passed, bringing the total number of bills passed by the House to 73.

Of those bills passed, House Bill 3086 would permit home incarceration supervisors to carry handguns in the course of their official duties. The bill would require that before such supervisors may carry handguns they must meet specialized qualifications established by the Governor's Committee on Crime, Delinquency and Correction, including the successful completion of handgun training program and a minimum of four hours training in handgun safety.

House Bill 2884 would establish a public-private state long-term care partnership program with the purpose of reducing Medicaid costs for long-term care, by encouraging the purchase of private long-term care insurance policies. These private insurance policies would be covered under long-term care insurance partnerships with the state.

Eleven bills were advanced to third reading today. Of those bills advanced, House Bill 2470 would exempt all schools, grades k-12, from paying consumer sales tax on items sold by the school.

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Judiciary - 9:00 a.m. - 410M
Government Organization - 9:30 a.m. - 215-E
Finance - 9:30 a.m. - 460M
Finance - 1:00 p.m. - 460M

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



Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 03:29 PM

House Has Passed Over 60 Bills to Date
Today in the House, seven bill passed, bringing the total number of bills passed by the House to 68. Of those bills passed, House Bill 2413 would raise the upper level age restriction for new hires for certain law enforcement agencies from thirty-five to forty-five years of age.

House Bill 2771 would require contractors to submit documentation that they have complied with the requirements of this article prior to the final payment for their work is made. This bill would define that a contract under this section would have a price floor set at $50,000. The bill would also not require employees who must submit to federal Department of Transportation drug testing to submit to further drug testing under this article. The bill requires a contractor to submit at least once a year documentation to the awarding agency on its drug-free workplace policy.

The following committees will meet today:
Federal Stimulus Utilization - 4:00 p.m. - 460M
Health and Human Resources - 4:00 p.m. - 215-E

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Judiciary - 9:00 a.m. - 410M

The House is in recess until 5:00 p.m. today.



Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 12:56 PM

House Bill 3083 Passes Senate, Reduces Age Limit For Blood Donation
Today, the Senate passed 10 bills. House Bill 3083 was passed, making it the fourth bill to complete legislative action this session. It would permit blood donations by sixteen-year-olds with parental consent. Senate Bill 493 also passed, which would transfer the central registry for head injuries to the Center for Excellence in Disabilities. Senate Bill 249, which would relate to the annual school calendar, is to be a special order of business during the evening floor session. Senate Bill 493 and Senate Bill 249 will be sent to the House for consideration.

Six bills were presented on second reading today. Senate Bill 436 would update terminology relating to surface mining reporting requirements. Senate Bill 648 would require manual vote counting in certain counties. Only five were advanced to third reading, as Senate Bill 581 was recommitted to the Judiciary Committee.

Twenty-five bills were presented on first reading today. Senate Bill 55 would limits Social Security number requirement in securing state services. House Bill 2795 would create a special hunting and fishing license for persons with a life-threatening condition who are under 21 years of age. These bills have been advanced to second reading, to be presented tomorrow.

The Senate adopted three resolutions today. Senate Resolution 41 celebrates West Virginia Automobile Dealers Day. Senate Resolution 42 congratulated the Lady Bobcats basketball team of Summers County High School for winning the 2009 Class AA championship. Senate Resolution 43 recognizes Behavioral Healthcare Providers Association and Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors.

The following committees will meet today:
Confirmations - 1:15 p.m. - 208W
Government Organization - 2:00 p.m. - 208W
Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W

The Economic Development Committee will meet immediately after the 5:00 p.m. session.

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Finance - 9:00 a.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 10:00 a.m. - 208W
Health and Human Resources - 1:00 p.m. - 451M
Banking and Insurance - 2:00 p.m. - 208W
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 451M
Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W
Education - 5:00 p.m. - 451M

The Senate is in recess until 5:00 p.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 05:36 PM

House Holds Evening Session to Receive Committee Reports
The House met today at 5:00 p.m. for a brief session, where they received reports from the House Committees on Government Organization, Judiciary, and Education.

The House Committee on Government Organization reported 14 bills. Of those bills reported, House Bill 3195 would establish a funding mechanism for state aid for local health departments. The bill has passed through Government Organization and has been sent to the Finance Committee for further review.

The Judiciary Committee also reported 14 bills. Of those, House Bill 2241 would provide a misdemeanor penalty for violations of law and rules on credit card solicitation on college campuses. The bill has passed the Judiciary Committee and will be placed on the House Calendar.

The House Committee on Education reported 8 bills to the floor. House Bill 3123 would provide for the donation and transfer of personal computers and other information systems to the Department of Education when these commodities are being disposed of by state agency spending units. The bill has passed the Education Committee and will be placed on the House Calendar.

The House will reconvene tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 01:27 PM

The Art and Soul of the Mountains Fills the Capitol
In 1997, the West Virginia Legislature hosted the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC). While entertaining lawmakers from 13 Southern States, state lawmakers touted a conference theme entitled “The Art and Soul of the Mountains”.

In 2009, lawmakers continue to support the talents and inspiration of artisans and musicians, both young and old, whose diligence and love of craftsmanship and performing arts maintains the backbone of the state’s heart and soul.

Performing in the Rotunda during “Arts Day”, musicians from Capital and South Charleston High Schools' Combined Orchestra, graced the rising dome with a classical repartee. The group recently returned from Atlanta, Georgia, where they participated in the 2009 National Orchestra Festival.

Steve Cassel, Tamarack Foundation member, provides an artistic insight into acrylic painting. The foundation is a statewide, independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to stimulate a creative economy by providing small business training and support services to artisans in all 55 counties.









Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 12:47 PM

March Lawmaking Madness
Today the Senate passed a number of bills, totaling a sweet sixteen. Among these were Senate Bill 399, which would create a senior hunting, fishing and trapping license and Senate Bill 526, which would relate to osteopathy post-doctoral training requirements. These bills will be taken up for consideration in the House in the coming weeks.

Thirteen bills were presented on second reading today. Senate Bill 535 would authorize municipalities and county commissions to set a closing time for certain bars. Senate Bill 328 would create the WV Transportation Finance Commission. House Bill 3083 would permit blood donations by sixteen-year-olds with parental consent.

Four bills were presented on first reading today. Senate Bill 436 would update terminology relating to surface mining reporting requirements. Senate Bill 650 would increase penalties for certain accessory after the fact crimes. These bills have been advanced to second reading, to be presented tomorrow.

Senate Resolution 40 was also adopted today, in honor of the Logan High School baseball team winning the 2008 Class AA State Championship.

The following committees will meet today:
Health and Human Resources - 1:00 p.m. - 451M
Banking and Insurance - 2:00 p.m. - 208W
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 451M
Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W
Education - 5:00 p.m. - 451M

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Economic Development - 9:00 a.m. - 208W
Energy, Industry and Mining - 10:00 a.m. - 208W
Natural Resources - 1:00 p.m. - 208W
Confirmations - 1:15 p.m. - 208W
Government Organization - 2:00 p.m. - 208W
Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W

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

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 12:32 PM

Bill Passed Would Potentially Save State Money , 11 Bills Advance to Third Reading
Today in the House, one bill passed, bringing the total number of bills passed by the House to 61. House Bill 3074 would allow the Secretary of State to notify people with delinquent taxes by way of certified mail. Currently, the Secretary of State is only authorized to carry out this action through registered mail. This bill would save the state $1,200/year.

Eleven bills were advanced to third reading today. Of those bills advanced, House Bill 2771 would require contractors to submit documentation that they have complied with the requirements of this article prior to the final payment for their work is made. This bill would define that a contract under this section would have a price floor set at $50,000. The bill would also not require employees who must submit to federal Department of Transportation drug testing to submit to further drug testing under this article. The bill requires a contractor to submit at least once a year documentation to the awarding agency on its drug-free workplace policy.

Today, the House recognized the Wildcats baseball team from Logan High School. The team was presented with a formal citation from the Speaker of the House, recognizing their outstanding accomplishment in winning the State AA Championship in 2008.

The following committees will meet today:
Finance - 1:00 p.m. - 460M
Judiciary (Subcommittee A) - 1:15 p.m. - 410M
Government Organization - 1:30 p.m. - 215-E
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 434M
Judiciary - 2:00 p.m. - 410M
Judiciary (Subcommittee C) - Following 5:00 p.m. session - 410M


The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Agriculture - 8:30 a.m. - 215-E
Banking and Insurance - 10:00 a.m. - 215-E
Political Subdivisions - 10:00 a.m. - 460M
Constitutional Revision - 2:00 p.m. - 418M
Senior Issues - 3:00 p.m. - 215-E
Federal Stimulus Utilization - 4:00 p.m. - 460M
Health and Human Resources - 4:00 p.m. - 215-E

The House is in recess until 5:00 p.m. today.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Monday, March 23, 2009 - 05:40 PM

Senate Holds Brief Session to Meet Bill Introduction Deadline
The Senate reconvened at 5:00 p.m. today to hold a floor session to introduce bills because today was the deadline to introduce certain bills on the Legislative Calendar. Forty-four bills were received this evening, making the total of bills introduced so far this session 758.

Of these bills, Senate Bill 729 would establish the 21st Century Economic Development Fund. Senate Bill 736 would relate to the Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology. Senate Bill 750 would relate to teacher certification and shortages.

The Senate also received reports from standing committees and will reconvene tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Monday, March 23, 2009 - 05:31 PM

House Meets in Evening Session to Receive Finance Reports
The House met today at 5:00 p.m. for a brief session, where they received reports from the House Committee on Finance. The reports included 9 bills that are under consideration by the committee.

One bill was also introduced during the session. House Bill 3339 , would facilitate the complete closure of the EPA Services Landfill, otherwise known as the "Gwinn", located in Summers County. The bill would have the director of the Solid Waste Management Board set the closure as a top priority use of Solid Waste Facility Closure Cost Assistance Fund moneys.

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

›› House bills introduced on this date


Monday, March 23, 2009 - 01:00 PM

Senate Celebrates Two West Virginians for Lifelong Accomplishments
The Senate adopted two resolutions celebrating the lives and accomplishments of two West Virginians today. Senate Resolution 38 recognizes Patrolman First Class Ryan Nelson Bentley, who recently suffered a gunshot wounds in the line of duty in Huntington. Senate Resolution 39 recognized Estil L. Bevins, former Senate Sergeant At Arms and former Mayor of Williamson.

Nine bills were passed in the Senate today. Of these, Senate Bill 521 would include telecommunications devices as jail contraband and Senate Bill 75 would establish alcohol use by minors as a juvenile delinquent offense. These bills will be taken up for consideration in the House in the coming weeks.

19 bills were presented on second reading today. Among these were Senate Bill 399, which would create a senior hunting, fishing and trapping license and Senate Bill 648, which would require manual vote counting in certain counties. Senate Bill 581 would permit 16-year-olds to donate blood with parental consent. Senate Bill 648 and Senate Bill 581 were held over for a day, and will be presented again on the calendar for Tuesday.

10 bills were presented on first reading today. Senate Bill 249 would relate to the annual school calendar. Senate Bill 293 would create a felony offense of unauthorized practice of certain health care professions. These bills have been advanced to second reading, to be presented tomorrow.

Today was the last day to introduce bills and 52 bills were received today. This brings the total of bills that have been introduced in the Senate since the beginning of this session to 714. Senate Bill 680 would establish a 2010 calendar year average motor fuel wholesale price. Senate Bill 709 would relate to the prevention of predatory lending practices.

The following committees will meet today:
Natural Resources - 1:00 p.m. - 208W
Pensions - 2:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Economic Development - 9:00 a.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 9:30 a.m. - 208W
Government Organization - 10:15 p.m. - 208W
Transportation and Infrastructure - 10:00 a.m. - 451M
Health and Human Resources - 1:00 p.m. - 451M
Banking and Insurance - 2:00 p.m. - 208W
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 451M
Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W
Education - 5:00 p.m. - 451M

The Senate has recessed until 5:00 p.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Monday, March 23, 2009 - 12:51 PM

Legislative Landmark Days Approach, Today Last Day to Introduce Most Bills
As the Legislature reaches the last few weeks of the 2009 Regular Session, the Calendar plays an ever-increasing role in legislative actions. Several deadlines, established by both procedural and constitutional rules, come into play as the final day of session approaches. The following is a list of these upcoming deadlines:

March 23, 2009 (41st Day) - Last day to introduce bills in the Senate and the House. (Senate Rule 14, House Rule 91a) Does not apply to originating or supplementary appropriation bills. Does not apply to Senate or House resolution or concurrent resolutions.

March 29 (47th Day) Bills are due out of committees in their house of origin to ensure three full days of reading.

April 1 (50th Day) “Crossover Day” - Final day for bills to be considered in house of origin. As per Joint Rule 5, the 50th day of session is the final day for bills to be considered in their house of origin. House bills must be out of the House, and Senate bills must be out of the Senate. This rule doesn’t apply to budget bills or supplementary appropriations. The rule can also be suspended for a particular bill by concurrent resolution approved by two-thirds of both chambers.

April 8th (57th Day) - Last day for most committee reports. In order to guarantee three full days of reading, committee reports are due on this day. Bills reported out of committee on the 58th day must be taken up for immediate consideration and read a first time to guarantee three full days. Committee reports can also be received on the final two days of session, but the constitutional rule requiring a bill be read on three separate days must be suspended by a four-fifths vote of those members present per the West Virginia Constitution §6-29.

April 11th (60th Day)- Final day of regular session. According to §6-22 of the West Virginia Constitution, the regular session cannot exceed 60 calendar days from the second Wednesday of January. Traditionally, the Legislature adjourns sine die at midnight on this day before immediately going into extended session for the purpose of finalizing the budget. However, the regular session can be extended for other purposes by a two-thirds vote by both houses.

Beyond March 8 - Extended Budget Session If the Legislature hasn’t passed the budget bill before the 57th day of session, the Governor is required by the West Virginia Constitution (§6-51D) to issue a proclamation extending the session for the sole purpose of finalizing the budget. This allows the Legislature to consider the financial impact of the bills it passed during the regular session. During this extended session, budget conferees from the House and Senate meet to work out a final version of the budget, which must then be passed by both bodies before going to the Governor.



Monday, March 23, 2009 - 12:51 PM

Two Income Tax Bills Complete Legislative Action
Senate Bill 329 will update terms in the Personal Income Tax Act. The bill will update the meaning of "federal adjusted gross income" and certain other terms used, but not defined in the West Virginia Personal Income Tax Act to conform them to the federal act.

Senate Bill 410 will update terms in the Corporation Net Income Tax Act. This bill, much like Senate Bill 329, will update the meaning of "federal taxable income" and certain other terms in the West Virginia Corporation Net Income Tax Act to conform them to the Internal Revenue Service's definitions.

Seven bills passed in the House today, bringing the total number of bills passed by the House to 60. Of those bills passed, House Bill 2836 , which is by request of the governor, deals with school innovation zones. This bill would establish zones of educational innovation that would enable faculty members to collaboratively create and implement initiatives that would have our schools meeting the needs of the 21st century. Currently these improvements are restrained and/or restricted by policies issued by the state board or the West Virginia Code. This bill would repeal current restrictions and schools would be able to begin implementation initiatives they see fit for the improvement of education.

Three West Virginia high school athletic programs were recognized today for their outstanding achievements during the 08-09 seasons. Willamstown High School's football and girls' track teams, along with Parkersburg South High School's wrestling team (pictured), were all formerly presented with citations today by the Speaker of the House.

The following committees will meet today:
Judiciary (Subcommittee C) - 1:00 p.m. - 410M
Finance - 1:30 p.m. - 460M
Education (Subcommittee D) - 2:00 p.m. - 434M
Judiciary - 2:00 p.m. - 410M
Health and Human Resources - 4:00 p.m. - 215-E

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Education (Subcommittee C) - 9:00 a.m. - 434M
Government Organization - 9:00 a.m. - 215-E
Judiciary - 9:00 a.m. - 410M
Education (Subcommittee B) - 10:00 a.m. - 434M
Finance - 1:00 p.m. - 460M
Government Organization - 1:30 p.m. - 215-E

The House is in recess until 5:00 p.m. today.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Friday, March 20, 2009 - 03:29 PM

Jammin' at the Legislature
Students from Lewis County High School were pickin’ and pluckin’ in the well area of the Capitol today. Lawmakers, visitors and staff gathered to hear the toe tapping sounds of LC Blue.

Started in 2000, this volunteer after school program continues to make great strides in preserving heritage music in their area and around the state.

There are currently six seniors and four sophmores that meet once a week to play and pratice. The seniors have been involved for all four years of their high school career. Richie Jones and Samantha Lowther pluck the banjos; Rex Putnam stands tall with the bass; Zeb Davisson and Zach Cochran strum the guitars; and Ashley Burkhammer and Shae McClain are fit with the fiddles. Mark Lynch is the director of the program and lead his group today with the mandolin.

LC Blue has received strong community support and have traveled all over the state. They also played the main stage at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival in August 2008. If you are interested in hearing the dynamic sounds of LC Blue, you can purchase one of their two CD’s from Mark Lynch at 304-472-0702. You can also visit their Myspace page



Friday, March 20, 2009 - 01:09 PM

Friday is Filled with Music in the House
Members of the House began their session on a high note today. The House Chambers were filled with the sounds of bluegrass and melodic voices on Friday.

First, to represent West Virginia bluegrass traditions, members of the LC Blue, a bluegrass band from Lewis County High School, performed two traditional bluegrass numbers. Following their performance, the Choir from Winfield High School sang two selections, including "These West Virginia Hills." Winfield High School was also presented with a formal citation to congratulate them on being a West Virginia "exemplary school."

Five bills were passed today, bringing the total number of bills passed by the House to 55. Of those bills passed, House Bill 3083 would permit persons age 16 to donate blood with parental consent.

Eight bills were advanced to third reading, which will be on the calendar for Monday's session. Of the bills advanced, House Bill 2836 , which is by request of the governor, deals with school innovation zones. This bill would establish zones of educational innovation that would enable faculty members to collaboratively create and implement initiatives that would have our schools meeting the needs of the 21st century.

The following committees will meet Monday:

Judiciary (Subcommittee A) - 8:30 a.m. - 410M
Finance (Subcommittee C) - 9:30 a.m. - 460M
Finance - 1:30 p.m. - 460M

The House will reconvene Monday at 11:00 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Friday, March 20, 2009 - 12:46 PM

Senate Celebrates Higher Education Day
The Senate adopted 3 resolutions today. Through the adoption of links: House Resolution 35, the Senate is honoring John Joseph Kenneth Cole, WVU Chief of Staff. House Resolution 37 was adopted to honor Dr. C. Peter Magrath, WVU Interim President.

House Resolution 36 was adopted to designate March 20, 2009 as "Higher Education Day." Representatives of each college and university were present in the Senate to accept a copy of the resolution during the floor session today. Each of the colleges and universities across the state were also in attendance to give presentations in the well area surrounding the House and Senate.

One bill was passed today. Senate Bill 279 would relate to industrial accidents and emergency response regulations. The bill will be taken up for consideration in the House in the coming weeks.

Ten bills were presented on second reading today. Senate Bill 581 would permit 16-year-olds to donate blood with parental consent. This bill was held over yesterday and today, to be presented again on the calendar on Monday. Also presented on second reading were Senate Bill 521, which would include telecommunications devices as jail contraband, and Senate Bill 75, which would establish alcohol use by minors as a juvenile delinquent offense.

20 bills were presented on first reading today. Among these were Senate Bill 399, which would create a senior hunting, fishing and trapping license and Senate Bill 648, which would require manual vote counting in certain counties.

Finally, 14 bills were introduced today. This brings the total of bills that have been introduced in the Senate since the beginning of this session to 662. Senate Bill 651 would increase teacher salaries. Senate Bill 657 would clarify terroristic threats as a felony.

The following committees will meet on Monday:
Natural Resources - 1:00 p.m. - 208W
Pensions - 2:00 p.m. - 451M

The Senate will reconvene Monday, March 23 at 11:00 a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 01:39 PM

House Adopts Resolution in Support of Children's Day, Four Bills Passed
Today in the House, three resolutions were adopted. These included a concurrent resolution that if adopted by the Senate as well, would memorialize the life of a former governor, and one which conveys the members' support of children's day at the Capitol and early education.

House Resolution 36, urges the U.S. Congress to enact the Education Begins at Home Act, and provide funding to states for voluntary In-Home Family Education programs. This resolution is a way for the House to communicate the importance of the programs provided by the act. These programs help address the challenges faced by families throughout West Virginia by providing voluntary parenting education and support, and helps parents understand their role as their child's first and most important teacher.

House Concurrent Resolution 40 celebrates the life and laments the death of Cecil H. Underwood, both the youngest and oldest Governor of the State of West Virginia. His family, (pictured above) were present in the House Chamber for the adoption of the resolution. The action will be communicated to the Senate, where the resolution would become official with their adoption of it.

Four bills were passed in the House today. Of the bills passed, House Bill 2952 would clarify that a terroristic threat is a felony regardless of whether the person(s) intend to actually commit the threatened act.

The following committees will meet today:

Finance - 1:30 p.m. - 460
Judiciary - 2:00 p.m. - 410
Judiciary (Subcommittee C) - 4:00 - 410

The following committees will meet tomorrow:

Education - 9:00 a.m. - 434
Judiciary - 9:00 a.m. - 410

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

›› House bills introduced on this date


Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 12:25 PM

Senate Advocates Children's Day, Sends Two Bills to the House
Through the adoption of Senate Resolution 34, the Senate is requesting that Congress enact the Education Begins at Home Act. Through this resolution, the Senate would communicate the importance of early education within the home to Congress, because it is commonly seen that early interaction sets the stage for a child's future.

Two bills were passed in the Senate today. Senate Bill 384 would authorize the Department of Transportation to take control of certain highway emergencies. Senate Bill 497 would relate to WV Partnership to Promote Community Well-Being. Both bills were passed unanimously.

Two bills were presented on second reading today. Senate Bill 279 would relate to industrial accidents and emergency response regulations. Senate Bill 581 would permit 16-year-olds to donate blood with parental consent. Senate bill 279 was advanced to third reading, but Senate Bill 581 was held over for a day to be presented on the calendar tomorrow on second reading once more.

Nine bills were presented on first reading. Included were Senate Bill 521, which would include telecommunications devices as jail contraband, and Senate Bill 75, which would establish alcohol use by minors as a juvenile delinquent offense.

Finally, 10 bills were introduced today. This brings the total of bills that have been introduced in the Senate since the beginning of this session to 646. Senate Bill 637 would prohibit texting while driving. Senate Bill 638 would relate to higher education employees' eligibility for service in the Legislature.

The following committees will meet today:
Health and Human Resources - 1:00 p.m. - 451M
Banking and Insurance Subcommittee - 2:00 p.m. - 208W
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 451M
Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W
Education - 5:00 p.m. - 451M

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Economic Development - 9:00 a.m. - 451M
Military - 9:30 a.m. - 208W
Transportation and Infrastructure - 10:00 a.m. - 451M

The Senate will reconvene Friday, March 20 at 11:00 a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 04:19 PM

Life Force Rescue Vehicle and Norwalk Motor Car Showcased at the Capitol
Lawmakers, visitors and staff gathered outside the Capitol today to witness a rescue demonstration by the Life Force Rescue Vehicle. The Life Force Rescue System facility is based out of Morgantown and they specialize in safety and speed for extrications and rescues. The vehicle is capable of operating four rescue tool circuits simultaneously, faster than any other manufacturer's rescue system and with no loss of power. Metal crunched and glass flew into the air as Chris Deberry and Bill Davis maneuvered equipment and sliced a car open in a matter of minutes. These high tech tools pull everything away from the inside of the vehicle which reduces the likelihood of injury to those trapped inside a car.
















The Norwalk Underslung Six Car was also on display today. The car was manufactured in Martinsburg in 1914. This classy vehicle was no cheap find, costing a whopping $3,100 in it’s year of manufacture. A Ford Model-T cost $250 at the same period of time. It’s easy to see why this was a high priced luxury. Forty inch wheels place the front fenders almost at a horizontal level with the hood. It also had an unheard of electric push button transmission.










Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 01:17 PM

Bill Passage Picks Up as 36th Day Comes to an End

Three bills were passed in the Senate today making the total so far at 38. Senate Bill 280 would create the Correctional Industries Act of 2009. The bill updates regulations and provides technical clean up. Senate Bill 302 would expand the municipal parking authorities ticketing powers. The bill would allow the parking authority to ticket if you are illegally parked. Senate Bill 321 would modify the certificate of need process. These bills will now move to the House for its consideration.

Several more bills were introduced today including: Senate Bill 628 would create the Unintentional Pharmaceutical Drug Overdose Fatality Review Team; Senate Bill 629 would increase penalties for crimes against government and health care workers; Senate Bill 632 would require insurers to share certain information with the Bureau of Medical Services.

Senate Resolution 33 designates March 18, 2009 as "Crime Victims Day." Many agencies and individuals serve victims of crime and their families in West Virginia. They strive to foster the healing of victims through treatment for their many needs such as medical treatment and mental health counseling. President Tomblin and the rest of the Senate welcomed ladies representing the West Virginia Legislature's Crime Victims Compensation Fund. Trish McElhaney is pictured speaking with the President after receiving the resolution.

The following committees will meet today:
Government Organization- 2 p.m.- 208W
Finance- 3 p.m.- 451M
Judiciary- 3 p.m.- 208W

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Finance- 9:30 a.m.- 451M
Judiciary- 10 a.m.- 208W

The Senate will convene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 12:50 PM

West Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind Sings for the House
The House of Delegates passed three bills today and communicated them to the Senate. House Bill 2839, which would relate to the management of pain by physicians, House Bill 2877, which would increase the fine for minors who misrepresent their age to buy alcohol, remove the possibility of incarceration and adding community service as punishment, and House Bill 2985, which would provide information on the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind to the guardian of a child with a visual or auditory impairment.

The West Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (pictured) graced the House today with a performance of several songs. Many members of the House joined along in singing "West Virginia Hills."

Today was designated as "Crime Victims Day at the Legislature" with House Resolution 35.

The following committees will meet Today:
Roads & Transportation - 2:00 p.m. - 215E
Senior Citizen Issues - 3:00 p.m. - 215E
Subcommittee A on Judiciary - 3:15 p.m. - 410M
Select Committee on Economic Stimulus - 4:00 p.m. - 460M
Health & Human Resources - 4:00 p.m. - 215E
Energy, Industry & Labor, Economic Development and Small Business - 4:00 p.m. - 460M
Subcommittee A on Pensions & Retirement - 4:00 p.m. - 215E

The following committees will meet Thursday, March 19:
Judiciary - 9:00 a.m. - 410M
Subcommittee E on Education - 9:00 a.m. - 434
Judiciary - 1:30 p.m. - 410M

The House will reconvene Thursday, March 19 at 11:00 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 01:45 PM

House Recognizes 2008 WVSSAC AA Football Champions, Passes Four Bills
The House of Delegates passed four bills today and sent them to the Senate. Among those were House Bill 2335, which would require state institutions of higher education to participate in the federal "Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program," and House Bill 2225, which would authorize the Department of Education and Arts to set forth certain legislative rules and the Division of Rehabilitation Services to set forth a legislative rule relating to the low vision driver training program.

The Grafton Highschool Bearcats football team (pictured) was honored today with House Resolution 31 for winning the 2008 WVSSAC AA Football Championship. Other resolutions included House Resolution 33, which recognized the West Virginia Division of Forestry for one hundred years of service to the citizens of West Virginia, and House Resolution 34, which designated the week of March 15 as West Virginia Professional Surveyors' Week.

The following committees will meet Today:
Finance - 1:30 p.m. - 460M
Government Organization - 1:30 p.m. - 215E
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 434M
Judiciary - 2:00 p.m. - 410M

The following committees will meet Wednesday, March 18:
Natural Resources - 9:15 a.m. - 215E
Banking & Insurance - 10:00 a.m. - 215E
Pensions & Retirement - 10:00 a.m. - 460M
Energy, Industry & Labor, Economic Development and Small Business - 1:00 p.m. - 434
Roads & Transportation - 2:00 p.m. - 215E
Senior Citizen Issues - 3:00 p.m. - 215E

The House will reconvene Wednesday, March 18 at 11:00 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 12:56 PM

Senate Goes Green on St. Patrick's Day
The voting board lit green as the Senate passed four bills today. Senate Bill 276 would impose a statute of limitation on certain real property civil actions. Senate Bill 466 would clarify the Division of Personnel's functions. Senate Bill 486 relates to the Division of Personnel Director's qualifications. Senate Bill 418 relates to municipalities fee requirements. The bill would require municipalities who impose a user fee to be transparent with where and how the money is spent. It faced slight opposition, but it will move on with the rest to the House for its consideration.

Many bills were introduced today. Some of which include: Senate Bill 616 would designate December 7, "Patriots of World II Day", as a state holiday; Senate Bill 617 would provide free hunting and fishing licenses to National Guard and reserve personnel; Senate Bill 621 would allow private property owners to prohibit concealed weapons; and Senate Bill 622 would create the State Labor Relations Act.

The Senate also congratulated the Grafton Bearcats on their AA State Championship win this year. It had been 30 years since Grafton High School won a state championship.



The following committees will meet today:
Education- 2 p.m.- 451M
Banking and Insurance- 2 p.m.- 208W
Finance- 3 p.m.- 451M
Judiciary- 3 p.m.- 208W

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Labor- 9 a.m.- 208W
Energy, Industry, Mining- 10 a.m.- 208W

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Monday, March 16, 2009 - 12:45 PM

Nine Bills Pass House, Special Presentation of Colors
The House opened with a special presentation of the flags by the West Virginia Division of Corrections Color Guard to commemorate House Resolution 30, which designated today as "Corrections Day."

There were nine bills that passed after third reading. Some of those bills included House Bill 2444, which would establish a Legislative Oversight Commission on Long-Term Care that has responsibility for reviewing the long-term care system and making recommendations for improvement; House Bill 2950, which would create the Neighborhood Housing and Economic Stabilization Program for low-income minority neighborhoods; and House Bill 2969, which would require firefighters to have annual hazardous materials training.

The following committees will meet Today:
Judiciary - 1:30 p.m. - 410M
Subcommittee C on Judiciary - Immediately following Judiciary - 410M
Subcommittee C on Education - 1:30 p.m. - 434
Subcommittee B on Insurance - 2:00 p.m. - 215E
Health & Human Resources - 3:00 p.m. - 215E
Subcommittee B on Health & Human Resources - 3:00 p.m. - 215E
Subcommittee C on Natural Resources - 3:00 p.m. - 204

The following committees will meet Tuesday, March 17:
Subcommittee on Education - 9:00 a.m. - 434
Finance - 1:30 p.m. - 460M

The House will reconvene Tuesday, March 17 at 11:00 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Monday, March 16, 2009 - 12:18 PM

Two Bills Pass and Senate Designates Corrections Day
Senate Resolution 30 was adopted today and it designated March, 16, 2009 as Corrections Day. It was no surprise to see many representatives from corrections facilities across the state around the well-area of the Capitol.

Two bills were on third reading today. Senate Bill 344 would authorize the mental hygiene commissioners to sign readmission orders and Senate Bill 445 would remove conservation supervisors election certification requirements. They were unanimously passed and will now move to the House for its consideration.

Several bills were presented on first reading today including: SB 280 would Create the Correctional Industries Act of 2009; SB 302 would expand the municipal parking authority officers’ ticketing powers; SB 321 would modify the certificate of need process; SB 384 would authorize the Department of Transportation to take control of certain highway emergencies; and SB 497 which relates to the WV Partnership to Promote Community Well-Being.

The following committees will meet today:
Natural Resources- 1 p.m.- 208W
Pensions- 2 p.m.- 451M
Agriculture- 2 p.m.- 208W
Judiciary- 3 p.m.- 208W
Finance- 3 p.m.- 451M

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Economic Development- 9 a.m.- 451M
Transportation and Infrastructure- 10 a.m.- 451M
Government Organization- 10 a.m.- 208W

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Friday, March 13, 2009 - 01:55 PM

Frasure Singleton Intern Recognizes Importance of Legislature

Today proved to be a busy Friday in the Senate as members debated Senate Bill 238 which would prohibit discrimination based upon age or sexual orientation. Several remarks were made in support and opposition but in the end the bill passed 23 yea to 10 nay. There is also a similar bill in the House.

Also passed today was Senate Bill 318 which would expand the Division of Protective Services' law-enforcement authority over state property under certain circumstances. Senate Bill 375 was moved and it relates to the Office of Coalfield Community Development master land use plans.

Katie Dean, a Frasure Singleton intern, ended her week with a speech to the Senate. Dean, a Junior from WVU, thanked Senators and staff for giving her the opportunity to be a part of the Legislative process. She said she learned a lot from her experience and is considering working for the government. She spoke on behalf of the Frasure Singleton interns who arrived at the Capitol at the beginning of this week. Participants are assigned to a legislator who will aid in explaining the lawmaking process. Interns will attend committee meetings and public hearings where legislation and issues are debated and discussed.

Red Cross representatives were also recognized in the Senate as Senate Resolution 29 was adopted. The resolution designates March, 2009, as American Red Cross Month. In 2008, more than 3,000 American Red Cross volunteers from West Virginia responded to more than 850 disasters statewide, assisted 2,300 military families through a wide variety of support programs and trained more than 70,000 people in life-saving courses such as CPR, First Aid and Water Safety.

The following committees with meet on Monday:
Pensions- 12 p.m.- 451M
Natural Resources- 1 p.m.- 208W
Agriculture- 2 p.m.- 208W

The Senate will reconvene on Monday March 16th at 11 a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Friday, March 13, 2009 - 12:15 PM

House Designates March as American Red Cross Month
The House designated the month of March 2009 as “American Red Cross Month” with House Resolution 29. The Red Cross brought along Ernie the Emergency Response Vehicle, an interactive remote control car. Children from Harrisville Elementary in Ritchie County (pictured) interacted with the educational miniature car.

The Frasure-Singleton interns were recognized as intern Jonathan Storage gave a speech on his and his fellow interns’ experiences of the week. He emphasized the professional and educational benefits of the internship program in which they learned by doing instead of studying in the classroom.

Doorkeeper Michael Harrison was recognized as this week’s winner of the Capital Steps Program. Capitol Steps is a walking program sponsored by the Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield that encourages workers from the Capitol to walk more and engage in more physical activities. The program will run the entire length of session.

Several bills were presented on second reading, including House Bill 2444, which would create the Legislative Oversight Commission on Long-Term Care and House Bill 2788, which would protect incapacitated adults from abuse or neglect by a care giver.

A number of resolutions were adopted today designating several bridge names. Some of those resolutions included House Resolution 14 naming the "Corporal William Dely Memorial Bridge," House Resolution 18 naming the "Chief Master Sergeant George Wallace Hedrick, Jr, Bridge," and House Resolution 21 naming the "Staff Sgt. Jeremy Alexander Brown Memorial Bridge."

The following committees will meet Monday March 16:
Banking and Insurance - 9:00 a.m. - 215E
Health and Human Resources - 3:00 p.m. - 215E
Subcommittee C on Natural Resources - 3:00 p.m. - 204E

The House will reconvene Monday, March 16 at 11:00 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 01:41 PM

Democratic Women Recognized, Today Designated as WV Press Association Day
Today in the House, a formal citation was presented to the West Virginia Federation of Democratic Women in recognition of their outstanding dedication and commitment to their party and the election process throughout West Virginia.

The House adopted House Resolution 28, which designated March 12, 2009 as West Virginia Press Association Day. This June marks the 140th anniversary of the West Virginia Press Association. At the time of conception, there were 52 newspapers in publication in the mountain state. Today, the Association represents 24 daily and 62 weekly newspaper throughout West Virginia.

Three bills were passed in the House today, bringing the total thus far to 30. Of those passed, House Bill 2931 would remove a severance tax on timber for tax years 2010 through 2013.

The following House Committees will meet today:

Education (Sub Committee A) - 1:30 p.m. - 434M
Education - 2:00 p.m. - House Chamber
Judiciary - 2:00 p.m. - 215E
Judiciary (Sub Committee C) - 3:00 p.m. - 432M

The following House Committees will meet tomorrow:

Health and Human Resources (Sub Committee A) - 9:00 a.m. - 215E
Judiciary - 9:30 a.m. - 215E

The House will reconvene Friday, March 13 at 11:00 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 01:31 PM

Senate Reaches the Halfway Point of the 2009 Session
Two bills were on first reading, a resolution was adopted and the Senate introduced several bills as the 2009 Regular Legislative Session reached the 30th day today. Senate Bill 344 would authorize mental hygiene commissioners to sign readmission orders and Senate Bill 445 would remove conservation supervisors' election certification requirements. Both of these bills were on first reading today.

Twenty two bills were introduced in the Senate today making the grand total number of Senate bills introduced to 1,102. Last session a total 2,134 bills were introduced in the Legislature but only 246 passed both chambers and became law.

Some of the bills introduced today include: Senate Bill 553 would create the Good Coal Company Neighbor Act; Senate Bill 554 would require a sex offender registry fee; Senate Bill 558 would create the Asbestos Claims Transparency Act, Senate Bill 573 would terminate the Pharmaceutical Cost Management Council.

Various members of the press were recognized today as the Senate adopted Senate Resolution 17 which designates March 12, 2009 as West Virginia Press Association Day. Representatives from the Webster Echo, Charleston Daily Mail, Parsons Advocate, Spirit of Jefferson and several others were presented with the resolution on the Senate Floor.

The following committees will meet today:
Banking and Insurance- 2 p.m.- 208W
Education- 2 p.m.- 451M
Finance- 3 p.m.- 451M
Judiciary- 3 p.m.- 208W

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Economic Development- 9 a.m.- 451M
Military- 9:30 a.m.- 208W
Transportation and Infrastructure- 10 a.m.- 451M

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 12:29 PM

History Comes Alive as Lincoln Visits Senate
Wheeling resident, James Edward Dague (pictured), made a special visit to the Senate today, but not as himself. To commemorate Lincoln's 200th birthday celebration at the Capitol, Dague arrived at the Senate Chamber as none other than President Abraham Lincoln. After taking the oath of office of the President of the United States, Dague gave Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address.

Three more bills passed the Senate today, bringing the total thus far to 23. Of those bills passed, Senate Bill 370 would permit only a community criminal justice board to require the payment of a supervisory fee by anyone participating in a community corrections program. Under current law, circuit judges, magistrates, and municipal court judges are also authorized to require the payment.

Eighteen bills were introduced today. Since the beginning of Session, 552 bills have been introduced in the Senate. Of those introduced today, Senate Bill 542 would terminate the payment of tolls on West Virginia's turnpikes.

The following committees will meet today:
Confirmations - 2:00 p.m. - 451M
Government Organization - 2:00 p.m. - 208W
Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Finance - 9:30 a.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 10:00 a.m. - 208W
Education (Higher Education Subcommittee C) - 4:00 p.m. - 451M

The Senate will reconvene Thursday, March 12 at 11:00 a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 12:04 PM

First Bill Completes Legislative Action
Senate Bill 403, will make supplemental appropriations from the State Road Fund to The Department of Transportation. The overall effect of this bill is a net increase in spending authority by $124 million. This bill will be returned to the Senate for approval. Once the message is received, the bill will be sent to the Governor for approval or veto.

Five other bills were passed today. House Bill 2404 would relate to inmate reimbursement for medical services provided to persons held in regional jails. House Bill 2539 would authorize professional licensing boards to combine administrative staff functions. House Bill 2684 would establish the West Virginia Drug Offender Accountability Act. House Bill 2719 would increase the maximum alcohol level in the state definition of "nonintoxicating beer." House Bill 2801 would update language and make technical changes and clarifications of the West Virginia Board of Medicine.

Five bills were presented on first reading. House Bill 2795 would create a special hunting and fishing license for persons with a life-threatening condition who are under 21 years of age. House Bill 2869 would lengthen the time frame for the filing of post-primary and post general campaign financial statements. House Bill 2931 would remove a severance tax on timber for tax years 2010 through 2013. House Bill 2950 would create the Neighborhood Housing and Economic Stabilization Program for low-income minority neighborhoods. House Bill 2841 would extend the time for the city council of Richwood to meet as a levying body.

In addition, 23 bills were introduced today. This brings the total of bills that have been introduced since the beginning of this session to 1080. House Bill 3058 would eliminate the use of light plastic bags. House Bill 3064 provide that persons sixty-five years of age and older may be admitted to athletic and other extracurricular activities of secondary schools without payment of admission fees. House Bill 3072 provide a full tax deduction for the purchase of a new automobile and providing an exemption from the sales tax in the tax year 2009.

The following committees will meet today:
Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business - 1:00 p.m. - 460M
Political Subdivisions - 1:00 p.m. - 215E
Judiciary - 1:30 p.m. - 410M
Roads and Transportation - 2:00 p.m. - 215E
Senior Citizen Issues - 3:00 p.m. - 215E
Federal Stimulus Utilization - 4:00 p.m. - 460M
Health and Human Resources - 4:00 p.m. - 215E

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Judiciary - 8:30 a.m. - 410M
Finance - 9:00 a.m. - 460M
Judiciary Subcommittee A - 9:00 a.m. - 410M
Finance - 1:00 p.m. - 460M
Education Subcommittee A - 2:00 p.m. - House Chamber Banking and Insurance - 3:00 p.m. - 252

The House will reconvene Thursday, March 12 at 11:00 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date
›› Completed Legislation

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 03:11 PM

Celebrate West Virginia Agriculture Day!
Today was West Virginia Agriculture and Conservation Day at the Legislature. The well area surrounding the Senate and House chambers was filled with informational booths run by agencies from around the state. A few booths provided snacks related to their agencies. Visitors and legislators could sample chips and hot salsa, honey, or ice cream, all made in West Virginia for today's events.

Standing next to a large taxidermed coyote, Christopher Croson welcomed and spoke with guests who came to inspect the still, curious-looking animal. A wildlife biologist, State Director of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for the USDA, explained that the service is mainly in charge of livestock protection from predators. They assist farmers in a hands-on environment to handle predator and livestock interactions, recommend procedures and assist in choosing guard dogs, and they also provide services in regards to removing predators, if needed. This is all carried out to make life safer and less stressful for livestock in the state.

Most complaints are against coyotes when it comes to livestock protection. There has been recent negative attention given to black vultures in the state because they are a foreign predator. However, there have only been three confirmed livestock predations this year, which is not too much of a concern. Black vultures are scavengers and only eat young livestock if they are very hungry. Farmers do need to alert the inspection service if there is a problem on their property.

Extension agents from West Virginia University and West Virginia State University were in attendance to represent each university, respectively. West Virginia State University gave small tomato plants to visitors and along with gardening advice. West Virginia University provided gardening calendars and information about their community programs to passersby.

Among numbers of other agencies, also present were the West Virginia Forestry Association, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, the West Virginia Beekeepers Association and the West Virginia Beef Industry Council.



Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 12:50 PM

Six Bills Pass Today in Senate Bringing Total to Twenty
Today in the Senate, six bills were passed and three were advanced to third reading. Among those passed, Senate Bill 251 would authorize county commissions, municipalities and boards of education that receive lottery revenues to issue bonds secured by these revenues to construct public projects. This would allow county commissions, municipalities and boards of education to construct more public projects which could create jobs and stimulate the economy. Thus far, a total of 20 bills have passed the Senate.

Among the three bills advanced to third reading, Senate Bill 370 would permit only a community criminal justice board to require the payment of a supervisory fee by anyone participating in a community corrections program. Under current law, circuit judges, magistrates, and municipal court judges are also authorized to require the payment.

The Senate adopted two resolutions today and welcomed parties involved in each to the Senate Floor (pictured). Senate Resolution 25 designated March 10, 2009 "West Virginia State Grange Day," and Senate Resolution 26 recognized the Society of Human Resource Management.

The following Senate Committees will meet today:

Banking and Insurance - 2:00 p.m. - 208W
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 451M
Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W

The following Senate Committees will meet tomorrow:

Energy, Industry and Mining - 10:00 a.m. - 208W
Pensions - 10:00 a.m. - 451M
Confirmations - 1:00 p.m. - 208W

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

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 12:37 PM

WV State Grange Day, 51 Bills Introduced
Six bills were presented on second reading today. Senate Bill 403 would make supplemental appropriations from the State Road Fund to The Department of Transportation. House Bill 2404 would relate to inmate reimbursement for medical services provided to persons held in regional jails. House Bill 2539 would authorize professional licensing boards to combine administrative staff functions. House Bill 2684 would establish the West Virginia Drug Offender Accountability Act. House Bill 2719 would increase the maximum alcohol level in the state definition of "nonintoxicating beer." House Bill 2801 would update language and make technical changes and clarifications of the West Virginia Board of Medicine.

In addition, 51 bills were introduced today. This brings the total of bills that have been introduced since the beginning of this session to 1057. House Bill 3007 would implement random drug testing for recipients of federal-state assistance, state assistance and unemployment compensation. House Bill 3019 would relate to obscene, anonymous, harassing and threatening communications by computer. House Bill 3031 would protect academic speech of professional educators. House Bill 3033 would strengthen vehicle emission standards.

Through House Resolution 24, today was designated as West Virginia State Grange Day. It is the state's oldest agricultural and rural community organization. They have advocated farmers and their agricultural communities since 1873. The organization provides local farmers with the benefits of economic and political cooperation for its members, elevates their character by providing social, cultural and educational programs, and gives them opportunities for personal growth.

The following committees will meet today:
Finance - 1:00 p.m. - 460M
Government Organization - 1:30 p.m. - 215E
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 434M
Finance - 2:30 p.m. - 460M

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Agriculture - 8:30 a.m. - 215E
Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security - 9:00 a.m. - 215E
Natural Resources - 9:15 a.m. - 215E
Banking and Insurance - 10:00 a.m. - 215E
Pensions and Retirement - 10:00 a.m. - 460M
Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business - 1:00 p.m. - 460M
Political Subdivisions - 1:00 p.m. - 215E
Judiciary - 1:30 p.m. - 410M
Roads and Transportation - 2:00 p.m. - 215E
Senior Citizen Issues - 3:00 p.m. - 215E
Federal Stimulus Utilization - 4:00 p.m. - 460M
Health and Human Resources - 4:00 p.m. - 215E

The House will reconvene Wednesday, March 11 at 11:00 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Monday, March 09, 2009 - 12:37 PM

Three Bills Pass, Six Advanced to Third Reading Today in Senate
Three bills were passed today in the Senate, bringing the Senate total of bills passed to 14. Among those passed, Senate Bill 284 would provide an alternative means for viatical settlement brokers to provide evidence of financial security and to expand the criminal provisions to all persons convicted of a violation of the Viatical Settlements Act.

Six bills were advanced to third reading, one of which, Senate Bill 251 would authorize county commissions, municipalities and boards of education that receive lottery revenues to issue bonds secured by such lottery revenues to construct public projects. This will allow county commissions, municipalities and boards of education to construct more public projects which creates jobs and stimulates the economy.

Sixteen additional bills were introduced in the Senate today, bringing the session total up to 520. Senate Bill 508 would create the Department of Miners, Health, Safety and Training.

Pre-schoolers from First Presbyterian Church's "Busy Bees" in Charleston, including Connor Bailey (pictured), led the opening prayer and pledge of allegiance today.

The following Senate Committees will meet today:

Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W

The following Senate Committees will meet Tuesday, March 10 :

Economic Development - 9:00 a.m. - 451M
Transportation and Infrastructure - 10:00 a.m. - 251M
Banking and Insurance - 2:00 p.m. - 208W

The Senate will reconvene Tuesday, March 10 at 11:00 a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Monday, March 09, 2009 - 12:03 PM

Three Bills Passed, Bills Introduced Hits 1000 Mark
Three bills were passed in the House today. House Bill 2421 would distinguish between operable and inoperable fire hydrants by having inoperable hydrants painted black. House Bill 2474 would exempt land-based finfish aquaculture facilities from certain sludge management requirements. House Bill 2701 relates to the escape from custody of the Director of Juvenile Services. Those bills will be taken up for consideration in the Senate in the coming weeks.

Six bills were presented on first reading today. Senate Bill 403 would make supplemental appropriations from the State Road Fund to The Department of Transportation. House Bill 2404 would relate to inmate reimbursement for medical services provided to persons held in regional jails. House Bill 2539 would authorize professional licensing boards to combine administrative staff functions. House Bill 2684 would establish the West Virginia Drug Offender Accountability Act. House Bill 2719 would increase the maximum alcohol level in the state definition of "nonintoxicating beer." House Bill 2801 would update language and make technical changes and clarifications of the West Virginia Board of Medicine.

Finally, 23 bills were introduced today. This brings the total of bills that have been introduced since the beginning of this session to 1006. House Bill 2984 would relate to the hiring of substitute service personnel by county school boards. House Bill 2995 would prohibit text messaging by use of a cell phone or personal digital assistant while driving. House Bill 2996 would require bank transactions involving savings and checking accounts to be posted at the time of the transaction and not the next day.

The following committees will meet today:
Education Subcommittee C - 1:30 p.m. - 434M
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 434M
Judiciary - 2:00 p.m. - 410M
Roads and Transportation Subcommittee A - 2:00 p.m. - 209E
Finance - 3:45 p.m. - 460M
Health and Human Resources Subcommittee A - 4:00 p.m. - 215E

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Finance - 9:00 a.m. - 460M
Judiciary - 9:00 a.m. - 410M
Finance - 1:00 p.m. - 460M
Finance - 2:30 p.m. - 460M

The House will reconvene Tuesday, March 10 at 11:00 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Friday, March 06, 2009 - 12:43 PM

Lucky Number Three - Three Bills Passed, Three Advanced to Third Reading in Senate
Three bills were passed today in the Senate, bringing the total number of bills passed by the Senate to 11. Among those passed, Senate Bill 294 would provide additional protection for incapacitated and elderly persons by increasing penalties, which consist of being sentenced to one to five years in prison or being fined $500 to $5,000 to those persons found guilty of neglect of an incapacitated or elderly person, or one who knowingly permits another to neglect said adult.

Three additional bills were advanced to third reading. Senate Bill 405 would require petitions for grandparent visitation to be generally filed in family court. Only when there is a pending abuse or neglect proceeding pending in circuit court, would a visitation motion or petition be filed in circuit court.

Twenty-one more bills were introduced in the Senate, bringing the total to 504. Of those introduced, Senate Bill 501 would prohibit animals from being euthanized by way of a gas chamber.

The following Senate Committees will meet Monday, March 9:

Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M

The House will reconvene Monday, March 9 at 11:00 a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Friday, March 06, 2009 - 11:56 AM

One Bill Passes, House Springs Forward Into Weekend
House Bill 2412 was passed today, which would allow a county commission without an established planning commission to regulate the location of businesses selling sexually-oriented material.

Three bills were presented on second reading today. House Bill 2421 would distinguish between operable and inoperable fire hydrants by having inoperable hydrants painted black. House Bill 2474 would exempt land-based finfish aquaculture facilities from certain sludge management requirements. House Bill 2701 would relate to the escape from custody of the Director of Juvenile Services.

In the House, 11 bills were introduced today. This brings the total of bills that have been introduced since the beginning of this session to 983. House Bill 2974 would abolish the one-vote straight ticket voting in all general and special elections within West Virginia. House Bill 2979 would adopt guidelines to permit pharmacists to prescribe medications.

The following committees will meet Monday, March 9:
Roads and Transportation Subcommittee A - 2:00 p.m. - 209E
Health and Human Resources Subcommittee A - 4:00 p.m. - 215E

The House will reconvene Monday, March 9 at 11:00 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 01:06 PM

History Comes Alive at the Legislature
For the 13th year in a row, local historians from throughout the state set up exhibits at the Capitol to promote their community awareness of and interest in their heritage. The exhibitors work to salvage the significance of past history. Their re-enactments remind citizens and lawmakers of West Virginia’s roots and of the people who worked to tame and cultivate the Mountain State.

Many of the historians participate in various theatrical programs and special events to share their knowledge with locals and tourists alike, which support the economies of many communities.

Pictured (from left to right ) are Program Specialist Dean Hardman of The Historic Area at WVU Jackson’s Mill and his colleagues Jeff Wyne and Gabby Brooks. Also pictured are tour guides Lois Nickerson and Dee McDowell representing West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling.












Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 12:44 PM

23rd Day of Introducing Bills in the House
In the House, 22 bills were introduced today. This brings the total of bills that have been introduced since the beginning of this session to 972. One of the bills was House Bill 2954, which would prohibit discrimination based upon age or sexual orientation. House Bill 2955 would remove West Virginia University of Technology from the merger with West Virginia University. House Bill 2972 would require that not less than 50 percent of the money remaining in the Tourism Promotion Fund be made to West Virginia companies. These bills, and others, have been referred to committees for consideration and discussion.

Three bills were presented on first reading today. House Bill 2421 would distinguish between operable and inoperable fire hydrants by having inoperable hydrants painted black. House Bill 2474 would exempt land-based finfish aquaculture facilities from certain sludge management requirements. House Bill 2701 would relate to the escape from custody of the Director of Juvenile Services.

One bill was presented on second reading today. House Bill 2412 would allow a county commission without an established planning commission to regulate the location of businesses selling sexually-oriented material.

The following committees will meet today:
Finance - 1:00 p.m. - 460M
Judiciary Subcommittee on House Bill 2788 - 1:15 p.m. - 410M
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 434M
Government Organization - 2:00 p.m. - 215E
Judiciary - 2:00 p.m. - 410M
Finance Subcommittee on Legislative Rules - 3:00 p.m. - 460M
Government Organization - 3:30 p.m. - 215E
Select Committee on Stimulus Utilization - 4:00 p.m. - 460M

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Finance - 9:30 a.m. - 460M
Judiciary Subcommittee A - 9:30 a.m. - 410M
Health and Human Resources Subcommittee A - 9:30 a.m. - 215E

The House will reconvene tomorrow, March 6 at 11:00 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 12:30 PM

Three Bills Advanced to Third Reading in Senate, Three More Reach Calendar
Twenty-seven bills were introduced in the Senate today. These bills bring the introduced total thus far to 483. Senate Bill 460, would include telecommunication devices as jail contraband, and Senate Bill 480, would require West Virginia to participate in the "Yellow Ribbon G.I. Bill" Education Enhancement Program.

Three bills were advanced to third reading today, while three more made it to the Senate Calendar under first reading. Senate Bill 294, which advanced to third reading, would protect incapacitated persons by providing criminal penalties for the offense of abuse or neglect which result in injury or death.

Senate Bill 339, which was on first reading, would create an exemption for certain licensed professional medical personnel to county hiring prohibition.

The following Senate Committees will meet today:

Health and Human Resources - 1:00 p.m. - 451M
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 451M
Finance - 3:00 p.m. - 451M
Judiciary - 3:00 p.m. - 208W

The following Senate Committees will meet tomorrow:

Economic Development - 9:00 a.m. - 451M
Military - 9:30 a.m. - 208W
Transportation and Infrastructure - 10:00 - 451M

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

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 12:52 PM

Three Bills Passed in House Today
Today, three bills were passed in the House. House Bill 2040 relates to when a recognizance bond is released. House Bill 2418 relates to exempting certain records of the Division of Corrections and Regional Jail Authority from the Freedom of Information Act that, if released, could aid inmates in committing unlawful acts. Finally, House Bill 2685 amends the Uniform Principal and Income Act.

In the House, 22 bills were introduced. This brings the total of bills that have been introduced since the beginning of this session to 950. One of the bills was House Bill 2930, would include volunteer firefighters within the Public Employees Insurance Act. House Bill 2936 would restore or keep intact scenic views by coal and timber operators. House Bill 2950 would create the Neighborhood Housing and Economic Stabilization Program for low-income minority neighborhoods. These bills, and others, have been referred to committees for consideration and discussion.

Today was also Women's Day ( House Resolution 20), Disability Advocacy Day ( House Resolution 22) and Social Workers Day ( House Resolution 21) at the Legislature.

The following committees will meet today:
Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business - 1:00 p.m.- 460M
Political Subdivisions - 1:00 p.m. - 215E
Roads and Transportation - 2:00 p.m. - 215E
Senior Citizens Issues - 3:00 p.m. - 215E
Health and Human Resources - 4:00 p.m. - 215E
Health Subcommittee B - 4:00 p.m. - 252E

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Finance - 9:00 a.m. - 460M
Judiciary - 9:00 a.m. - 410M
Finance - 1:00 p.m. - 460M
Finance Subcommittee on Legislative Rules - 3:00 p.m. - 460M
Select Committee on Stimulus Utilization - 4:00 p.m. - 460M

The House will reconvene tomorrow, March 5 at 11:00 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 12:31 PM

Senate Passes Maternal Screening Act Bill
Today proved to be a one worth celebrating as the Senate passed three resolutions designating March 4th as Social Work Day, Women's Day and Disability Advocacy Day.

Senate Resolution 19 recognizes the dedication and commitment of social workers to our communities throughout West Virginia. Senate Resolution 20 recognizes the accomplishments and achievements of women in the state, both in the private and public sectors. Senate Resolution 21 recognizes Disability Advocacy Day which serves to increase the awareness of legislators, administrators, policymakers and the public of the public policy issues that are important to people with disabilities.

The Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 307 which would create a Maternal Screening Act which would provide a uniform screening tool for women with high risk pregnancies.

Three bills were introduced on first reading today: Senate Bill 253 relates to certain sexual offenses by or against inmates; Senate Bill 263 would disclose certain inmates' personal communications; and Senate Bill 294 would define criminal offense of an incapacitated person's abuse or neglect.

The following committees will meet today:
Natural Resources - 1 p.m.- 208W
Government Organization - 2 p.m.- 208W
Finance Sub Committee A- 3 p.m.- 451M
Judiciary - 3 p.m.- 208W

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Finance - 9:30 a.m.- 451M
Judiciary - 10 a.m.- 208W
Health and Human Resources - 1 p.m.- 451M

The Senate adjourned until 11 a.m. tomorrow.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 01:15 PM

The Gallery Fills on the 21st Day of Session in the House

In the House today, 26 bills were introduced. This brings the total of bills that have been introduced since the beginning of this session to 928. One of the bills was House Bill 2908, would raise the age of consent that a minor may refuse health treatment. House Bill 2915 would authorize the sale of prohibited fireworks. House Bill 2917 would give full consideration to bicycle, pedestrian and transit way in the planning and development of state roads, railways and waterways. These bills, and others, have been referred to committees for consideration and discussion.

There were three bills on second reading today. House Bill 2040 would relate to when a recognizance bond is released. House Bill 2418 would relate to exempting certain records of the Division of Corrections and Regional Jail Authority from the Freedom of Information Act that, if released, could aid inmates in committing unlawful acts. Finally, House Bill 2685 would amend the Uniform Principal and Income Act.

The gallery was filled with visitors from all over West Virginia today. Two students gave speeches to the House. Devon Cottle, who attended The Governor's School of the Arts and Hope Hunt, who attended The Governor's Honors Academy, spoke about the experiences they had and the benefits of attending each respective program. There were also visitors from the Alzheimer's Association, dozens of pages with their chaperons and librarians from across the state to celebrate West Virginia Library Day.

The following committees will meet today:
Finance - 1:00 p.m. - 460M
Education Subcommittee B - 1:30 p.m. - 434M
Judiciary - 2:00 p.m. - 410M
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 434M
Finance Subcommittee on Legislative Rules - 2:30 p.m. - 460M
Education Subcommittee E - 3:00 p.m. - 434M

The following committees will meet tomorrow:

Agriculture - 8:30 a.m. - 215E
Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security - 9:00 a.m. - 460M
Natural Resources - 9:15 a.m. - 215E
Banking and Insurance - 10:00 a.m. - 215E
Pensions and Retirement - 10:00 a.m. - 460M
Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business - 1:00 p.m.- 460M
Political Subdivisions - 1:00 p.m. - 215E
Roads and Transportation - 2:00 p.m. - 215E
Senior Citizens Issues - 3:00 p.m. - 215E
Health and Human Resources - 4:00 p.m. - 215E
Health Subcommittee B - 4:00 p.m. - 252E

The House will reconvene tomorrow, March 4 at 11:00 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 12:51 PM

Governors School of the Arts and Honors Academy students speak to Senate
The Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 99 today. The bill would allow a circuit judge discretion to impose the original sentence on a youthful offender who has successfully completed a youthful offender training program but who has been charged with committing another crime between his or her release from the youthful offender center and the sentencing hearing. The offender would still get credit for time spent at the center.

Fifteen new bills were introduced today including: Senate Bill 419 which would create the Healthy Lifestyles Restaurant Calorie Posting Program; Senate Bill 421 would modify child custody and support order due to military service; Senate Bill 429 would create the Credentialing Verification Organization; and Senate Bill 419 relates to certain law-enforcement officers' probationary period.

Senate Resolution 18 was adopted and designates March 1-7, 2009 as National Problem Gambling Awareness Week.

Two high school students spoke to the Senate about their experiences in the Governors School of the Arts and Honors Academy. They highlighted the importance of learning art through example and investing in today's youth for the future of West Virginia.

Several other students from across the state were Senate pages today, and they eagerly watched and learned how members conduct business. The Legislature's Page Program provides students in grades 6-12 with a meaningful and exciting experience in state government.


The following committees will meet today:
Health and Human Resources - 1 p.m.- 451M
Education - 2 p.m.- 451M
Banking and Insurance - 2 p.m.- 208W
Finance - 3 p.m.- 451M
Judiciary - 3 p.m.- 208W
Education - 5 p.m.- 451M


The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Labor - 9 a.m.- 208W
Energy, Industry and Mining - 10 a.m.- 208W
Natural Resources - 1 p.m.- 208W
Government Organization - 2 p.m.- 208W
Finance - 3 p.m.- 451M
Judiciary - 3 p.m.- 208W

The Senate will convene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Monday, March 02, 2009 - 12:30 PM

A Busy Lawmaking Day in the House
Two bills were passed in the House today. House Bill 2694, would establish certain requirements for modification of custodial rights for parents or guardians that have been deployed to the United States Armed Forces. House Bill 2738 would register protective orders with West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

In the House today, 20 bills were introduced. This brings the total of bills that have been introduced since the beginning of this session to 902. One of the bills was House Bill 2888, which would require the DHHR to provide matching funds for trust income disbursed to support autistic minors. House Bill 2891 would phase in requirements for electric providers to add renewable energy systems to help protect and sustain the environment. House Bill 2894 would establish tax credits for personal and commercial users of the West Virginia Turnpike. These bills, and others, have been referred to committees for consideration and discussion.

House Resolution 19 was adopted today, designating March 2, 2009, as West Virginia March for Meals Day and the month of March 2009 as March for Meals Fund Raising Month.

The following committees will meet today:
Judiciary - 1:30 p.m. - 410M
Finance - 1:45 p.m. - 460M
Education - 2:00 p.m. - 434M
Health and Human Resources - 4:15 p.m. - 215E
Rules - 4:00 p.m. - 228M

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Finance - 9:00 a.m. - 460M
Government Organization - 9:00 a.m. - 215E
Finance - 1:00 p.m. - 460M

The House will reconvene tomorrow, March 3 at 11:00 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Monday, March 02, 2009 - 12:24 PM

First Bills Voted On Pass The Senate
The voting boards lit up green as the Senate passed six bills today. These bills include: Senate Bill 239 would allow a majority vote for certain metro government approval; Senate Bill 259 would clarify certain terminology within Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority; Senate Bill 341 would transfer the juvenile justice database administration to the Supreme Court; Senate Bill 346 would correct code reference related to bear tagging and Senate Bill 347 would correct code reference related to extended supervision for certain sex offenders.

Following the suspension of the Constitutional rule requiring a bill be read on three separate days, the Senate moved Senate Bill 403 from first to third reading today, and it was then passed. The Senate communicates the passage of these bills to the House for its consideration.

Senate Bill 99 was on second reading and will be up for passage tomorrow. Senate Bill 307 would create a maternal screening act, and was presented on first reading today.

The following committees will meet today:
Pensions - 2 p.m.- 451M
Judiciary - 3 p.m.- 208W
Finance - 3 p.m.- 451M

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Economic Development - 9 a.m.- 451M
Government Organization - 10 a.m.- 208W
Transportation and Infrastructure - 10 a.m.- 451M

The Senate will adjourn until 11 a.m. tomorrow.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date



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