SENATE
HOUSE
JOINT
BILL STATUS
STATE LAW
REPORTS
EDUCATIONAL
CONTACT
home
home
WRAP-UP
The Newsletter of the West Virginia Legislature
Volume XXXI, Issue 2 - January 24, 2020


House Makes Progress with Foster Care Legislation

Bipartisan Effort Tackles Crisis


by JULIET THOMAS

Creating bipartisan legislation focused on foster care reform has been top priority for many members of the House this week. West Virginia has more than 7,000 kids in the foster care system and the Legislature is working to make changes.

One bill, House Bill 4092, aims to make several changes to improve the foster care system. The main goal of this bill is to make it easier to become a foster parent or kinship family. This bill provides benefits to foster children, foster parents, and the child placing agencies.

As amended, the bill increases the per diem rate for foster parents. This rate has not been increased since 2009. The bill establishes that foster parents will be reimbursed a floor of 40% of the daily rate that child placing agencies receive per child. The Department of Health and Human Resources will pay child placing agencies a minimum daily rate of $75 for services provided to each child in placement. Families fostering through the department, will be provided at least $900 per month for each child placed in the home.

During Thursday's meeting in Health and Human Resources, House Bill 4092 was amended to include kinship families in the payment raise. Certified kinship families would also receive $900 per month for each child place in their home. This concerned many delegates, who were unsure if this payment increase would be too much to fit in the legislative budget.

Because of the fiscal implications of this bill, it next heads to the House Finance Committee before being reported to the full House.

Delegate Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha, is one of the sponsors for this bill and another foster care bill, House Bill 4094.

"This [bill] needs to be a priority," he said. "The money needs to be put in by Finance. I don't think the rate increase is unreasonable, but we'll see where the money goes."

Pushkin stressed the importance of this bill.

"We need to make this a priority, put our words into action, and do something to fix this crisis," he said.

House Bill 4092 also outlines a Foster Parents and Foster Children Bill of Rights. There are several terms defined in the Bill of Rights, but some notable conditions require that a foster child is to live in a safe, healthy, and comfortable setting where he or she is treated with respect, to be free from physical, sexual, psychological, or other abuse, exploitation or corporal punishment, to receive adequate and healthy food, adequate fitting clothing, and, a travel bag and to receive medical, dental, vision, mental health services, substance use treatment services. The bill of rights also aims to keep siblings together during placement.

This bill also defines the standards for reasonable and prudent parent standards. This relates to the standard defined by parental decisions that clearly have the child's best mental, emotional, and physical development as priorities.

Additionally, there are minimum standards and expectations set in this legislation for the guardian ad litem, which is an attorney appointed by the court to make recommendations in the best interest of children. The guardian ad litem assigned to a case must conduct an independent investigation, meet with the child in person and provide a thoroughly analyzed recommendation to the court. This report must be submitted to the court before the dispositional hearing. Copies of this report will be sent to the involved parties and their council. The bill also defines the information that must be included in the guardian ad litem's report. This part of the bill aims to reform how the court deals with foster child cases.

Another bill, House Bill 4094, outlines the duties for the foster care ombudsmen, a position under the Office of Inspector General. This creates access to foster care children and records, including subpoena powers, to assist in investigation of complaints and fulfillment of the foster care ombudsman's duties. This also creates misdemeanor offenses for interference with the foster care ombudsmen investigations. This bill establishes a statewide procedure for the foster care ombudsmen's investigations.

House Bill 4094 is on second reading in the House.

Delegate Jeffrey Pack, R-Raleigh, said that foster care legislation is a large step in the right direction to fixing the foster care crisis in the state. Pack is a sponsor for both House Bills 4092 and 4094.

"It's incumbent on us in the legislature to make bold steps to ensure as normal of a childhood that these children can have," he said.



Senate Legislation (01/18 - 01/24)

As of Friday, January 24, 2020, 623 bills have been introduced to the Senate. Of those bills, 20 have passed and advanced to the House for further consideration.

Legislation Passed the Senate

SB 16 creates the Protect Our Right to Unite Act. The purpose of this bill is to protect the privacy of people's membership in a public agency.

SB 42 allows county boards of education to include faith-based electives in drug and violence prevention programs in schools.

SB 125 will prohibit victims in sexual assault cases from undergoing certain physical examinations. The bill was made to protect the privacy of these individuals and the argument was made that such examinations may not be sufficient for evidence in their case.

SB 144 makes it a misdemeanor to obstruct an officer of the law during an investigation. The bill establishes a penalty for this action.

SB 191 makes aggravated cruelty to animals a felony offense. The bill clarifies the different instances of animal abuse and specifies the civil penalties.

SB 217 requires the Department of Health and Human Resources to collaborate with the Workforce Development Board and the WV Division of Personnel for job placement.

SB 225 allows municipalities to enact Adopt-A-Street programs. These programs would encourage public awareness of littering by hosting volunteer-lead cleanups of streets.

SB 297 requires the Board of Education to create a course on family and consumer sciences in schools. Such courses would encourage independence and prepare students for everyday tasks such as cooking, house cleaning, home repair, budgeting, and time management.

SB 307 corrects a citation of code relating to tax liens.

SB 311 would make state and political subdivisions immune to liability for injury to people who perform voluntary community service ordered by a municipal court or magistrate.

SB 321 clarifies conflicts in the WV Code relating to tax collection and distribution.

SB 322 will allow for services to be bought by state contractors through prequalifications with prequalified vendors.

SB 323 authorizes Department of Administration to promulgate rules relating to legislation.

Legislation Still Under Consideration in the Senate

SB 51 updates visitation rights for grandparents. The bill allows daytime visitations, overnight visitations, and electronic communication.

SB 230 discusses suicide prevention in schools. The bill would require the Board of Education to provide instruction to school staff on suicide awareness and prevention. The guidelines would be determined by the state board.

SB 470 allows bolts and arrows 16 inches or larger with a broad head to be used for hunting in West Virginia. The crossbow must also have a working safety and a minimal draw weight of 125 lbs.

SB 501 adds the protection, operation, and maintenance of Elk River Trail as part of the Parks and Recreation Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

SB 509 would work to provide venue for custody allocation actions in situations that do not involve divorce. This would primarily apply to family situations in which the parents of a child were never married.

SB 522 relates to compensation awards to victims of crimes. The bill provides juvenile victims of abuse and neglect cases services not provided by Medicaid or other resources.

SB 529 establishes a time limit for claimants to fine claims against the state for unjust arrest, wrongful convictions, and wrongful incarceration. It also establishes a 10-year claim limit for claims benefits and limits damages under certain conditions.



House Legislation (01/18 - 01/24)

As of Friday, January 24, 2020, there have been 1,097 bills introduced in the House and 28 bills have been passed and now are before the Senate.

Legislation Passed the House

House Bill 4062 reduces the price of prescription drugs from single use manufacturers by redirecting the rebates from pharmacies directly to the insured consumer.

House Bill 2086 adopts the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act. Any requirement of state law describing or requiring that a land record document be an original, on paper, or in writing are satisfied by a document in electronic form. Any requirement for signatures on the document can be satisfied by an online signature. This authorizes county and state clerks to accept, record and store electronic documents. This bill does not provide funding towards an electronic recording system. Multiple recording systems may be put in place across the state.

House Bill 4077 increases the amount of the bond required to be posted by proprietary schools, establish methods of bonding, and require suspension of a proprietary school's permit if there is not requisite bond coverage.

House Bill 4119 amends West Virginia Code to establish criminal penalties and defining terms for torture. Under the bill, torture is defined as the intent to cause cruel or extreme physical or mental pain and suffering, and the infliction of serious bodily injury or mental suffering upon another person within his or her custody or physical control.

House Bill 4417 permits different types of continuing education to qualify for completion of the drug diversion continuing education requirements. Under this bill, a board will develop continuing education criteria appropriate to its discipline, which will include course content, course approval, hours required and reporting periods.

House Bill 4419 requires a pharmacist to check the Controlled Substance Monitoring Database. This applies to all practitioners that prescribe or dispense Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substances.

House Bill 4058 updates the law regulating pharmacy benefit managers. This update states that a person or organization may not establish or operate as a pharmacy benefits manager in the State of West Virginia without first obtaining a license from the Insurance Commissioner pursuant to this section.

House Bill 4275 authorizes the Fire Commission to promulgate a legislative rule relating to State Building code. The Fire Commission is proposing an amendment to the State Fire Code that would update the code to reflect National Fire Protection Association standards. The updates relate to preserving life safety issues.

House Bill 4002 creates a felony of negligently and with a reckless disregard of the safety of others, delivering a controlled substance or counterfeit controlled substance for an illicit purpose and the use causes a death. Under this bill, a person convicted of this felony will be sentenced to a state correctional facility for a sentence no less than three and no more than 15 years.

House Bill 4393 creates the crimes of suffocation and asphyxiation. In this bill, the words "bodily injury," "strangle," "suffocate" and "asphyxiate" are defined. Any person who strangles, suffocates or asphyxiates another without that person's consent and causes bodily injury is guilty of a felony. The punishment for this crime is a fine of no more than $2,500 or imprisonment in a state correctional facility not less than one year and not more than five years. Those guilty of this crime could also be both fined and imprisoned.

Legislation on House Special Calendar

House Bill 4011 reorganizes the articles in the current Chapter 30, regarding licensing of professions and occupations, into three separate chapters arranged by duties and educational requirements, both prior to and following licensing.

House Bill 4129 provides that if a minor child to be adopted has been removed from a prior home due to an abuse or neglect proceeding, the petition for adoption may be filed in the same county as the original abuse and neglect proceeding. The bill eliminates a 45-day waiting period before a petition for adoption may be filed.

House Bill 4146 relates to credit for reinsurance. This bill allows a credit on an insurer's annual statement when reinsurance is yielded to an assuming insurer and the assuming insurer is licensed in a reciprocal jurisdiction; defining reciprocal jurisdiction; setting forth the criteria required regarding the credit for reinsurance; and requiring the Insurance Commissioner to create and publish a list of reciprocal jurisdictions and assuming insurers.

House Bill 4149 adds definitions relating to insurance. This includes words such as "holder," "incidental costs," "maintenance agreement" and "provider," and more.

House Bill 4166 prohibits certain sex offenders from being in a supervisory position over children. This bill also requires extended supervision for certain sex offenders, sentencing, conditions, supervision provisions and the supervision fee.

House Bill 4411 allows the final payment installment of a mortgage to exceed by a de minimis amount not to exceed five dollars more than any previous mortgage installment payment. This bill relates to the West Virginia Residential Mortgage Lender, Broker and Servicer Act

House Bill 2497 clarifies protections under the state's whistle-blower law. This bill protects discriminatory or retaliatory actions against employee whistleblowers from their employers. The bill also defines civil action by whistle-blower for violations in civil proceedings.

House Bill 4089 requires cursive writing to be taught in grades 3-5.

House Bill 4365 authorizes state institutions of higher learning to grant college credit to students who have learned English as a second language.

House Bill 4480 authorizes legislative rules of the Higher Education Policy Commission, repeals a rule of the Higher Education Policy Commission and authorizes a legislative rule for the Council for Community and Technical College Education.

It's a guy talking in a committee room.'
Delegate Jeffrey Pack, one of the sponsors of House Bills 4092 and 4094, speaks during a meeting of the House Health and Human Resources Committee.
PHOTO: Perry Bennett
Wrap-up, 2020 Edition:
Vol. XXXI, Issue 7 (02/28/20) - Web Version
Vol. XXXI, Issue 6 (02/21/20) - Web Version
Vol. XXXI, Issue 5 (02/14/20) - Web Version
Vol. XXXI, Issue 4 (02/10/20) - Web Version
Vol. XXXI, Issue 3 (02/03/20) - Web Version
Vol. XXXI, Issue 2 (01/24/20) - Web Version
Vol. XXXI, Issue 1 (01/17/20) - Web Version

Wrap-up, 2019 Edition:
Vol. XXX, Issue 7 (03/02/19) - Web Version
Vol. XXX, Issue 6 (02/22/19) - Web Version
Vol. XXX, Issue 5 (02/15/19) - Web Version
Vol. XXX, Issue 4 (02/08/19) - Web Version
Vol. XXX, Issue 3 (02/01/19) - Web Version
Vol. XXX, Issue 2 (01/25/19) - Web Version
Vol. XXX, Issue 1 (01/18/19) - Web Version

Wrap-up, 2018 Edition:
Vol. XXIX, Issue 5 (02/20/18) - Web Version
Vol. XXIX, Issue 4 (02/12/18) - Web Version
Vol. XXIX, Issue 3 (02/02/18) - Web Version
Vol. XXIX, Issue 2 (01/30/18) - Web Version
Vol. XXIX, Issue 1 (01/24/18) - Web Version

Wrap-up, 2017 Edition:
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 7 (04/01/17) - Web Version
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 6 (03/27/17) - Web Version
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 5 (03/17/17) - Web Version
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 4 (03/10/17) - Web Version
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 3 (03/06/17) - Web Version
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 2 (02/24/17) - Web Version
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 1 (02/17/17) - Web Version

Wrap-up, 2016 Edition:
Vol. XXVII, Issue 6 (03/07/16) - Web Version
Vol. XXVII, Issue 5 (03/03/16) - Web Version
Vol. XXVII, Issue 4 (02/23/16) - Web Version
Vol. XXVII, Issue 3 (02/12/16) - Web Version
Vol. XXVII, Issue 2 (02/05/16) - Web Version
Vol. XXVII, Issue 1 (01/29/16) - Web Version

Wrap-up, 2015 Edition:
Vol. XXVI, Final Issue (June 2015) - Web Version
Vol. XXVI, Issue 6 (03/06/15) - Web Version
Vol. XXVI, Issue 5 (02/27/15) - Web Version
Vol. XXVI, Issue 4 (02/20/15) - Web Version
Vol. XXVI, Issue 3 (02/13/15) - Web Version
Vol. XXVI, Issue 2 (02/06/15) - Web Version
Vol. XXVI, Issue 1 (01/28/15) - Web Version

Wrap-up, 2014 Edition:
Vol. XXV, Issue 9 (03/19/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 8 (03/07/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 7 (02/28/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 6 (02/21/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 5 (02/14/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 4 (02/07/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 3 (01/31/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 2 (01/24/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 1 (01/17/14) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2013 Edition:
Vol. XXIV, Final Issue (07/25/13) - Download
Vol. XXIV, Issue 8 (04/19/13) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIV, Issue 7 (04/12/13) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIV, Issue 6 (04/05/13) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIV, Issue 5 (03/28/13) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIV, Issue 4 (03/22/13) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIV, Issue 3 (03/08/13) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2 (03/01/13) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIV, Issue 1 (02/21/13) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2012 Edition:
Vol. XXIII, Final Issue (04/24/12) - Download
Vol. XXIII, Issue 8 (03/07/12) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIII, Issue 7 (02/29/12) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIII, Issue 6 (02/22/12) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIII, Issue 5 (02/15/12) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIII, Issue 4 (02/08/12) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIII, Issue 3 (02/01/12) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIII, Issue 2 (01/26/12) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIII, Issue 1 (01/19/12) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2011 Edition:
Vol. XXII, Redistricting Issue (09/13/11) - Download
Vol. XXII, Final Issue (04/27/11) - Download
Vol. XXII, Issue 8 (03/09/11) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXII, Issue 7 (03/02/11) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXII, Issue 6 (02/23/11) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXII, Issue 5 (02/16/11) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXII, Issue 4 (02/09/11) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXII, Issue 3 (02/02/11) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXII, Issue 2 (01/26/11) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 (01/19/11) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2010 Edition:
Vol. XXI, Final Issue (04/07/10) - Download
Vol. XXI, Issue 8 (03/10/10) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXI, Issue 7 (03/03/10) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXI, Issue 6 (02/24/10) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXI, Issue 5 (02/17/10) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXI, Issue 4 (02/10/10) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXI, Issue 3 (02/03/10) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXI, Issue 2 (01/27/10) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXI, Issue 1 (01/20/10) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2009 Editions:
Vol. XX, Final Issue Addendum (06/11/09) - Download
Vol. XX, Final Issue (05/18/09) - Download
Vol. XX, Issue 8 (04/08/09) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XX, Issue 7 (04/01/09) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XX, Issue 6 (03/25/09) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XX, Issue 5 (03/18/09) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XX, Issue 4 (03/11/09) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XX, Issue 3 (03/04/09) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XX, Issue 2 (02/25/09) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XX, Issue 1 (02/18/09) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2008 Editions:
Vol. XIX, Final Issue (04/14/08) - Download
Vol. XIX, Issue 8 (03/05/08) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XIX, Issue 7 (02/27/08) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XIX, Issue 6 (02/20/08) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XIX, Issue 5 (02/13/08) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XIX, Issue 4 (02/06/08) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XIX, Issue 3 (01/30/08) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XIX, Issue 2 (01/24/08) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XIX, Issue 1 (01/17/08) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2007 Editions:
Vol. XVIII, Final Issue (04/16/07) - Download
Vol. XVIII, Issue 8 (03/07/07) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVIII, Issue 7 (02/28/07) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVIII, Issue 6 (02/21/07) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVIII, Issue 5 (02/14/07) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVIII, Issue 4 (02/07/07) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVIII, Issue 3 (01/31/07) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVIII, Issue 2 (01/25/07) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVIII, Issue 1 (01/18/07) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2006 Editions:
Vol. XVII, Final Issue (05/18/06) - Download
Vol. XVII, Issue 8 (03/08/06) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVII, Issue 7 (03/01/06) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVII, Issue 6 (02/22/06) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVII, Issue 5 (02/15/06) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVII, Issue 4 (02/08/06) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVII, Issue 3 (02/01/06) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVII, Issue 2 (01/25/06) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVII, Issue 1 (01/18/06) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2005 Editions:
Vol. XVI, 4th Special (09/30/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Final (05/17/05) - Download
Vol. XVI, Issue 9 (04/21/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 8 (04/07/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 7 (03/31/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 6 (03/24/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 5 (03/17/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 4 (03/10/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 3 (03/03/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 2 (02/24/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 1 (02/17/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Special (02/03/05) - Download

Download Wrap-up, 2004 Editions:
Vol. XV, Final - 05/04
Vol. XV, Issue 8 - 03/10/04
Vol. XV, Issue 7 - 03/03/04
Vol. XV, Issue 6 - 02/25/04
Vol. XV, Issue 5 - 02/18/04
Vol. XV, Issue 4 - 02/11/04
Vol. XV, Issue 3 - 02/04/04
Vol. XV, Issue 2 - 01/28/04
Vol. XV, Issue 1 - 01/21/04

Download Wrap-up, 2003 Editions:
Vol. XIV, Final - 03/17/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 8 - 03/05/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 7 - 02/26/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 6 - 02/19/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 5 - 02/12/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 4 - 02/05/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 3 - 01/29/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 2 - 01/22/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 1 - 01/16/03
WRAP-UP is a publication of
The West Virginia Legislature’s
Office of Reference & Information


Building 1, Room MB 27
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
phone: 304-347-4836

Drew Ross
Director

Andrea Lannom
Public Information Officer

Dennis Loudermilk
Web Engineer

Steve Marsden
Web Developer

Chris Marshall
Public Information Officer

Dee Spelock
Resource Manager

John Tice
Graphic Designer

Perry Bennett
Photographer

Will Price
Per Diem Photographer

Madison Perdue
Intern - Marshall University

Juliet Thomas
Intern - West Virginia University

This Web site is maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information.  |  Terms of Use  |   Web Administrator   |   © 2020 West Virginia Legislature *