The Senate and House convened for the first Extraordinary Special Session of 2019 by Proclamation of Governor Justice.
Both the Senate and House adjourned until both the Senate President and Speaker of the House decide to return.
The Senate reconvened at 11 p.m. to discuss H.C.R. 61, Applying to and urging Congress to call a convention of the states to limit the terms of office.
The Regular session ended before the Senate could vote on the Resolution.
The Legislature adjourned Sine Die.
The House of Delegates, in the midst of concurrence with Senate amendments, motioned to reconsider House Bill 3143.
This bill relates to requirements for making consumer loans in West Virginia. The bill limits the loans where finance charges may be imposed and clarifies the need for a license from the Division of Financial Intuitions. The House had refused to concur with Senate amendments, but after more information was brought forward and stakeholders expressed their opinion on the bill it was reconsidered.
The House concurred with amendments made and was passed, completing its legislation.
House Bill 3139 creates the PEIA rainy day fund. This bill changes certain requirements imposed on the PEIA Finance Board. The house concurred with Senate amendments and was passed. The bill has now passed legislation.
Senate Bill 487 relating to admissibility of health care staffing requirements in litigation. The bill was committed to a conference to committee and the report was to be taken up by the chamber. After much debate the report of the committee was accepted and the bill finished legislation after passage.
Various messages concerning legislation were received by the Senate prior to recess.
Nearing the end of the 84th Regular Session, the Senate received multiple messages urging the body to concur with changes offered by the House of Delegates. Of the concurred legislation were Senate Bills 365 and House Bills 2540 and 3044.
The House had originally moved to refuse to concur with Senate amendments made to House Bill 2503, but Delegate Jeff Pack, R-Raleigh, a Delegate who had originally voted on the prevailing side, moved to reconsider.
The Senate amendments to House Bill 2503 would issue additional protections to unprotected parents who are seeking counsel, and it also provides a mechanism for individuals between the ages of 18-21 to have access to housing in the event that they are involved in an abuse and neglect case. Concern was raised in regards to how much latitude the Senate had to amend the bill, considering the original bill passed out of the House was more narrow.
After a lengthy debate, the House reconsidered and concurred with the Senate’s changes and passed the bill 74-25.
House Bill 2618 also completed legislative action on this day. This bill would include undue influence as a factor in the definition of financial exploitation of an elderly person or protected person. The Senate’s changes to the bill improve the structure of the language within the bill, as well as create a cause of action in magistrate and circuit court where an elderly person or incapacitated adult is suffering financial exploitation due to the intentional misappropriation or misuse of funds or undue influence. The House unanimously concurred with the Senate changes.
The Senate refused to concur and requested that the Senate recede their amendments on House Bill 2709, a bill to exempt contact information for hunting license holders from public disclosure.
The House reconsidered their request of the Senate to recede their amendments on House Bill 3034, and ultimately concurred with the Senate amendments with further fiscal amendments.
The House of Delegates concurred with amendment to House Bill 3139. The amendment provided a source of funding for the bill.
House Bill 2193 was passed by the Senate without amendment and completed legislative action. This bill would provide a specific escheat of US savings bonds.
The House concurred with a Senate amendment to House Bill 2083 that removed findings and would require temporary identification cards be issued to individuals within 7 days of their request.
The House concurred in a vote of 54-45 with Senate changes to House Bill 2049 that would specify that private companies could not be held liable for attorney fees.
The House concurred with a title amendment to Senate Bill 622 in a vote of 57-42.
The House concurred with Senate changes to Senate Bill 410 that would issue administrative changes to the rule-making authority in the bill, thus completing legislative action.
The Senate reconvened at 9 p.m. to receive House messages.
Nine bills completed legislation including House Bill 2010, Relating to foster care. The bill would update the regulation of foster care in West Virginia. The bill does nine things which include:
The Senate also passed eight other bills. Those bills include the following:
All bills will be reported to Governor Justice to singed into law or vetoed.
The Senate is currently in session.
A number of House messages were received by the Senate concerning legislation conference committee prior to their 8 p.m. deadline.
Following the arrival of conference report, the body passed multiple bills after concurring with amendments offered by the House.
The House of Delegates reconvened at 7:50 p.m. to discuss and concur with amendments made to House Bill 2079, removing certain limitations on medical cannabis grower, processor and dispensary licenses.
The bill does exactly as it says in the short title and the House of Delegates concurred with the Senate amendments made to it. The bill was passed and has now completed legislation.
Senate Bill 632 improves student safety. This bill requires safety and security checks from county boards and multi-county centers. They are required to upgrade the measures as necessary and report these to the WVDE annually. County boards must also ensure placement of video cameras in self-contained classrooms.
Amendments by the Senate were concurred with, the bill was passed and has completed legislation.
The House of Delegates will reconvene at 9 p.m.
The House of Delegates continued to meet at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 7 on the final day of session to continue taking up messages from the Senate and conference committee reports.
The House of Delegates established two conference committees to address disagreements between the two chambers and take up come to a compromise.
The House refused to recede on their changes to Senate Bill 522, a bill to create the Special Road Repair fund. A conference committee consisting of Delegate Vernon Criss, R-Wood, Delegate Daniel Linville, R-Cabell, and Jason Barrett, D-Berkeley was appointed to reach an agreement on the bill.
A conference committee was also appointed to come to a compromise on Senate Bill 405, a bill to increase the limit on additional expenses incurred in preparing a notice list for redemption. Delegate Jeff Pack, R-Raleigh, Delegate Tom Bibby, R-Berkeley, and Delegate Tim Tomblin, D-Logan were appointed to this conference committee, due to congregate at 7:30 p.m. in the Senate President’s Conference Room.
The Senate accepted the conference committee report for Senate Bill 295, relating to crimes against public justice.
Delegate Ray Hollen, R-Wirt, presented the report, which issued a compromise on a bill that would include court security officers in the definition of people who could be criminally prosecuted for obstructing a police officer, adding protection for court security personnel and bailiffs as it relates to the potential to charge individuals for obstruction of such officers. The compromise adds correctional officers to the list of security personnel, and makes several other changes.
The House adopted the conference committee report and Senate Bill 295 completed legislative action.
The House of Delegates had consideration of changes that the Senate made to House Bill 2673. The changes consisted of allowing the state tax department to maintain administration of the plugging of orphaned gas and oil wells. The amendment didn’t operate in a way that changed the substance of the bill, so the House unanimously concurred.
The House of Delegates also adopted the Senate’s amendment to House Bill 2674, which seeks to expand the services issued by House Bill 2674 by combining provisions from House Bill 2882.
Changes made to House Bill 2947, a bill to expand telemedicine services in rural hospitals, was also concurred to by the House of Delegates. This bill would make a change to prohibit the use of telemedicine equipment in state emergency rooms.
The changes made to House Bill 2968 were also concurred to. This bill would add provisions to allow remote service units to bank communication terminals. The change that the Senate made would specify that a bank placing a remote service unit in the state would not have to have a physical presence in the state.
Changes made to House Bill 3131 consisted of removing the purview of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources to raise employees’ salaries. The amendment instead creates a merit system in which state hospital employees can receive raises. The amendment was concurred to by the House with little discussion.
Senate Bill 424 was read all three times after a suspension of Constitutional rules. This bill would issue a $10 million supplemental appropriation to the Governor’s Civil Contingency Fund. The bill was passed earlier by the Senate, and completed legislative action upon being passed out of the House without amendment.
The House is in Recess until 9:00 pm. tonight, Saturday, March 9.
The Senate reconvened at 5 p.m. to discuss 64 nominations from Governor Justice presented to the Senate in Executive Message 3.
Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Confirmations approved all nominations on the list with the exception of number nine; bringing the list down from 65 to 64 nominees. The Senate unanimously approved all 64 nominees.
Eight Senate bills also completed legislation including Senate Bill 152, Relating generally to criminal offense expungement. The proposed legislation would authorize the expungement of certain misdemeanors and non-violent felonies from a person’s criminal record.
The other bills that completed legislation include the following:
All eight bills will be sent to the Governor to be signed into law or vetoed.
The Senate is currently in recess until 7:10 p.m.
Sen. Greg Boso, R-Nicholas, rose to describe contents of the message which detailed that a conference committee containing members of both houses met, resulting in the House adopting the Senate’s position on the bill, while also adding language which will become effective in 2020. Following the reading of the message members motioned to adopt the message and pass the bill.
The body also received other messages relating to Senate Bills which resulted in the creation of three conference committees. In relation to Senate Bill 405, the President apportioned Senators Boso, Sypolt and Palumbo.
In relation to Senate Bill 487, a bill which relates to the admissibility of health care staffing requirements in litigation, was sent to a conference committee where the President appointed Senators Takubo, Boso and Woelfel to represent the Senate
Additionally, Senate concurrent resolutions 63 and 74 were brought before the body for immediate consideration where they were immediately reported to the committee on rules.
Senate Bill 635 relates to coal mining activities. This bill expands protections to economic development, environmental, underground coal mining, and crimes and their punishment. The bill seeks to extend protections for mining operations. The House concurred with the Senate amendments and now the bill has passed legislation.
House Bill 2583 establishes the Family Planning Access Act. This bill permits trained pharmacists to give self-administered hormonal contraceptives under a standing prescription drug order. The House concurred with all Senate amendments, was passed, and now the bill has finished legislation.
House Bill 2694 relates to the state’s ability to regulate hemp. The bill adds new code sections to the Industrial Hemp Act. The state must submit to the Secretary of Agriculture in order to have primary regulatory authority over the production of industrial hemp. The House concurred with all Senate amendments, was passed, and will now finish legislation.
House Bill 3044 requires the Commissioner of Highways to develop a formula for allocating road funds. The bill provides terms, rule making authority, and requires the commissioner to develop a way for public communication and recommendation. The House refused to concur with Senate amendments that were made and will be sent back for their review.
House Bill 3143 relates to requirements for making consumer loans in West Virginia. The bill adjusts limits on consumer loans in the state where certain finance charges are applied and clarifies that a person must have a license from the divison before engaging in business. The House refused to concur with Senate amendments.
The House of Delegates will reconvene at 6:30 p.m.
The Senate reconvened at 3 p.m. to receive one message from the House of Delegates.
House amended and passed Senate Bill 522, Creating Special Road Repair Fund in which the Senate refused to concur with the House Amendments to the proposed legislation, and requested that the House recede from their amendments.
The Senate suspended the Constitutional rule requiring a bill to be read on three separate days for two bill that were passed out of the Senate Committee on Finance earlier this afternoon.
Senate Bill 424 would appropriate $10 million of un-appropriated funds from Fiscal Year 2019 to the Governor’s Contingency Fund, and Senate Bill 435 would appropriate of $12.7 million from un-appropriated funds from Fiscal Year 2019 and re-appropriate them to the following:
The Senate also passed 14 bills that were on third reading. Those bills include the following:
The Senate is currently in recess until 5 p.m.
A concurrent resolution which would change the legislative rules of the legislature was passed by the Senate Saturday.
If passed, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 would allow for rejected bills to be carried over to the following session to further consideration. In an explanation from counsel, members learned specific details which would allow for the bills to essentially be revived in the committee in which they were rejected or unrecognized.
Counsel further explained that in order for the bill to be reintroduced in the session, the committee chair in which the bill was last active would have to push for the bill to be reconsidered. Legislation would keep the same number from the previous session and would be eligible for reconsideration unless the lead bill sponsor withdrew the legislation through written notice of the clerk.
Members of the committee sparked debate over the legislation as each member stated their support of opposition to the proposed change. Chair, Sen. Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, addressed the committee to explain that the resolution was created in order to make the legislative process more “efficient.”
Blair then stated that if issues were to arise in the future he would be open to reforming the change, but ultimately intends for the resolution to strengthen review of bills.
Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone, then addressed the Chair to ask if previous studies had been done to review why the rule for bills to not be carried over existed. The Senator’s question resulted in the Chair urging Stollings to motion for the resolution to be a study resolutions.
Stollings then mentioned for the resolution to become a study resolution prior to the bill being reported for the full Senate with the recommendation of passage.
Legislation relating to proceeds from certain oil and gas wells was rejected in a 30-4 vote, Saturday.
If passed, House Bill 2779 would have provided that proceeds from certain oil and gas wells be kept in a special fund if the individual who own’s the well had a unknown address. Following a brief explanation from Sen. Ryan Weld, R-Brooke, multiple Senators rose in opposition prior to the rejection vote.
The bill was the last piece of legislation reviewed by the body following a brief recess Saturday. Before House Bill 2779 was rejected, a number of other bills were passed by the Senate.
Of the passed bills were:
The House of Delegates continued their consideration on Saturday, March 9, on the final day of the legislative session to pass several supplemental appropriations bills on third reading.
Senate Bill 677 was passed unanimously by the House of Delegates. This bill would issue $23.5 million dollars of supplemental appropriation dollars to the WV Department of Health and Human Resources.
Senate Bill 678 is another supplemental appropriations bill that was passed unanimously by the House. This bill would transfer money from the State Excess Lottery Revenue Fund to the Office of Technology.
Senate Bill 679 was also passed as well. This supplemental appropriations bill would give $298,000 to the WV Division of Finance
Senate Bill 680 is a supplemental appropriations bill that would give $345, 247 to various state divisions within the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety (DMAPS). This bill was also passed by the House with little discussion
Senate Bill 681 would take supplemental appropriations from Lottery Net Profits and issue them to Educational Broadcasting Authority. This was another supplemental appropriations bill that passed the House unanimously.
House Finance Committee Chairman Eric Householder, R-Berkeley, said that the WV Legislature has issued $225.9 million to various state agencies this session via the passage of supplemental appropriations bills.
The House of Delegates also had consideration of Senate Joint Resolution 5, a resolution to clarify the Judiciary’s Role in Impeachment Proceedings. The resolution, which needed a two-thirds vote to be adopted by the House of Delegates, failed with little discussion.
The House of Delegates is in Recess until 3:30 p.m. today, Saturday, March 9. They will reconvene again to receive Senate messages.
The House of Delegates convened at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 9 on the final day of the legislative session to receive messages from the Senate.
Senate Bill 4, a bill to establish the permanency of the Municipal Home Rule Program, completed legislative action on this day. The Senate issued a title amendment to Senate Bill 4, which the House unanimously adopted and concurred with.
The Senate amended the title of Senate Bill 28, a bill to remove the hotel occupancy tax limit collects for medical care and emergency services, and also amended several provisions in the bill regarding dollar amounts of tax collections. The changes did not alter the nature of the bill’s impact, so the House concurred with these changes. Senate Bill 28 completed legislative action on this day.
Conference committees were appointed on two Senate Bills in order to reach a compromise between the two chambers.
The House refused to recede their amendments to Senate Bill 596 and appointed Delegate Jason Harshbarger, R-Ritchie, Delegate Chris Phillips, R-Barbour, and Delegate William Hartman, D-Randolph to conference on Senate Bill 596, which seeks to adjust voluntary contribution amounts on certain DMV forms. The Senate will also appoint three members for this conference committee.
A conference committee consisting of Delegate Moore Capito, R-Kanawha, Delegate Geoff Foster, R-Putnam, and Delegate Chad Lovejoy, R-Cabell, was appointed to reach a compromise on Senate Bill 487. The House refused to recede on their amendments for Senate Bill 487, which relates to admissibility of health care staffing requirements in litigation.
The House of Delegates concurred with a Senate amendment to House Bill 2849, a bill to establish different classes of pharmacy technicians. The Senate change would ensure verification of the proper authorities indicated in the bill.
The House of Delegates voted to concur as amended House Bill 3144 with a gallery full of WV coal miners looking on. The bill would provide a tax break for state coal miners via the North Central Appalachian Coal Severance Tax Rebate Act, a rebate that would be created by the bill.
Amendments to Senate Bill 673, a bill to eliminate the requirement for a state-wide master plan for public higher education and state and institutional compacts, were receded on this day. The Senate requested the House of Delegates to recede their changes to the bill, and they agreed to recede in a 52-44 vote.
A lengthy debate persisted over the House’s actions on House Bill 2001, a bill to issue a tax break to exempt social security benefits from personal income tax. The bill, a landmark piece of legislation by the House, went under significant changes by the Senate that put a salary cap on seniors who would receive tax exemptions, and implement the tax break over three years instead of within one fiscal year.
Delegate Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, echoed several members’ concerns that the Senate amendment changed the House bill too drastically.
“This isn’t a compromise if we concur, it’s a cave,” Bates said.
Several members were concerned that the House’s failure to concur with the Senate’s changes to House Bill 2001 could result in the death of the bill.
“Refusing to concur would simply be a high risk game of chicken,” Delegate Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson argued.
The House of Delegates agreed to concur with the Senate changes to House Bill 2001 in a 52-44 vote.
The Senate reconvened at 1 p.m. to receive messages from the House of Delegates.
Three Senate Bills completed legislation, and will be reported to Governor Justice to be signed into law or vetoed. Those bills include:
The Senate also amended the House Amendments to four Senate bills. Those bills include the following:
All four bills will be sent to the House of Delegates, and request concurrence of said bills.
The Senate is currently in recess until 2:45 p.m.
Legislation which would allow pharmacists to dispense contraceptives without a prescription was passed by the Senate, Saturday morning.
Discussion over House Bill 2583 opened the Senate’s last third reading of the 84th regular session, resulting in unanimous passage of the proposed legislation. Prior to the bill’s passage, Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone, rose to urge the adoption of the bill but also condemned an amendment which was added during Friday’s second reading of the bill. The amendment in question established an 18 year or older age requirement to the legislation.
Before the bill came before the body, Senators engaged in brief debate over House Bill 2049, relating to a prime contractor’s responsibility for wages and benefits.
Other bills passed by the Senate included:
Throughout third reading the body also received a number of House messages which resulted in the adoption of three House Concurrent Resolutions. Of these were HCR14 recognizing US Army CPT Benjamin Ronk Memorial Bridge, HCR 6 recognizing US Army PFC Earl Russkie Cobb. SPC4 Carl Bradford Godson, and SSGT George T. Saunders Jr. Memorial Bridge and HCR 17 relating to Marine Coprs CPL Larry Scott Kennedy Memorial Bridge.
The Senate convened at 11 a.m. for the 60th day of the Legislative Session, and immediately took up House messages in regards to five bills.
The House refused to recede from their amendments to Senate Bill 241, Permitting county court clerks scan certain documents in electronic form, and Senate Bill 317, Authorizing three or more adjacent counties form multicounty trail network authority, and request the two bills go to a conference committee.
President Carmichael (R – Jackson, 4) appointed Senators Sypolt (R – Preston, 14), Swope (R – Mercer, 6), and Facemire (D – Braxton, 12) to the conference committee over Senate Bill 241, and appointed Senators Maynard (R – Wayne, 6), Smith (R – Tucker, 14), and Beach (D – Monongalia, 13) to represent the Senate’s interests over Senate Bill 317.
The Senate also amended the House Amendment to Senate Bill 40, Establishing Military Service Members Court program. Senator Weld (R – Brooke, 1) moved to amend the bill in its entirety, and bring it back to the original language of the Senate version. The proposed legislation would establish a Military Service Member Court program within the Supreme Court of Appeals.
The Senate also amended the House Amendments to Senate Bill 352, Relating to Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation acquiring and disposing of services, and Senate Bill 398, Relating to compensation for senior judges.
All three bills will be reported back to the House of Delegates, and will request concurrence of said bills.
The Senate is currently in session.