Legislative Action by the Numbers:
1132 bills introduced in the House of Delegates
585 bills introduced in the State Senate
81 bills have passed the House or Delegates
109 bills have passed the State Senate
9 bills have completed legislative action of which 8 await the Governor's signature and 1 has been signed into law
My View from the Capitol:
Today was yet another day of teachers showing up in large numbers voicing their opposition and concern about the PEIA and teachers pay proposals. Worth noting, last Sunday representatives of the county affiliates of the American Federation of Teachers and the West Virginia Education Association voted and gave authority to their respective presidents to take “statewide action.“ The Governor's proposal was a 1% pay raise annually for the next five years to teachers (total of 5%), and a 3% proposed pay raise for school service personnel annually for the next three years (total of 9%). The House of Delegates has passed SB 237 with an amendment changing the increase to 2% for the first year for both teachers and school service personnel. The House version would maintain the total amount of the raise but reduce the implementation by one year. The version originally passed by the Senate and sent to the House was patterned after the Governor's proposed 1% scale. Stay tuned as this issue is at the forefront of all pending legislation and appears to be stalling the legislative process, particularly on any bills that have any impact on the state budget.
HB 4268 (Co-Tenancy Modernization and Majority Protection Act) was passed by the House of Delegates by a 60-40 vote. The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration. In addition, the Senate passed the much anticipated Intermediate Appeals Court in West Virginia bill by a vote of 23-11. The bill now heads to the House of Delegates for consideration. Lastly, HJR 106 is still pending in the House Finance Committee where it’s fate is unknown.
Reminder - mark your calendars for the West Virginia oil and gas industry’s energy rally on Wednesday, February 21st at 10:00am on the State Capitol steps facing Kanawha Boulevard. Speakers include Governor Jim Justice, Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Speaker of the House Tim Armstead, as well as numerous state legislators and industry representatives. This event is free and open to the public.
Last week, members of Steptoe & Johnson's Energy, Environmental, Government Relations, Litigation, and Private Financing and Securities teams attended the 25th Annual NAPE expo in Houston, Texas. In addition to a strong showing from our West Virginia offices, Steptoe & Johnson also had attendees from our Pennsylvania, Texas, and Colorado offices. Steptoe & Johnson continues to increase its footprint in the energy sector throughout the nation. Sharon Flanery, Energy and Natural Resources Department Chair, led the delegation.
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