West Virginia Legislative Brief for 2/14/20

By: L. Gil White

Published: February 14, 2020

Welcome to the 2020 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of the legislative happenings on the horizon. Today marks the 38th day of the 60-Day Legislative Session.

Legislative Action by the Numbers:

1509 House bills introduced

780 Senate bills introduced

113 passed House

103 passed Senate

27 bills completed legislative action (11 House bills, 16 Senate bills)

4 bills signed into law by the governor

7 bills pending the governor’s signature

My View from the Capitol

With only 22 legislative days remaining in the 2020 Regular Legislative Session, it goes without saying that there are literally hundreds of bills pending in committees in both chambers awaiting consideration. This will make for long days as cross over day is quickly approaching, requiring that all House bills be acted upon and sent to the Senate for their consideration and all Senate bills be acted upon and sent to the House for their consideration.

There have been whispers heard around the capitol that the State Senate is considering rolling out a “major piece of legislation” aimed at revamping the state’s tax structure affecting everything from property taxes to the sales and tobacco taxes. While nothing is certain at this point, this proposal is expected to do the following:

The property tax changes would require an amendment to the state Constitution. That means the proposal will have to receive a two-thirds vote in the Senate and the House and then be approved by the voters.

Given the late date in the session to roll this out, I predict this will be a monumental lift for the remaining 22 days of the session. That said, this could very easily be an interim topic for the legislature to address with the intent of having a special session later this year. Stay tuned.

Legislative Calendar – Important Days to Remember

First Day – January 8

20th Day – January 27 – Submission of Legislative Rule-Making Review Bills Due

35th Day – February 11 – Last day to introduce bills in the House

41st Day – February 17 – Last day to introduce bills in the Senate

47th Day – February 23 – Bills due out of committee in house of origin to ensure three full days for readings

50th Day – February 26 – 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 7 – Adjournment at midnight

News From Around the State

House passes “critical infrastructure” criminal penalties

House Finance Committee sends foster care bill to full chamber

Wheels moving on bill to change vehicle inspections to every two years

Senate Finance Committee approves judicial pay measure

AARP survey shows support for pending prescription drug cost transparency bills 

Senate passes intermediate court that’s been under discussion for years

Bill eliminating financial support for W.Va. greyhound racing sprints to Senate floor 

Delegates say PEIA spouse bill could have caused teachers strike

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