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Today in the Legislature

Friday, January 29, 2010 - 12:17 PM

Senate Introduces 14 Bills
The Senate reconvened to introduce 14 bills, including Senate Bill 394, which would authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to use certain programs to identify uninsured vehicles, and Senate Bill 398, which would prohibit the landfill disposal of certain electronic devices.

Senate Bill 215, Senate Bill 339 and Senate Bill 388 all advanced to second reading.

The Senate also adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 6, which would name bridge number 10473 in Mingo County the "Matoma C. Sansom Memorial Bridge."

The following committees will meet on Monday:
Natural Resources-1 p.m.-208W
Agriculture-2 p.m.-208W
Pensions-2 p.m.-451M
Judiciary-3 p.m.-House Chamber

The Senate will reconvene 11 a.m. Monday.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Friday, January 29, 2010 - 12:16 PM

Single Mother of 10 Honored in House
The House reconvened today, passed one bill, introduced 26 bills and presented a citation.

The House suspended the constitutional rule that states a bill has to be read on three separate days to pass House Bill 4039 from the House Local Calendar. This bill would increase the number of people who can be appointed to the Marshall County Park and Recreation Board.

Bills introduced included House Bill 4237, which relates to the West Virginia State Police Career Progression System, House Bill 4243, which would require the licensure of pharmacy benefit managers and establish the related regulatory requirements, and House Bill 4246, which would create a tax credit for new or converted qualified plug-in electric cars.

The House presented a citation to Alverta Wiggins, in honor of her life achievements. She raised 10 children as a single mom and went to school to become a nurse. She has 22 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. All of her children and grandchildren have a post-secondary education.

The following committees will meet Monday:

Finance-1 p.m. 460M
Finance, Budget Hearing-1:45 p.m 460M
Health and Human Resources-4 p.m. 215E

The House will reconvene Monday at 11 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Thursday, January 28, 2010 - 01:48 PM

Young Researchers Showcase Discoveries
Today marked the 7th annual Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol. Young research talent from across the state filled the rotunda - showcasing posters on research in areas from heart disease and post traumatic stress disorder, to rocket flight and political science. More than 100 college and university students from 13 West Virginia institutions were selected to present their discoveries and speak with legislators about their findings.

An awards ceremony at the Culture Center was held in conjunction with Undergraduate Research Day, recognizing nearly $3 million in recent, competitively-funded state and federal grants to colleges and universities to advance scientific research across West Virginia. Among the awards presented were the first two grants supported by interest earned on the Research Trust Fund - or “Bucks for Brains” - as outlined by the Legislature in 2008 through the passage of Senate Bill 287.



Thursday, January 28, 2010 - 12:44 PM

House Recognizes AARP, Adopts Resolution Opposing Federal Cap and Trade
The House reconvened today and introduced 16 bills and adopted two resolutions.

The introduced bills included House Bill 4207, which would make it illegal to send obscene, anonymous, harassing and threatening digital communication, House Bill 4211, which would provide funding for programs geared toward students with limited English skills, and House Bill 4222, which would exempt antique motor vehicles from personal property taxes.

The House also adopted House Resolution 9, which recognizes the public service of the AARP.

The item sparking the most conversation was Senate Concurrent Resolution 9. After being adopted by the Senate yesterday, it was adopted by the House with a vote of 82-7, with 11 members absent or not voting.

The following committees will meet today:

Finance, Budget Hearing-1 p.m. 460M
Judiciary-1 p.m. 410M
Government Organization-1:30 p.m. 215E
Education-2 p.m. 434M

The following committees will meet tomorrow:

Finance-9 a.m. 464M
Education-9:30 a.m 434M
Government Organization-10 a.m. 215E
Roads and Transportation-2 p.m. 215E

The House will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Thursday, January 28, 2010 - 12:38 PM

Senate Honors USS West Virginia
The Senate honored the USS West Virginia through the adoption of Senate Resolution 9. Stationed in Kings Bay, Georgia, the USS West Virginia was commissioned in 1989 and is home to more than 300 crew members and officers. Crew representatives were present during session to receive the resolution.

The Senate also adopted Senate Resolution 8, which established January 28, 2010 as West Virginia Press Association Day.

In addition, four concurrent resolutions were adopted and 21 bills were introduced, including Senate Bill 380, which would prohibit the use of animals for fighting purposes and Senate Bill 384, which would create a Uniform Power of Attorney Act.

The following committees will meet today:
Health and Human Resources-1 p.m.-451M
Education-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
Military-10 a.m.-208W

The Senate will reconvene 11 a.m. tomorrow.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - 12:50 PM

Senate Adopts Resolution Opposing Federal Cap and Trade
The Senate spent about an hour in session today discussing the future of coal and prescription drug abuse prevention, as well as its normal responsibilities.

Fourteen bills were introduced, including Senate Bill 360, which would establish the Smoke Free West Virginia Act, and Senate Bill 367, which would make using certain usage of wireless devices a misdemeanor.

The Senate also adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 9, which expressed the will of the Senate to oppose the adoption of a national cap and trade program.

The resolution was adopted with all present voting yes.

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

The following committee will meet tomorrow:
Finance-9:30 a.m. 451M

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

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - 12:15 PM

Bill Regulating Veterinary Medicine Passes Through House
Members of the House reconvened at 11 a.m. this morning. Highlighting the Session this morning was the passage of House Bill 4144, relating to the law governing veterinary medicine. The bill will now be sent to the Senate for their review.

Members introduced 22 bills and were presented with three resolutions. One of the bills introduced this morning was House Bill 4202. If passed this bill would redistrict the House of Delegates into one hundred single member districts. Another bill introduced this morning was House Bill 4203. This bill would impose an additional sales tax on grocery stores, drug stores and convenience stores equal to five cents for each plastic or disposable shopping bag given to a customer.

The House was also presented with three resolutions. House Concurrent Resolution 14 designates the month of May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month beginning in 2010. Also presented this morning was House Concurrent Resolution 15. This concurrent resolution seeks to change the name of the Spring Creek Bridge in Greenbrier County to the "John Joseph Walkup, Jr, Bridge."

The following committees will meet today:

Energy, Industry & Labor-1 p.m. 460M
Roads & Transportation-2 p.m. 215E
Health & Human Resources-4 p.m. 215E

The following committees will meet tomorrow:

Finance-9 a.m. 145E (Treasurer's Office)
Judiciary-9 a.m. 410M
Judiciary-1 p.m. 410M
Government Organization-1:30 p.m. 215E

The House will reconvene at 11 a.m. tomorrow

›› House bills introduced on this date


Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - 12:57 PM

Senate Suspends Rules, Passes School Calendar Bill
The Senate reconvened at 11 a.m. today and received messages concerning bills passed in the House. House Bill 4040, which ensures 180 full instructional days for students by giving the counties more flexibility in picking their start and end dates, was received in the Senate. The Senate suspended constitutional rules requiring a bill to be read on three separate days and unanimously passed the bill.

The Senate also introduced six bills. Bills introduced included Senate Bill 349, which would require child care centers to have a written evacuation plan, and Senate Bill 351, which would require anti-racial profiling training for certain law-enforcement officers.

The following committees will meet today:
Health and Human Resources- 1:15 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

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Energy, Industry and Mining- 10 a.m. 208W
Confirmations- 1 p.m. 451M
Government Organizations- 2 p.m. 208W

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - 12:28 PM

House Adopts Two Resolutions, 12 Bills Introduced
Members of the House reconvened this morning, introducing 12 bills and adopting two resolutions. One bill introduced today was House Bill 4177 which would dedicate five percent of coal severance tax to the county of origin. Another bill introduced today was House Bill 4173, if passed this bill would make property crimes valued at over $1,000 a felony.

House Bill 4144 was presented to members of the House for a second reading. This bill is an update to the law governing the practice of veterinary medicine.

Also introduced in the House today was House Concurrent Resolution 13 which opposes the national cap and trade program.

The following committees will meet today:

Finance-1 p.m. 460M
Judiciary-1 p.m. 410M
Government Organization-1:30 p.m. 215E
Education-2 p.m. 434M
Roads & Transportation-2 p.m. 215E
Senior Citizen Issues-3 p.m. 215E

The following committees will meet tomorrow:

Agriculture-8:30 a.m. 215E
Natural Resources-9 a.m 215E
Veterans Affairs-9 a.m. 460M
Banking & Insurance-10 a.m. 215E
Pensions & Retirement-10 a.m. 460M
Energy-1 p.m. 460M
Political Subdivisions-1 p.m. 215E
Health & Human Resources-4 p.m. 215E

The House will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Monday, January 25, 2010 - 12:48 PM

Senate Continues Work of 2010 Session
After reconvening at 11 a.m., the Senate introduced seven bills. These bills included Senate Bill 340 which would create the Uniform Collateral Consequences of Conviction Act, Senate Bill 343 which would increase the minimum age for ending compulsory school attendance and Senate Bill 346 which would create a single statewide credentialing verification organization for health care practitioners.

Outside of the Senate Chamber, Culture and History Day took place in the capitol rotunda. Many of the legislature’s talented constituents gathered to promote their respective organizations.

Pictured are the West Virginia Youth Symphony and members of the Old Brick Playhouse who entertained passers-by in the rotunda.

Entertainers of the Old Brick Playhouse dress in clown attire and travel to West Virginia’s elementary schools with educational messages. Today they performed an excerpt from their anti-drug show.

Other organizations present included Tamarack and the Charleston Stage Company. Tamarack provides a location and a business plan for West Virginia’s artisans to thrive in their craft. The Charleston Stage Company is a community theater and the hope of the company is to bring culture to local citizens.

Several organizations were here to let legislators know that the arts are a integral part of West Virginia’s culture and they should be supported in any way possible.

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

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

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Monday, January 25, 2010 - 12:44 PM

School Calendar Bill Passes Through House
Three bills, House Bill 4026, House Bill 4040 and House Bill 4138 were passed today as the House reconvened this morning.

Of those passed, House Bill 4040 would require county Boards of Education to create an icy condition and emergency plan to guarantee 180 separate days of instruction. The bill also provides more flexibility for county boards to set the start and end date for the instructional term of the school calendar. House Bill 4026 relates to higher education capital facilities and House Bill 4138 clarifies part of the West Virginia code relating to the practice of medical imaging and radiation therapy.

Additionally, eight bills were introduced in the House this morning. One of those introduced, House Bill 4167 would create a special revenue fund, known as the Department of Health and Human Resources Safety and Treatment Fund.

One Bill was presented today for first reading on the House Calendar. House Bill 4144 is in relation to the Board of Veterinary Medicine.

The following committees will meet today:

Finance-1 p.m. 460M
Education-2 p.m. 434M
Health & Human Resources-4 p.m. 215E

The following committees will meet tomorrow:

Finance-9 a.m. & 1 p.m. 460M
Government Organization-1:30 p.m. 215E

The House will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Friday, January 22, 2010 - 12:19 PM

West Virginia's Fairs and Festivals Visit the Capitol
The West Virginia Legislature celebrated West Virginia Fairs and Festivals Day in the capitol rotunda.

Several festivals were represented and capitol guests were greeted by an assortment of foods, fair facts and crafts.

Pictured is basketweaver Alan Miller, the president of the Treasure Mountain Festival held in Franklin, West Virginia. Miller called his festival, “the best kept secret in West Virginia.”

Other festivals present included the Cabell County Fair, the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival, the Preston County Buckwheat Festival and the Mountain State Art and Craft Fair.

West Virginia Fairs and Festivals Day provides an eclectic mix of great people and places the state Legislators are proud to represent. Many of the Legislators visited with their constituents and took part in hometown traditions.



Friday, January 22, 2010 - 12:06 PM

House Advances Three Bills to Final Reading; Set for Vote Next Week

The House reconvened this morning, introducing eight bills and adopting five concurrent resolutions. One of the bills introduced this morning was House Bill 4159 which would require insurers to notify insureds of all rate changes before they take effect. House Concurrent Resolution 11 requests the Division of Highways erect two signs on I-79 when entering Marion County honoring two West Virginia football legends, Sam Huff and Frank "Gunner" Gatski. House Concurrent Resolution 9 requests the Joint Committee on Government and Finance authorize a study of the law governing the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

Additionally, three bills were presented in the House for second reading. House Bill 4026, House Bill 4040 and House Bill 4138. House Bill 4040 would require county Boards of Education to adopt contingency plans designed to guarantee 180 separate days of instruction for students.

The following committees will meet on Monday:
Finance-1 p.m. 460M
Health and Human Resources-4 p.m. 215E

The following committees will meet Tuesday:
Finance-9 a.m. 460M

The House will reconvene on Monday at 11 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Friday, January 22, 2010 - 12:03 PM

Senate Receives Three Bills From Committee
The Senate received messages concerning Senate Bill 42, Senate Bill 162 and Senate Bill 235 from their respective committees with the recommendation of passage. These bills were then referred to the Finance Committee for further debate.

There were five bills introduced including Senate Bill 335 which would increase the number of members on the Marshall County Park and Recreations Board. Also, Senate Bill 337 was introduced; this would require the Racetrack Video Lottery Fund be used for certain payments.

After the session adjourned, Senators were greeted by the West Virginia Fairs and Festivals participants who were gathered in the rotunda.

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

The Senate will reconvene Monday at 11 a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Thursday, January 21, 2010 - 12:26 PM

Ethics Legislation Received from House, 48 Bills Introduced
The Senate reconvened this morning and received a House message regarding the passage of House Bill 4016. The legislation was referred to the Judiciary Committee and then to the Finance Committee.

Rule-Making legislation dominated the bills introduced as 41 of the 48 bills introduced came from this joint interim committee.

Other introduced bills included Senate Bill 330 which would create the WV Partnership to Promote Community Well-Being Act, and Senate Bill 334 which would require write-in candidates to pay a filing fee.

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

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

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11a.m.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Thursday, January 21, 2010 - 12:20 PM

House Designates Today as Generation West Virginia Day
The House reconvened today as lawmakers introduced 10 bills and adopted two resolutions. One of the bills introduced today was House Bill 4152 which would make it a misdemeanor to make more than three separate calls to 911 for non-emergency health concerns. House Resolution 5 designates today as Generation West Virginia Day. House Concurrent Resolution 7 requests the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to continue studying the needs and challenges associated with West Virginia veterans returning from recent service.

Three bills were presented today for first reading on the House calendar. House Bill 4026, House Bill 4040 and House Bill 4138. One of these bills, House Bill 4040, would require county Boards of Education to adopt contingency plans designed to guarantee 180 separate days of instruction.

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

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Finance-9 a.m. 460E

The House will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 12:48 PM

Senate Declares Disability Advocacy Day, Introduces 48 Bills
The Senate reconvened today and introduced 48 bills as well as adopting Senate Resolution 4, which declared today Disability Advocacy Day.

The introduced bills included Senate Bill 234, which would increase penalties for correctional employees engaging in sexual relations with an inmate, and Senate Bill 236, which would create the Aquaculture Development Act. Bills 239 - 281 are rules bills.

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

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Economic Development-9 a.m. 208W
Judiciary-3 p.m. 208W

The following committee will meet Friday:
Military-9:30 a.m. 208W

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

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 12:43 PM

House Passes Ethics Legislation
The House of Delegates passed its first bill of the 2010 Regular Session, House Bill 4016, which would strengthen the current Ethics Act financial disclosure filing requirements. The House amended the bill before passage. One amendment called for all filed financial disclosure statements to be published on the state Ethics Commission's website.

In addition, the bill prohibits certain public employees from registering as lobbyists until one year after vacating their state positions. The bill calls for financial disclosures to be posted by members of the legislature, candidates for legislative offices, members and candidates of the Board of Public Works and candidates of the Supreme Court of Appeals. The bill was passed unanimously.

Two new bills, House Bill 4145 and House Bill 4146, were also introduced to the House.

The House also adopted House Resolution 4, establishing January 20, 2010 as "Disability Advocacy Day."

The following committees will meet today:
Roads and Transportation-2 p.m.-215E
Senior Citizens Issues-3 p.m.-215E
Health and Human Resources-4 p.m.-215E

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

The House will reconvene 11 a.m. tomorrow

›› House bills introduced on this date


Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 04:28 PM

State Troopers Request More Men to Fight Crimes Against Children
The Crimes Against Children Unit of the West Virginia State Police joined the governor to present statistics on minor related crime in an attempt to persuade lawmakers to allow six additional troopers and one civilian to be funded by the state.

The presentation consisted of a short video, remarks by state troopers and the governor, and questions from lawmakers.

“I was shocked to discover the horrible crimes bring committed against our most innocent citizens,” said State Police Colonel Timothy Peck. Peck said there are 1,000 child pornography violations per month.

The Crimes Against Children Proposal reported 15,682 assault/abuse crimes against children and 3,490 sex crimes against children in the last three years. They have also compiled a list of 3,100 registered sex offenders in the state.

The House of Delegates has introduced the following bills relating to child abuse:

House Bill 2059 - Would prohibit certain sex offenders from loitering within one thousand feet of a school or child care facility, school bus stop, or other child safety zone

House Bill 2447 Would establish county and municipal authorities to provide for and maintain facilities to house Child Advocacy Centers

House Bill 2456 Would prohibit parents, guardians or custodians from allowing sexually violent predators and registered child abusers access to children.

House Bill 2612 Would increase penalties for failing to report child abuse

House Bill 2641 Would require the Commissioner of Corrections to keep track of repeat offenses committed by persons convicted of sexual offenses against children

House Bill 2707 Would eliminate good time for persons convicted of sex crimes involving minor children

House Bill 2783 Would create a criminal felony offense of aggravated assault or battery of a child or a person who is mentally incapacitated

House Bill 2879 Would increase the minimum prison sentence for a parent or guardian or custodian who abuses a child



Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 12:25 PM

House Introduces 85 Rule-Making Bills
The House of Delegates introduced a bundle of Rule-Making bills today in addition to 17 other bills, including House Bill 4128 , which relates to insurance companies deemed to be in hazardous financial condition.

Two house concurrent resolutions, House Concurrent Resolution 5, which requests that the Joint Committee on Government and Finance authorize a study of the law governing the West Virginia Board of Architects, and House Concurrent Resolution 6, which requires that the committee authorize a study of the law governing the West Virginia Board of Hearing Aid Dealers and Fitters, were also introduced to the House.

The House also recognized the General Federation Women's Club of Beckley for 100 years of involvement in the community. (pictured)

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

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Homeland Security-9 a.m.-460M
Natural Resources-9:15 a.m.-215E
Banking and Insurance-10 a.m.-215E
Political Subdivisions -1 p.m.-215E
Roads and Transportation-2 p.m.-215E
Senior Citizens Issues-3 p.m.-215E
Health and Human Resources-4 p.m.-215E

The House will reconvene 11 a.m. tomorrow.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 12:15 PM

Senate Reconvenes for Quick Session
The Senate reconvened this morning and introduced Senate Bill 232, Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 3.

Senate Bill 232 would transfer responsibility for redeeming certain delinquent land sales from the County Clerk to the State Auditor.

Majority Leader Sen. Chafin (D - Mingo) addressed the chamber and asked Senators to encourage their constituents to testify for Senate hearings regarding the power outages that affected 220,000 people around Christmas. Sen. Chafin said West Virginia is paying approximately $75 million to repair damaged power lines and he would like to develop the record in order to ensure it is money well spent.

Outside the chamber, the Capitol was filled with informational boards as the legislature celebrated Physical Therapy Day and Health Sciences and Technology Academy Day. They were also joined by children from Raze, who were celebrating Tobacco Awareness Day.

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

The following committee will meet tomorrow:
Judiciary-3 p.m. 208W

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

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Monday, January 18, 2010 - 03:26 PM

Lawmakers Honor Legacy of Dr. King
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, a ceremony was conducted on the North side of the Capitol building. The lawmakers in attendance were accompanied by members of the West Virginia Supreme Court and the Governor, as well as the members of West Virginia’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission to mark this National Day of Service.

The Appalachian Children’s Chorus greeted everyone with the National Anthem, and speakers presented their thoughts on honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Speaker of the House, Richard Thompson, said, “We should be honoring not just Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but also the leaders, activists, educators and legislators who strive to follow in Dr. King’s footsteps.”

He also called for everyone to “re-dedicate themselves to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s purpose.” He said that Dr. King wanted freedom to ring throughout the country which is why they honor him through the annual ringing of the bell.

President of the Senate, Earl Ray Tomblin, echoed the Speaker’s sentiments of Dr. King. He said Dr. King’s work has not ceased and it is seen in “the halls of our courthouses, statehouses, and in the halls of our nation’s capitol.”

Visiting school children participated in the bell ringing along with other dignitaries.

The Speaker and the President agreed they are proud to be a part of this annual tradition.

UPDATE: Check out both MLK Celebration speeches by the President and Speaker.



Monday, January 18, 2010 - 12:44 PM

Senate Celebrates Optometry Day, Pharmacy Education Day
The Senate Chamber was buzzing with activity this morning as the Senate reconvened for the sixth day.

The Appalachian Children's Chorus followed the benediction and sang "Lord of the Dance", before being joined by senators and guests when singing "Country Roads." The Senate then presented guests, including several mayors and municipal staffs, and also guests visiting the Capitol for Optometry Day and Pharmacy Education Day.

Senate Bill 230 and Senate Bill 231 were introduced and will proceed to committees.

The following committees will meet today :
Pensions- 2 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
Banking and Insurance- 2 p.m.- 208W

The Senate will reconvene 11 a.m. tomorrow.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Monday, January 18, 2010 - 12:14 PM

Ethics Bill Advances in House
On the sixth Legislative day the first bill to be featured on the House Calendar was presented on first reading. The bill, House Bill 4016, would strengthen the Ethics Acts financial disclosure filing requirements.

The House also recognized Optometrist Day through the introduction of several guest optometrists.

The following committees will meet today:
Finance-1 p.m.-460M
Health and Human Resources-4 p.m.-215E

The House will reconvene 11 a.m. tomorrow.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Friday, January 15, 2010 - 12:10 PM

School Calendar Bill Introduced in the House
Five bills, including House Bill 4040 , which would require county school boards to adopt contingency plans designed to guarantee one hundred eighty separate days of instruction for students, were introduced to the House of Delegates today.

One local bill, House Bill 4039, was also introduced. Local bills are placed on a special calendar and are taken up on fridays.

The following committees will meet on Monday:
Education - 1 p.m. - 434M
Government Organization - 1:30 p.m. - 215E
Health and Human Resources - 4:30 p.m. - 215E

The House will reconvene 11 a.m. Monday.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Friday, January 15, 2010 - 10:36 AM

Senate Finishes First Week
The Senate reconvened this morning and introduced six bills.

The six bills included Senate Bill 227, which would establish the Protect Children from Dangerous Lighters Act, and Senate Bill 228, which would ensure all children are able to attend school 180 days per year.

The following committee will meet Monday:
Pensions- 2 p.m.- 208W

The Senate will reconvene 11 a.m. Monday.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Thursday, January 14, 2010 - 12:06 PM

Senate Introduces 10 Bills, Honors Mineral County
The Senate reconvened this afternoon and introduced ten bills and acknowledged today as Mineral County Day.

Bills included Senate Bill 218, which would allow early parole for certain inmates, and Senate Bill 221, which would allow municipalities to register vacant properties.

The Senate also honored Mineral County with a certificate to Mayor James E. Gilmore of Piedmont, commemorating today as Mineral County Day. He was accompanied by RoseAnn Maine, Mineral County assessor, and Janice LaRue, Mineral County commissioner.

The following committees will meet today:
Finance-3 p.m.- 451M
Education-2 p.m.- 451M

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

The Senate will reconvene 10 a.m. tomorrow.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Thursday, January 14, 2010 - 11:42 AM

House Introduces 11 Bills, Honors Musician Don Redman
This afternoon, the House of Delegates reconvened and introduced 11 bills, such as House Bill 4033, which relates to the management of motor vehicles and aircraft owned by the state, and House Bill 4036,which establishes the Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission.

The House also adopted House Resolution 2, honoring the life of Don Redman, famous jazz musician and composer, and pioneering jazz arranger from Mineral County.

In honor of Don Redman and Mineral County Day, the Frankfort High School Jazz Band performed in the well area of the Capitol.

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

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

›› House bills introduced on this date


Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - 08:25 PM

Governor Gives State of the State Address, Budget Bill Introduced
The House and Senate reconvened at 7:00 p.m. this evening for a joint session in the House Chamber for the Governor's presentation of the 2010 State of the State Address.

Both the House and Senate met briefly following the Governor's speech in order to introduce the Budget Bill.

Both chambers will reconvene tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.


›› All bills introduced on this date


Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - 04:04 PM

Joint Finance Committee Briefed on Federal Block Grants
On Wednesday, members of the Joint Committee on Finance were given several presentations regarding Federal Block grant funds. Presentations were given by the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Bureau of Preventative Health and Preventative Services, the Bureau of Behavioral Health and Health Facilities and the Department of Maternal Child and Family Health, just to name a few.

The Bureau of Preventative Health and Preventative Services Federal Block grant is awarded annually. These funds will be used to provide technical assistance to local health departments, provide dental sealants for children in West Virginia and to provide quality assurance for public health labs.

The Bureau of Behavioral Health and Health Facilities Federal Block grant is used to provide resources for substance abuse prevention. Among other things, some of the funds will be used for women's substance abuse treatment services. Members expressed concern regarding funding for substance abuse programs in regard to binge drinking specifically for college students. Certain members would like funding to be made available for these programs.

The Department of Maternal Child and Family Health is awarded funding through Title V. This funding is the only government money awarded to the Department. These funds provide many different services for the department including programs that support family well-being, family planning and newborn metabolic screening.



Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - 01:28 PM

Senate Begins 2010 Legislative Session
The West Virginia State Senate convened for the 2010 Legislative Session at noon today. Having ascertained a quorum, 212 bills were introduced.

Among the bills, Senate Bill 24 would prohibit the selling of tobacco in pharmacies, Senate Bill 145 would require insurers to provide full autism coverage and Senate Bill 167 would ban texting while driving.

The following committee will meet today:
Finance-2 p.m.- 460M

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

The Senate will reconvene at 6:45 p.m. tonight.

›› Senate bills introduced on this date


Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - 12:57 PM

House Convenes for Second Regular Session of the 79th Legislature
The House convened today at noon to begin the Second Regular Session of the 79th Legislature. The first order of business was the adoption of House Concurrent Resolution 1 , which extended a formal invitation to the Governor to deliver the State of the State address tonight at 7 p.m.

The House also introduced the first bills of the session such as House Bill 4001 which relates to water pollution control, as well as reintroduced carryover bills from the last regular session.

The official proceedings of the House of Delegates were streamed live on the web for the first time today. Daily floor sessions and committee meetings can be heard at http://www.legis.state.wv.us/live.cfm

The following committee will meet today:
Finance-2 p.m.- 460M

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

The House will reconvene at 6:45 p.m. tonight.

›› House bills introduced on this date


Monday, January 11, 2010 - 04:51 PM

Legislature to Cut Current-Year Budget
CHARLESTON - Legislative leaders have approved a 3.4 percent cut to the Legislature’s current fiscal year budget, trimming more than $870,000.

“As we prepared for the 2010 legislative session, we kept in mind the state’s fiscal condition, and were already making some cutbacks,” House Speaker Rick Thompson said. “We’re willing to do our part to ensure a balanced budget.”

Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin added, “Our state government is fortunate to be in much better shape financially than most states, thanks to years of prudent budgeting, but we’re still feeling the pinch.

“Distributing the cuts evenly, across the board, is only fair.”

The leaders have agreed to cut the Legislature’s current budget by 3.4 percent – a total $877,862 decrease this year. That’s a $336,565 reduction for the House, a $230,921 cut for the Senate and a $310,375 cut for the Legislature’s Joint Committee operations.

Both the President and the Speaker said the reductions should not negatively affect the day-to-day operations of the Legislature. There have been several job vacancies that were not filled, and both houses are making changes to reduce the amount of printing that takes place during session.

In addition, they decided not to hold any interim meetings outside of Charleston in 2009 - something the Legislature usually does at least once a year.



Sunday, January 10, 2010 - 04:40 PM

Meshea L. Poore Takes Legislative Oath of Office
Meshea L. Poore of Charleston took the Legislative Oath of Office today within the House of Delegates chamber with dignitaries, friends and family filling the chamber to show their support.

Sworn in by State Supreme Court Justice Margaret L. Workman, Poore replaces Carrie Webster, who resigned her position earlier this month to become a Kanawha County Circuit Court judge.

Poore is an attorney working in Charleston and served as a Kanawha County public defender prior to starting her own law firm. She is a member of the West Virginia and Alabama State Bar Associations, and has served on the board of West Virginia Legal Aid.

Poore received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Howard University in Washington D.C. and a law degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, La.

The Capital High School graduate was born and raised on Charleston's West Side. Pictured from left to right are Justice Workman, parents Raymond and Gale Poore and Delegate Meshea L. Poore.



Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 03:02 PM

Work Begins for Legislative Interns
Interns for the 2010 Regular Session arrived at the Capitol today to begin their three- day orientation before starting their legislative working experience next week.

Around 20 students from various colleges and universities are participating in either the McManus Fellowship, Rollins-Burk, Herndon, Frasure-Singleton or Legislative Information Journalism internships. Each of these internships provides students from across West Virginia the oppurtunity to participate in the legislative process in a variety of ways.

Rollins-Burk interns are graduate students who are placed with lawmakers in leadership positions in both the House and the Senate and will rsearch relevant issues, assist in the preparation for floor deliberations and monitoring legislative activity.

Herndon interns are undergrad students who are placed with a Senator or Delegate for the entire session. Under this internship, students are introduced to, as well as develop, an understanding of the politics of legislation, legislative research, bill drafting, the role and function of committees and the executive-legislative liaison.Frasure-Singleton interns are undergrad students who shadow a lawmaker for one week. They research relevant issues, and are given the opportunity to sit in on committee meetings and floor sessions.

Legislative Information Journalism interns work for all members of the legislature during the entire legislative session. These interns also cover all floor sessions, committee meetings and other legislative activities. They also write news releases and participate in the publication of the legislative newsletter.

The 2010 Regular Session begins Wednesday, January 13.



Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 01:36 PM

Lawmakers Set to Return for Interims, Start of 2010 Regular Session
Despite the freezing temperatures that have gripped West Virginia for much of the past couple weeks, lawmakers are set to heat things up inside the Capitol next week as they convene for January interim meetings and the start of the 2010 Regular Session.

Interim meetings begin on Sunday, Jan. 10 at 12:00 p.m. and end Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 12:00 p.m. The January Interim Schedule and agendas are available on-line.

Following the conclusion of interim meetings, lawmakers will convene inside their respective chambers to begin the work of the 2010 Regular Session.











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