Legislative Action by the Numbers:
813 bills introduced in the House
393 bills introduced in the Senate
15 bills have passed the House and await Senate consideration
20 bills have passed the Senate and await House consideration
My View from the Capitol:
This week, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed historic legislation which would require 100 single member districts following the 2020 census. Worth noting, West Virginia is definitely in the minority when it comes to our current practice of multi-member legislative districts. In fact, West Virginia is one of only ten states that still allow multi- member districts, and only one of two that allows districts in excess of three members. This bill was passed with bi-partisan support with a vote of 72 to 25. HB 4002 is now pending Senate consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Speaking of elections, the candidate filing deadline for the 2018 elections concludes tomorrow, Saturday the 27th, at midnight. The offices on the 2018 ballot include one U.S. Senate seat (currently held by Senator Joe Manchin), all three U.S. House of Representatives seats (currently held by Congressmen McKinley, Mooney, and Jenkins), 17 of the 34 West Virginia State Senate seats as well as all 100 seats in the West Virginia House of Delegates. Click here for a current listing of candidates filed to date.
The long awaited co-tenancy legislation was introduced this week and was quickly placed on the energy committee schedule for consideration in the West Virginia House of Delegates. The bill would allow horizontal drilling into a natural gas reserve if 75% of the rights holders agree. Currently, 100% have to agree. The bill is second referenced to House Judiciary for further consideration. All indications are this may be the year for favorable passage in both chambers. Stay tuned.
Legislative Calendar - Important Days to Remember
First Day - January 10
20th Day - January 28 - Submission of Legislative Rule-Making Review Bills due
35th Day - February 13 - Last day to introduce bills in the House
41st Day - February 19 - Last day to introduce bills in the Senate
47th Day - February 25 - Bills due out of committee in house of origin to ensure three full days for readings
50th Day - February 28 - Last day to consider bills on third reading in house of origin. Does not apply to the budget bill or supplemental appropriation bills.
60th Day - March 10 - Adjournment at midnight
News From Around the State