West Virginia Legislative Brief for 2/28/20

By: L. Gil White

Published: February 28, 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 52nd day of the 60-Day Legislative Session.

Legislative Action by the Numbers:

1582 House bills introduced
853 Senate bills introduced
243 passed House
249 passed Senate
58 bills completed legislative action
(31 House bills, 27 Senate bills)
22 bills signed into law by the Governor
8 bills pending the Governor’s signature
1 bill vetoed by the Governor

My View from the Capitol

With only eight Legislative days remaining, the legislative pace is hectic with long committee meetings and lengthy floor sessions.  Both the State Senate and House of Delegates are working on the remaining bills assigned to committees in both chambers. There are several pieces of significant legislation yet to be acted upon during this home stretch. One such bill is SB 275 – the proposed Intermediate Court of Appeals bill which is pending in the House Judiciary Committee. This bill has been debated in both chambers for the last three years and may receive favorable consideration and passage.

The other bill which will be highly debated is the budget bill. Both the Senate and House Finance Committees have passed their respective versions of the budget bill.

The House Finance Committee proposes a budget that includes the full amount Gov. Jim Justice says will wipe out the wait list for intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) waivers. The House’s proposal also includes an additional $17 million to support West Virginia’s many foster care families. When the Senate Finance Committee passed its version of the state budget on Wednesday afternoon, it cut in half the additional money that Justice had proposed for IDD waivers. Governor Justice wanted almost $20 million extra for that program, and the Senate budget had only $10 million extra.

Justice, at the start of the legislative session, proposed a general revenue budget of $4.585 billion. The House of Delegates proposes dropping that to $4.579 billion.

The Senate Finance Committee rolled out its version of the budget on Wednesday afternoon. The Senate is proposing a budget $27 million less than what Justice had proposed spending.

Stay tuned as the last 8 days will certainly be active.

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, Senate versions of 2020-21 budget have one thing in common: spending cuts

Property tax plan collapses. Here’s why

Crossover Day: House passes tobacco cessation bill, defeats auto inspection measure

Senate’s budget would spend less than governor proposed; halves the increase for IDD waivers

House goes tax credit route in hopes of natural gas development 

Senate passes Medicaid reserve fund bill 

Senate passes bill offering a tax break for aging coal-fired power plants

WV natural gas production and jobs at stake today in Supreme Court case 

Senators narrowly pass tax overhaul bill, but delay difficult hurdle on accompanying resolution

“Pioneering legacy” of West Virginian Katherine Johnson remembered following her death

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