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Today in the Legislature

Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 01:04 PM

Legislature Finalizes Budget, Adjourns 2010 Extended Session Sine Die
Lawmakers finalized the state's Budget Bill on March 20, 2010. Having accepted the conferees' report, legislators approved the approximately $3.7 billion general revenue fund.

The Budget Bill breaks down with 0.66% going to the Legislative Branch (approximately $24 million); the Judicial Branch receiving approximately 3.18% (approximately $118 million); the Executive Branch receiving 1.15% (approximately $43 million); the Administration receiving 1.88% (approximately $70 million); Commerce receiving 1.76% (approximately $65 million); and, Public Education receiving 44.98% (approximately $1.6 billion).

Some changes included two new items of appropriation for the Department of Health and Human Resources' waiver programs. The compromise between the two houses led to funding the waiver programs with $15 million in General Revenue Funds and $5 million of Medicaid Funds, raising the total amount of Medicaid to be backfilled for the upcoming fiscal year to $33 million.

As a result, the Home-Based Care for the Aged and Disabled Waiver increased the number of new participants by 125 individuals per month. This waiver program provides an array of home-based services at a cost equal to or less than that of institutions. Also the additional funding for the MR/DD waiver, which currently serves over 3800 individuals across the state who have intellectual or developmental disabilities, will allow for the additional of 28 new individuals each month, reducing the waiting list for services.

Update: An $11.6 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 is headed to Gov. Joe Manchin, after the Legislature passed a compromise spending plan. As noted on Saturday, Mar. 20th, the general revenue amounted to $3.7 billion. However, numbers omitted were approximately $1.4 billion from the Road Fund; approximately $1.4 billion from the Special Revenue Fund; approximately $167 million from the Lottery; approximately $394 million from the Excess Lottery; approximately $400 million from the Federal Block Grant; and approximately $4 billion in Federal Funds. These numbers account for the $11.6 billion budget bill passed.

The Enrolled Version of Senate Bill 213 will be available on the Legislative Homepage on Monday, March 22nd.

In addition to finalizing the state budget, lawmakers received veto messages concerning five bills from the Governor. After correcting faulty titles, the bills were passed once again. These bills include Senate Bill 336, House Bill 5555, Senate Bill 376, Senate Bill 483, House Bill 4187, and House Bill 4604.

Both the House and the Senate adjourned Sine Die.

›› Completed Legislation

Friday, March 19, 2010 - 12:17 PM

Extended Budget Session Continues
The House reconvened at 11:30 a.m. to establish a quorum as work on the budget continues.

The House will reconvene at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow.

The Senate reconvened briefly this evening at 6 p.m. to determine a quorum and to announce that the conference committee report for the budget has been filed.

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



Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 11:47 AM

Last Budget Meeting to be Held Today
The Senate reconvened this morning to establish a quorum and announce the time of the last budget conference committee meeting.

The Budget Bill Conference Committee will meet:
Today-2 p.m. 451M

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 6 p.m.

Members of the House reconvened this afternoon at 4 p.m. to determine a quorum.

The House will reconvene tomorrow at 11:30 a.m.



Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 04:33 PM

Members Reconvene for Third Day of Budget Session
This evening, the Senate reconvened at 6 p.m. to determine a quorum. The Budget Conferees continue with their meetings.

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Members of the House convened this afternoon at 4 p.m. to determine a quorum and receive a conference committee report for the Budget Bill.

Members were also presented with a message from the Governor regarding his signing of 15 bills into law. Bills signed included, House Bill 4361 which removes provisions prohibiting sharing domestic violence information with other governments and Senate Bill 349 which requires child care centers have written evacuation plans.

The Budget Bill Conference Committee will meet:
Tomorrow-2 p.m. 451M

The House will reconvene tomorrow at 4 p.m.



Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - 11:32 AM

Budget Week Continues
The Senate reconvened briefly this morning to announce upcoming Budget Bill conference committee meetings.

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 6 p.m.

Members of the House of Delegates briefly convened this afternoon to continue further work on the Budget Bill and announce upcoming conference committee meetings.

The House will reconvene tomorrow at 4 p.m.

The Budget Bill Conference Committee will meet:
Today- 2 p.m. - 451M
Tomorrow- 2 p.m. - 451M



Monday, March 15, 2010 - 04:20 PM

Extended Budget Session Commences
The House convened today at 4 p.m. to begin the 2010 extended session. House members briefly met this afternoon to determine a quorum and receive an update on the Conference Committee for Senate Bill 213, the Budget Bill.

The House will reconvene tomorrow at 4 p.m.

Members of the Senate convened briefly this evening at 6 p.m. marking the start of the 2010 extended session. Senators received an update on the Conference Committee report for Senate Bill 213, the budget bill, and determined a quorum.

The Budget Bill Conference Committee will meet:
Tomorrow - 2 p.m. - 451M

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.



Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 12:45 AM

Senate Completes Legislation on 36 Bills Prior to Adjournment
The Senate reconvened tonight at 10:00 p.m. and completed legislation on 36 bills. The Senate has passed 120 Senate Bills this Session and a total of 217 bills have completed legislation this Session.

Bills completing legislation included Senate Bill 230 which relates to the board of optometry and House Bill 4177 which dedicates five percent of the coal severance tax to the county of origin. Also, House Bill 4604 which increases the criminal penalties for persons who obstruct, flee from or make false statements to law-enforcement officers.

The Senate will reconvene Monday at 6 p.m. for the extended budget session.

›› Completed Legislation

Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 12:45 AM

97 House Bills Complete Legislative Action
The House reconvened at 10:30 p.m. this evening to receive several conference reports and pass 12 bills.

The House completed legislative action on House Bill 4188. It will create the Anti-Criminal Street Gang Act, which prohibits actions and activities in association with criminal street gangs.

Senate Bill 480 also completed action and has been sent to the Governor for consideration. The bill will create "FACTS for Higher Education" by establishing Fair, Accountable, Credible, Transparent and Systematic mechanisms to determine classification status and compensation for classified employees in public higher education organizations.

The House has adjourned the 2010 Regular Session after sending 97 House bills to Governor's desk. Both houses completed legislative action on a total of 217 bills during the 60-day session.

The House will reconvene Monday at 4 p.m. for the extended Budget Session.

›› Completed Legislation

Saturday, March 13, 2010 - 09:55 PM

Senate Completes Action on Twelve Bills
The Senate reconvened tonight at 8:15 p.m. and completed legislation on 12 bills which included Senate Bill 427 which renames and reorganizes Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority. Also Senate Bill 507 which creates the West Virginia Innovative Mine Safety Technology Act tax credit and Senate Bill 648 which repeals outdated and obsolete sections of the education code.

The Senate will reconvene tonight at 10 p.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Saturday, March 13, 2010 - 07:33 PM

Senator Caruth Presented With Distinguished West Virginian Award
Members of the Senate reconvened this evening at 5 p.m. and were joined by Governor Joe Manchin to present the Distinguished West Virginian Award to Senator Don Caruth for outstanding public service. Senator Caruth was elected to the Senate in 2004 after serving two years in the House of Delegates.

Members also completed legislation on two bills while also adopting 33 resolutions. Bills completing legislation included House Bill 4670 which makes a supplementary appropration to the Department of Agriculture, to the Department of Health and Human Resources, to the Department of Revenue-Racing Commission, to the Bureau of Senior Services and to the Higher Education Policy Commission. Also, Senate Bill 494 which provides fiduciary commissioner oversight.

Additionally, two bills were sent to conference. Senate Bill 218 which would provide for early parole eligibility for certain inmates and House Bill 4513 which would establish requirements for Marcellus gas well operations use of water resources.

The Senate will reconvene tonight at 8:15 p.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Saturday, March 13, 2010 - 05:08 PM

House Completes Action on Bill Honoring WWII Veterans
The House reconvened this afternoon at 3 p.m. and sent 14 bills to the Governor for further consideration.

The House completed action on Senate Bill 574, which will declare December 7 a special memorial day, known as Pearl Harbor Day to honor all West Virginians who fought in World War II.

Members also sent Senate Bill 627 to the Governor's desk. It will increase criminal penalties for littering. Fines will increase from $50 to between $100 and $1,000 at the discretion of courts. For amounts greater than 100 pounds, fines will increase to a minimum of $1,000, but no more than $2,000.

Additionally, the House passed 13 bills that have been sent to the Senate for consideration. They also appointed Conference committees for Senate Bill 218, which would provide for early parole eligibility for inmates convicted of nonviolent offenses who complete an advanced rehabilitation treatment program, and House Bill 4207, which would make it unlawful to send obscene, anonymous, harassing and threatening communications by computer, mobile phone, personal digital assistant, or other mobile device.

The House will reconvene this evening at 8 p.m.

UPDATE

The House reconvened at 8 p.m. to pass 20 bills including House Bill 4177, which would dedicated five percent of coal severance tax to the county of origin, House Bill 4130 which would create the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Public Campaign Financing Pilot Program, and House Bill 4531, which would mandate that the shackling of pregnant women who are incarcerated is not allowed except in extraordinary circumstances.

The House is in recess until 10:30 p.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Saturday, March 13, 2010 - 01:50 PM

House Completes Action on School Bus Safety Bill
The House reconvened today at 11 a.m. for the last day of the 2010 Regular Session. Fifteen bills completed legislative action during this morning's session.

House Bill 4223 has been sent to the Governor for further consideration. The bill will increase the safety of children on school busses by creating harsher penalties for failing to stop a motor vehicle before reaching a school bus. The minimum fine has been increased from between $50 and $200 to between $150 and $500.

House Bill 4652 also completed action. It will establish school calendar committees for each county school board of education. The committee will be comprised of teachers, administrators, service personnel and parents. The committee will vote on at least two proposed calendar options for the county.

The House also created Conference Committees for further consideration of bills. Conference Committee bills included Senate Bill 480, which would create "FACTS for Higher Education" by establishing Fair, Accountable, Credible, Transparent and Systematic mechanisms to determine classification status and compensation for classified employees in public higher education organizations. They also included House Bill 4593, which would increase the minimum age for ending compulsory school attendance from 16 to 17 years old. It will also reduce the number of days of unexcused absences from 10 to five.

There will also be a Conference Committee for Senate Bill 230, also known as the Optometry Bill, which would allow Optometrists to perform certain laser eye surgeries.

The following committees will meet today:
Conference Committee on SB230- 2 p.m.- President's Conference Room
Rules- 2:45 p.m.- Speaker's Office

The House will reconvene this afternoon at 3 p.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Saturday, March 13, 2010 - 01:13 PM

Fleet Management Bill Completes Legislation
Senate members reconvened this morning and completed legislation on 23 bills while also adopting three resolutions. Bills completing legislation included Senate Bill 219, known as the fleet management bill, which relates to managing the state motor vehicle fleet and Senate Bill 597 which requires that women seeking abortion be offered the opportunity to view an ultrasound image of the fetus.

Members sent several bills to conference, meaning they will be reviewed by select members of the House and Senate in an effort to reach agreement. Bills sent to conference included House Bill 4207 which would make it unlawful to send obscene, anonymous, harassing and threatening communications by computer, mobile phone, personal digital assistant or other mobile device. Also, House Bill 4177 which would dedicate five percent of the coal severance tax to the county of origin.

The Senate also adopted Senate Resolution 57 which memorialized Gene Carte, a former staff member of the Senate.

The Senate will reconvene this afternoon at 2 p.m.

UPDATE

The Senate reconvened at 2 p.m. to pass 15 bills, including House Bill 4521, called the Second Amendment Appreciation Act, which would create a sales tax holiday for the purchase of guns and ammunition.

Other bills passed include House Bill 4164, also known as Jacob's Law, which would create a pilot program for the placement of children ages four to 10 in foster care, and House Bill 4031, which would provide flexibility in the West Virginia public schools support plan for funding regional education services agencies.

The Senate is in recess until 5 p.m. this evening.

›› Completed Legislation

Friday, March 12, 2010 - 06:50 PM

Senate Advances School Calendar Committees Measure
The Senate reconvened this evening at 5 p.m. passing nine bills, including House Bill 4652, which would create school calendar committees for each county, and advancing nine bills to third reading. Bills passed included House Bill 4527 which would limit the liability of apiary owners and operators and House Bill 4604 which would increase the criminal penalties for persons who obstruct, flee from or make false statements to law-enforcement officers. Other bills passed include House Bill 4281 and House Bill 4513.

Bills advanced to third reading included House Bill 4521 which would create a sales tax holiday for purchases of guns and ammunition and House Bill 4354 which relates to conditions and arrests in domestic violence matters. Other bills advanced to third reading include House Bill 4339 and House Bill 4324.

In addition, the Senate advanced four bills to second reading.

The following committees will meet tommorrow:
Rules-10:45 a.m.-President's Conference Room

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Friday, March 12, 2010 - 05:27 PM

House Amends, Passes Budget Bill
The House reconvened this afternoon and passed 13 bills, including Senate Bill 213, the Budget Bill.

The Budget Bill, was amended to include provisions from the House version and will now go to the Senate for their consideration.

Other bills which were passed included Senate Bill 507, which will provide a tax credit for coal companies that purchase innovated safety technology The credit will need to be approved by the Director of the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training and Senate Bill 183, which will prohibit diesel powered engines from excessive idling. Offenders will pay a fine of at least $150 and no more than $300.

The House will reconvene at 11 a.m. tomorrow. The 2nd Regular Session of the 79th Legislature will end tomorrow at midnight.

›› Completed Legislation

Friday, March 12, 2010 - 02:08 PM

Senate Amends and Advances School Bus Safety Bill
Members of the Senate reconvened this morning at 11 a.m. and completed legislation on 14 bills, passed 13 bills, advanced one bill to third reading and adopted three resolutions. Bills completing legislation included House Bill 2663 which expands the power of municipal parking authority officers and House Bill 4145 which provides services and facilities to assist student veterans at state institutions of higher education.

Bills passed this morning included House Bill 4207 which would make it unlawful to send obscene, anonymous, harassing and threatening communications by computer, mobile phone, personal digital assistant or other mobile device and House Bill 2773 which would increase the monetary penalties for selling tobacco products to minors.

Members also adopted Senate Resolution 53 honoring the West Virginia National Guard and Senate Resolution 54 honoring West Virginia University Women's Basketball Head Coach Mike Carey.

The following committees will meet today:
Government Organization-2 p.m. 208W
Finance-3 p.m. 451M
Rules-4:50 p.m. President's Conference Room

The Senate will reconvene this evening at 5 p.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Friday, March 12, 2010 - 01:59 PM

House Passes Tech Park Bill to Governor's Desk
The House reconvened today at 11 a.m. and completed legislative action on six bills, as well as passing six bills with amendments.

Senate Bill 611 completed action and has been sent to the Governor for consideration. It will remove the requirement that the offices of the Higher Education Policy Commission, the Vice Chancellor for Administration and the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education be located in Charleston, West Virginia. The offices will have to remain located in Kanawha County.

The House passed Senate Bill 230, also known as the Optometry Bill, with an amendment. The amendment discards previous lines of the bill that would allow optometrist to perform laser surgeries. It preserves the optometrists rights to prescribe medications and administer epinephrin by injection in case of an emergency.

House members also passed Senate Bill 597, which would require all women seeking an elective abortion to be given the opportunity to see an ultrasound of the fetus before the procedure is performed.

The following committees will meet today:
Rules- 3:15 p.m. Speaker's Office

The House will reconvene this afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Friday, March 12, 2010 - 10:47 AM

Alzheimer's Association Visits Statehouse
Lawmakers received a different kind of visitor today as they arrived to their State Capitol offices on the last Friday of the 2010 Regular Session of the 79th Legislature. Representatives from the West Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association were on hand to deliver "Blueberry Brain Boosts" to members offices as well as to visitors in the Capitol Rotunda area. Blueberries, rich in antioxidants, protect the body against free radicals associated with the aging process.

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research and seeks to provide free services to individuals dealing with Alzheimer's disease, their families and communities. West Virginia currently has approximately 48,000 individuals with this disease and in the United States, roughly 5.3 million people are living with Alzheimer's disease.



Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 06:49 PM

Tech Park Bill Advances to House
Members of the Senate reconvened this evening passed nine bills and advanced 18 bills third reading and 17 to second reading. Bills on third reading included House Bill 4397 which would require the Superintendent of the State Police to implement a plan to increase the number of state troopers.

Senators also received the conference report regarding Senate Bill 611, which would remove the location requirement for certain higher education offices. Upon receiving the report Senate members passed the bill and sent it to the House for their concurrence.

Bills on second reading included House Bill 2663 which would expand the power of municipal parking authority officers and House Bill 4034 which would authorize any municipality to enact by ordinance a vacant property registration program.

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Finance-9 a.m. 451M
Transportation-10 a.m. 451M
Rules-10:45 a.m. President's Conference Room
Government Organization-2 p.m. 208W

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.



Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 04:17 PM

Business Court Bill Passes House
House Bill 4352, known as the "business courts" bill, completed legislative action when voted unanimously in the House this afternoon. The House also passed 22 other bills, as well as advanced 48 bills to third reading.

House Bill 4352 will allow the state Supreme Court to establish "business courts" to handle business cases, just as juvenile courts handle children. The bill was written to make the West Virginia court system more efficient and make the state friendlier to businesses.

Other bills that completed legislative action included House Bill 3110, House Bill 4176, House Bill 4425, and Senate Bill 651.

House Bill 3110 will rename conservation officers "natural resources police officers", House Bill 4176 will create a state-wide credentialing system for health care practitioners, House Bill 4425 will develop a pilot program for unlicensed personnel to administer medication in nursing homes, and Senate Bill 651 will put a preference on current license and permit holders who bid on contacts.

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

›› Completed Legislation

Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 01:21 PM

Taiwanese Representative Addresses Senate
The Senate reconvened this morning at 11 a.m. and completed legislation on 13 bills, presented 10 bills for third reading and adopted 7 resolutions. Bills completing legislation included House Bill 4359 which requires local labor for public construction projects by reducing the dollar amount of the applicable construction project to $250,000 and reducing the amount of miles for local labor market to 50 miles. Also completing legislation was House Bill 4167 which creates a special revenue fund known as the Department of Health and Human Resources Safety and Treatment Fund.

Bills passed, but with amendment, included House Bill 2485 which would allow pharmacy interns to vend pseudoephedrine and other chemical precursors to methamphetamine and House Bill 4155 which would permit revenues allocated to volunteer and part-time fire departments to be used for Workers' Compensation premiums and length of service awards.

Senate members also adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 60 which expresses the will of the Legislature reaffirming sister-state relationship with Taiwan. Kuoyu Tung, a representative from Taiwan, was present to receive and speak to the resolution.

The following committees will meet today:
Government Organization-1 p.m. 208W
Health & Human Resources-1:30 p.m. 451M
Energy-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:
Transportation-10 a.m. 451M

The Senate will reconvene this evening at 5 p.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 12:41 PM

House Completes Action on Erin's Law
The House reconvened today at 11 a.m. and sent nine bills to the Governor for consideration.

The House completed legislative action on Erin's Law, which will increase the penalty for failing to stop and render aid after a motor vehicle accident. If a person does not comply and the accident results in a physical injury that person is guilty of a misdemeanor and will serve up to one year in jail, or be fined up to $1,000, or both. If the negligence results in death, the person will be guilty of a felony and will serve between one to five years in a correctional facility, be fined up to $5,000, or both. The convicted person's driver's license will also be revoked for one year following conviction or release from incarceration.

The House also passed several bills with amendments, which will be sent to the Senate for further consideration. The amended bills included Senate Bill 219, which would authorize the establishment of the Fleet Management Office within the Department of Administration. It would also repeal certain exemptions to rules pertaining to vehicles and aircraft owned or possessed by the state.

Additionally, the House honored the late Joseph Paul Albright, former Speaker of the House of Delegates. A resolution was adopted, which paid tribute to “the character, outstanding career and extraordinary public service” of the former lawmaker. Albright also was a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

The following committees will meet today:
Rules- immediately after adjournment- Speaker's Office

The House will reconvene at 2 p.m. this afternoon.

›› Completed Legislation

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 06:45 PM

Senate Passes Five Bills During Evening Session
The Senate reconvened this evening to suspend constitutional rule for the purpose of passing five bills with amendments, including House Bill 2503, which would require licensed tattoo artists to inform patrons of the potential problems a tattoo may cause prior to performing the procedure. These bills will return to the House for its consideration.

The Senate advanced 17 bills to second reading, including House Bill 4034, which would authorize any municipality to enact a vacant property registration program. Also, House Joint Resolution 101, the Commercial and Industrial Tangible Personal Property Tax Exemption Amendment, advanced to second reading.

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Judiciary-9:30 a.m.-208W
Finance-9:30 a.m.-451M
Rules-10:45 a.m.-President's Conference Room
Government Organization-1 p.m.-208W

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 01:31 PM

Business Court Division Bill Passes Senate With Amendment
The Senate reconvened this morning and was treated to a rousing rendition of the National Anthem by Kayla Massey, a student at Shady Spring High School. Senators completed legislation on nine bills including House Bill 4187 which would continue the current hazardous waste management fee until 2015 and House Bill 4035 which relates to the electronic filing of tax returns and electronic funds transfers in payment of taxes.

Additionally, other bills presented for passage, but with amendments, included House Bill 4352 would authorize the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals to create a Business Court Division within certain circuit court districts and < House Bill 4534, known as Erin's Law, which would increase the criminal penalty for failing to stop and render aid after a motor vehicle accident.

Senators also passed their version of the Budget Bill, which now goes to the House for consideration.

Senate members also adopted House Resolution 66 which commemorated the passing of Brent Cole. Cole a Chief Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army was tragically killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

The following committees will meet today:
Confirmations-1:30 p.m. 208W
Government Organization-2 p.m. 208W
Judiciary-3 p.m. 208W
Finance-3 p.m. 451M

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Government Organization-2 p.m. 208W

The Senate will reconvene this evening at 5 p.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 01:05 PM

House Advances Eight Bills to Governor, 36 Move to Third Reading
The House reconvened today at 11 a.m. and passed 12 bills, eight of which have been sent to the Governor for consideration.

The House concurred with Senate amendments to House Bill 4670 and passed the bill, which completed legislative action. The bill will increase the amount of time a dependent person may file for Workers' Compensation death benefits from one year to two years. The cause of death must be occupational pneumoconiosis, commonly known as "black lung disease."

Senate Bill 527 also completed action. It will require the State Rail Authority to develop a state rail plan, which will comply with the provisions of the laws of the federal government and any regulations relating to capturing and administering federal money for rail transportation, local rail services, and intermodal facilities.

In addition to the eight bills that completed legislative action, four bills were passed with title amendments and will be sent back to the Senate for consideration.

The House also advanced 36 bills to third reading. Bills advanced included Senate Bill 462, which would limit the age of applicants to be a member of the West Virginia State Police; the applicant must be between the ages of 21 and 39 years old.

The House Budget Bill was read a first time.

The following committees will meet today:
Judiciary- 1:15 p.m. 410M
Health and Human Resources- 4 p.m. 252M
Government Organization- 4 p.m. 215E

The House will reconvene at 5:30 p.m. this evening.

Update: The House reconvened at 6:15 this evening and received reports from committees, as well as messages from the Senate. They also advanced the Senate Budget Bill to first reading.

The House will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Tuesday, March 09, 2010 - 06:20 PM

House Completes Action on Three Bills
The House reconvened at 5:30 p.m. this evening and passed three bills to complete legislation.

House Bill 4171 will encourage the use of criminogenic testing for those in custody of the Division of Corrections. This psychological exam may be used to measure the likelihood of those in custody to commit a crime again, and to measure what that person's psychological needs are. If available, the Parole Board is required to look at the results of such testing when making parole determinations.

The other bills completing legislative action include House Bill 4133, which will revise the licensing and eligibility requirements for the practice of marriage and family therapy, and Senate Bill 339, which relates to statewide voter registration list maintenance and makes a technical correction to that statute.

The following committees will meet today:
Rules- immediately following session- Speaker's Office
Health and Human Resources- 6:15 p.m. - 215E

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Political Subdivisions- 8:30 a.m. - 215E
Finance- 9 a.m. 460M
Judiciary- 9 a.m. 410M
Finance- 1 p.m. 460M
Government Organization- 1 p.m. 215E

The House will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Tuesday, March 09, 2010 - 12:46 PM

Bill Promoting Economic Development Sent to Governor
The House reconvened today at 11 a.m. and passed eight bills to complete legislative action.

The bills completing legislative action included Senate Bill 656, which will promote economic development. This bill will provide for special rates for energy intensive industrial consumers of electric power authorized by the Public Service Commission. The bill sets forth factors that the Public Service Commission may take into consideration in establishing special rates for energy intensive industrial consumers of electric power.

Additionally the House passed Senate Bill 215, which will make it a criminal act to assault emergency medical service personnel, including paid and volunteer firefighters, and Senate Bill 345, which will require the Tax Commissioner to undertake a study of the telecommunications industry for the purpose of making recommendations with respect to amendments to the state telecommunications tax.

All eight bills have been sent to the Governor for consideration. The following committees will meet today:
Finance- 1 p.m. 460M
Judiciary- 1 p.m. 410M
Government Organization- 1 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

The House will reconvene at 5:30 p.m. this evening.

›› Completed Legislation

Tuesday, March 09, 2010 - 12:37 PM

Senate Completes Legislation on Eight Bills
Members of the Senate reconvened this morning completing legislation on eight bills, presenting seven bills for second reading and adopting one resolution. Bills completing legislation included House Bill 4133 which would clarify the requirements to practice marriage and family therapy and House Bill 4291 which would eliminate duplicate criminal background investigations with both the West Virginia State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Also completing legislation was House Bill 4361 which would remove provisions prohibiting the sharing of domestic violence information with other governments.

Bills presented for second reading included House Bill 4352 which would authorize the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals to create a Business Court Division within certain circuit court districts and House Bill 4652 which would establish a school calendar committee for each county.

Members also adopted Senate Resolution 51 memorializing Emilie Holroyd, a former National and State Democratic leader.

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

The Senate will reconvene this evening at 5 p.m.

UPDATE

The Senate reconvened this evening and presented 14 bills for first reading including House Bill 4436 which would allow schools that make Adequate Yearly Progress to use assessments and adopt instructional strategies and programs that promote student learning. Also presented for first reading was House Bill 4188 which would create the Anti-Criminal Street Gang Act and House Bill 4534 which would increase the criminal penalty for failing to stop and render aid after a motor vehicle accident.

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Judiciary-9 a.m. 208W
Energy-10 a.m. 208W
Rules-10:45 a.m. President's Conference Room
Confirmations-1:30 p.m. 208W
Government Organization-2 p.m. 208W
Finance-3 p.m. 451M

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Monday, March 08, 2010 - 06:42 PM

House Sends Caregiver's Consent Act to Governor
The House reconvened at 6 p.m. this evening, and two bills completed legislation.

The House concurred with a Senate title amendment to House Bill 4374 . The bill will allow 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.

Also, the House concurred with a title amendment to House Bill 4407 , which will update the law regarding rabies vaccinations of dogs and cats.

The bills now go to the Governor for his consideration.

The following committees will meet today:
Rules- immediately following adjournment- Speaker's Office
Health and Human Resources- 7 p.m. 215E

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Finance- 9:15 a.m. 460M
Finance- 1 p.m. 460M
Government Organization- 2 p.m. 215E

The House will reconvene at 11 a.m. tomorrow

›› Completed Legislation

Monday, March 08, 2010 - 12:35 PM

Instructional Resources Bill Completes Legislation
The Senate reconvened this morning at 11 a.m. completing legislation on one bill, adopting two resolutions and presenting 8 bills for second reading. Completing legislation this morning was Senate Bill 631. This bill would update the process for adopting textbooks and other instructional material. Bills on third reading this morning included House Bill 4374 which would create the Caregivers Consent Act and House Bill 4407 which would update the law regarding the rabies vaccinations of dogs and cats.

Members adopted Senate Resolution 50 designating March 7-13 as National Problem Gambling Awareness Week. The Senate also adopted Senate Resolution 49 which is a show of support for the Governors efforts in developing the South Charleston Technical Park.

Bills presented for second reading included House Bill 4362 which would eliminate the state excise tax on the privilege of transferring real property, and imposing a new county excise tax in its place. Also presented for second reading was House Bill 4459 which would increase the time in which a dependent may apply for Workers Compensation death benefits where occupational pneumoconiosis is determined to be the cause of death.

The Senate will reconvene at 5 p.m. this evening

UPDATE

Members of the Senate reconvened this evening at 5 p.m. and presented two bills for first reading. House Bill 4036 which would establish the Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission and House Bill 4130 which would create the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Public Campaign Financing Pilot program.

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Economic Development-9 a.m. 451M
Judiciary-9:30 a.m. 208W
Government Organization-10 a.m. 208W
Transportation-10 a.m. 451M
Banking-2 p.m. 208W
Finance-3 p.m. 451M

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

›› Completed Legislation

Monday, March 08, 2010 - 12:27 PM

Bill Relating to Vehicle Accidents Completes Legislative Action
The House reconvened today at 11 a.m., and three bills completed legislative action.

Among the bills completing legislation was Senate Bill 354. This bill will update the terms and procedures for notification after traffic crashes and completion of the required reports by investigating law-enforcement officers. Crash reports are now sent to the Division of Highways, not the Division of Motor Vehicles. The bill also replaces the word "accident" with the word "crash." Research in highway safety reflects that "crash" is the term to describe motor vehicle collisions used in most states and encompasses a wider range of potential causes for motor vehicle crashes than does the term "accident."

Other bills completing legislative action were Senate Bill 382, which will authorize the preparation and submission of geological reports incidental to oil and gas drilling, and Senate Bill 436, which will remove the Latin phrase "haec verba viz" and replace it with the translated English phrase "these words verbatim" to allow the reader to better understand the State Code requirements.

The following committees will meet today:
Education- 12:30 p.m. 434M
Finance- 1 p.m. 460M
Judiciary- 1:30 p.m. 410M
Government Organization- 2 p.m. 215E
Health and Human Resources- 4 p.m. 252M

The House will reconvene today at 6 p.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Friday, March 05, 2010 - 12:43 PM

Controlled Substance Bill Completes Legislation
The House reconvened today at 11 a.m. and passed four bills, completing legislative action.

Senate Bill 514, which completed legislative action, will correct a reference in State Code, clarifying the controlled substances that are to be reported when a prescription is filled, or when the controlled substance is dispensed by a medical services provider.

Other bills completing legislative action include Senate Bill 553, which will extend the time for certain members of the Teachers Retirement System to purchase full credit for service in the Teachers Defined Contribution System, and Senate Bill 349, which will require licensed or registered child care centers to have an annually updated, written plan for evacuation in case of an emergency.

Also, the House honored the life of former Delegate Gene M. Ashley who passed away in May of 2009. Family members were escorted by several current delegates, including his son Delegate Bob Ashley, to receive the resolution.

The following committees will meet today:
Energy, Industry & Labor, Economic Development & Small Business- immediately following session in 460M
Government Organization- 30 min. after session 215E
Finance- 45 min. after session 460M
Judiciary- 1 p.m. 410M

The following committees will meet Monday:
Education- 9 a.m. 434M
Judiciary-9 a.m. 410M
Finance- 9:30 a.m. 460M

The House will reconvene today at 3 p.m.


UPDATE:
The House reconvened briefly at 3 p.m. to receive committee reports. The reports were referred to appropriate committees.

The House will reconvene at 11 a.m. Monday

›› Completed Legislation

Friday, March 05, 2010 - 12:41 PM

Senate Resolution Designates March American Red Cross Month
Members of the Senate reconvened this morning and adopted 18 resolutions including Senate Resolution 48 designating March as American Red Cross Month. Members also presented six bills for first reading and three for second reading.

Bills on first reading included House Bill 4291 which would eliminate duplicate criminal background investigations with both the West Virginia State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and House Bill 4133 which would clarify the requirements to practice marriage and family therapy. Bills on second reading included House Bill 4407 which would update the law regarding the rabies vaccinations of dogs and cats.

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

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



Thursday, March 04, 2010 - 12:30 PM

Senate Honors Culture and History Commissioner
The Senate reconvened this morning and passed Senate Resolution 47 honoring the WV Commissioner of Culture and History, Randall Reid-Smith. Smith, a former tenor in the opera, treated the members to a heart warming rendition of The West Virginia Hills. Smith was honored for his outstanding public service.

Members of the Senate presented two bills for third reading. Senate Bill 677 was recommitted to the committee on Education and House Bill 4026 was laid over one day and will be on third reading tomorrow. Additionally, members presented one bill for second reading. House Bill 4652, which would establish a school calendar committee for each county, was also laid over and will be on second reading tomorrow.

The following committees will meet today:

Health & Human Resources-1 p.m. 451M
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-10 a.m. 208W

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.



Thursday, March 04, 2010 - 12:20 PM

Police Chief Reinstatement Bill Passes House
The House reconvened today at 11 a.m. and passed Senate Bill 89 with a title amendment, which will be reconsidered by the Senate.

The bill would mandate reinstatement of chiefs and deputy chiefs to previously held positions within the paid police department after their term as chief has expired. It would also allow for the appointment of a deputy chief of police if city councils approve the position.

Additionally, eight Senate bills were advanced to third reading. Bills advanced included Senate Bill 349 , which would require licensed or registered child care centers to have an annually updated, written plan for evacuation in the event of an emergency.

Update: The House reconvened today at 5:30 p.m. to receive reports from House committees.

The following committees will meet today:
Judiciary- 1:30 p.m. 410M
Finance- 2 p.m. 460M
Roads and Transportation- 3 p.m. 215E
Health and Human Resources- 4 p.m. 215E

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security- 8:30 a.m. 252M
Pensions- 9 a.m. 460M
Judiciary- 9 a.m. 410M
Natural Resources- 9:15 a.m. 215E
Government Organization- 30 min. after session- 215E
Finance- 1 p.m. 460M

The House will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - 04:30 PM

House Passes 42 Bills on Crossover Day
The House reconvened today at 2:30 p.m. and passed 33 bills during the afternoon session.

The House passed House Bill 4666, which would establish a grant program for substance abuse prevention. The Legislature wants to take “bold, aggressive action” against substance abuse. It also would create a special revenue account known as the "Prevention, Intervention, Treatment and Recovery Fund", which would consist of gifts, grants, bequests, transfers, appropriations or other donations.

An amendment was made to the bill which created an additional position on the Alcohol and Drug Disbursement Board to be held by a member of the “recovered community.”

Also included in bills passed were House Bill 4485, which would increase penalties for passing a stopped school bus, and House Bill 4167, which would allocate five percent of coal severance taxes to the counties from which the resource originated.

Today was "crossover day" for the Legislature, meaning that all bills had to be out of the chamber from which they originated to continue in the legislative process. The House passed 42 bills today, and a total of 137 bills have been sent to the Senate for further consideration during this session.

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Roads and Transportation- 9:15 a.m. 215E
Senior Citizen Issues- 10 a.m. 215E
Rules- 10:45 a.m. Speaker's Office
Judiciary- 1 p.m. 410M
Finance- 2 p.m. 460M

The House will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.



Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - 04:22 PM

Senate Passes 54 Bills Prior to Crossover Deadline
The Senate reconvened this afternoon, suspended the Constitutional Rules and passed three bills. The first Senate Bill 70 would clarify in the Code that municipalities and counties are able to increase the rate of property taxes by more than 10% in a given year when counties and municipalities have had an election relative to the issuance of general revenue bonds. Senate Bill 467 would revise classification and compensation plans for certain civil services employees and, Senate Bill 698 which would relate to mini-trucks registration and certificate of title requirements.

Other bills passed this afternoon included Senate Bill 550 which would establish a driver's license restoration program for persons who drivers' license has been canceled, suspended or revoked and, Senate Bill 557 which would clarify the procedures for fulfilling vacancies in the Legislature. Also passed this afternoon was Senate Bill 574 which would make December 7th a special memorial day, known as Pearl Harbor Day to honor all West Virginians who fought in WWII.

Additionally, seven Senate bills were presented for second reading.

The following committees will meet tomorrow:

Judiciary-10 a.m. 208W
Education-2 p.m. 451M
Finance-3 p.m. 451M

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.



Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - 01:23 PM

Senate Passes Bill to Help Pharmacists Control Substance Abuse
The Senate reconvened to pass 23 bills, including Senate Bill 81, which would create the West Virginia Official Prescription Program Act, Senate Bill 427, which would rename and reorganize Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority and Senate Bill 130, which would make the failure to wear a safety belt a primary offense.

Senate Bill 373,which would create the Caregivers Consent Act, was put at the foot of the calendar and Senate Bill 486,which would create the Asbestos Claims Disclosure Act, was recommitted to the Judiciary committee.

Today, the 50th day of session, is Crossover Day in the Legislature, meaning bills have to be out of their house of origin. The joint rule does not apply to budget bills or supplementary appropriations.

The Senate will reconvene at 2 p.m. today.



Wednesday, March 03, 2010 - 01:12 PM

House Passes Bill Funding WV Supreme Court Candidates
Beginning a busy day of legislative activity, the House started by passing nine bills, including one that would publicly fund campaigns for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

The funding for House Bill 4130 would come from an increase in fees from filing civil actions as well as from filing appeals and petitions in the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Other bills passed included House Bill 4359, House Bill 4397, House Bill 4504, House Bill 4513, House Bill 4525, House Bill 4669 and House Bill 3152.

In other action, the House also concurred with Senate amendments regarding House Bill 4128, passed the bill and sent it to the Governor for his approval.

The following committees will meet today:
Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security- 12:45 p.m. 432M
Rules- 2:15 p.m. Speakers Office

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Political Subdivisions- 8:30 a.m. 215E
Energy, Industry & Labor/ Economic Development & Small Business- 8:30 a.m. 460M
Health and Human Resources- 4 p.m. 215E

The House will reconvene today at 2:30 p.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - 03:35 PM

Coal Severance Tax Bill Advances to Third Reading
The House reconvened today at 2 p.m. to continue with bills on second reading. A total of 48 bills were advanced to third reading.

Advanced bills included House Bill 4177. The bill would dedicate five percent of the coal severance tax to the counties where the coal originated. The five percent will go to the county commissions and the bill provides specific uses for the money.

Senate Bill 89 also advanced to third reading. The purpose of the bill is to mandate the reinstatement of police chiefs and deputy chiefs to previously held positions within the paid police department. It would also allow for the appointment of a deputy chief of police if city councils approve the position.

The following committees will meet today:
Rules- 4 p.m. Speaker's Office

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

The House will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.



Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - 02:09 PM

Fleet Management Bill Passes Senate
The Senate reconvened this morning passing 45 bills and presenting 49 for second reading. Bills passed this morning include Senate Bill 219 which would, among other things, authorize the establishment of a Fleet Management Office within the Department of Administration and Senate Bill 394 which would authorize the DMV to use certain programs to identify uninsured vehicles. Also passed this morning was Senate Bill 518 which would create the Governor's Commission to Seize Future of Energy for America.

Bills presented for second reading included Senate Bill 130 which would make failure to wear a safety belt a primary offense and Senate Bill 225 which would create the Spay Neuter Assistance Fund. Also presented for second reading was Senate Bill 686 which would allow county boards of education to authorize the creation of new public charter schools and the conversion of public schools to public charter schools under certain conditions.

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

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Energy-10 a.m. 208W

The Senate will reconvene this evening at 5 p.m.

UPDATE:

Members of the Senate reconvened this evening at 5 p.m. and presented six bills for second reading and five bills for first reading. Bills on second reading included Senate Bill 550 which would establish a driver's license restoration program for persons whose motor vehicle driver's license has been cancelled, suspended or revoked and Senate Bill 627 which would increase civil and criminal penalties for the crime of littering.

The following committees will meet tomorrow:

Energy-10 a.m. 208W

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.



Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - 12:55 PM

Flexible Leave Act Bill Passes House
The House reconvened this morning and passed three bills concerning West Virginia workers, as well as four other bills.

The worker bills passed this morning were House Bill 4387, House Bill 4459 and House Bill 4214.

House Bill 4387 would create the Flexible Leave Act, which would enable employees to use paid leave in order to care for a member of their immediate family. House Bill 4459 would allow dependents of deceased workers to collect workers compensation benefits up to two years after the death. West Virginia Code currently allows dependents to wait up to one year. Lastly, House Bill 4214 would require the Office of Judges review all workers compensation claims.

The following committee will meet today:
Judiciary-1 p.m. 410M

The following committees will meet tomorrow:
Veterans Affairs-9 a.m. 460M
Health and Human Resources-9:15 a.m. 215E
Banking and Insurance-10 a.m. 215E
Health and Human Resources-4 p.m. 215E

The House will reconvene at 2 p.m. today.

›› Completed Legislation

Monday, March 01, 2010 - 04:49 PM

Houses Passes Bill Allowing Shareholder Vote Prior to Corporate Political Donations
The House reconvened this afternoon and passed six bills and advanced five bills to third reading.

The most debated bill was House Bill 4646, which passed 61 to 34. The legislation would require corporations to allow shareholders to vote on financially supporting political causes.

The House also passed House Bill 4211, House Bill 4534, House Bill 4615, House Bill 4623 and House Bill 4647.

House Bill 4534 would increase the criminal penalty for those who fail to give aid after a motor vehicle accident and House Bill 4623 would add six members to the Equal Pay Commission.

The House advanced five bills to third reading including House Bill 4373, House Bill 4387, House Bill 4459, House Bill 4460 and House Bill 4486.

House Bill 4373 would remove a provision from state code designating that children who received insurance under an employer sponsored insurance plan must wait 12 months before being eligible for the Children's Health Insurance Program. House Bill 4373 and the other four bills on second reading will be up for vote tomorrow.

Ten Senate bills were introduced to the House as well.

The following committee will meet today:

Health and Human Resources-4 p.m. 215E

The following committee will meet tomorrow:

Rules-10:45 a.m. Speaker's Office

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



Monday, March 01, 2010 - 01:41 PM

Senate Passes 11 Bills, Advances 41 to Third Reading
The Senate reconvened to pass 11 bills, including Senate Bill 621, which would allow certain permit limits for discharge located upstream of public water intakes, and House Bill 4128, which relates to insurance companies deemed to be in hazardous financial condition.

In addition, 41 bills advanced to third reading, including Senate Bill 51, which would require a parenting plan concerning custody of a child of National Guard or Armed Forces reserve member.

Also, 23 bills were advanced to second reading. These bills include Senate Bill 130, which would make the failure to wear a safety belt a primary offense, and Senate Bill 175, which relates to the purchase, possession, sale and use of fireworks.

The Senate adopted two resolutions, as well. Senate Resolution 44 established March 2010 as West Virginia March for Meals Month, and Senate Resolution 44 established May 24, 2010 as Aviation Maintenance Technician Day.

The following committees will meet today:
Government Organization-2 p.m.-451M
Natural Resources-2 p.m.-208W
Pensions-2:30 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
Banking and Insurance-2 p.m.-208W

The Senate will reconvene this afternoon at 5 p.m.

UPDATE
The Senate reconvened briefly at 5 p.m. to advance 20 bills to second reading. The bills were presented on first reading after being immediately considered from committee reports. The bills include Senate Bill 81, which would create the West Virginia Official Prescription Program Act, and House Bill 507, which would create the West Virginia Innovative Mine Safety Technology Tax Credit Act.

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

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.

›› Completed Legislation

Monday, March 01, 2010 - 12:42 PM

House Passes School Calendar Committee Bill, 8 Other Bills
The House reconvened this morning and passed nine bills, including the heavily debated school calendar committee bill.

House Bill 4652 would establish a school calendar committee in every county. The bill designates that the committee would have administrators, teachers and service personnel on the 6 - 10 member committee. The bill would go into effect July 1, 2010.

House Bill 4038 passed the House today and would allow municipalities and counties to place a hold on insurance proceeds in order to ensure that debris resulting from fire damage is cleaned up.

House Bill 4161 passed this morning and would establish the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs within the office of the governor. The office would be responsible for making recommendations for minority activities throughout the state. It would also create a "Minority Affairs Fund" which would be used when determined by the legislature.

The following committees will meet today:

Finance-12:30 p.m. 460M
Education-2 p.m. 434M
Health and Human Resources-4 p.m. 215E

The House will reconvene at 2:30 p.m. today.




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