West Virginia Legislative Brief for 2/7/20

By: L. Gil White

Published: February 7, 2020


Legislative Action by the Numbers:

1,289 bills introduced in the House of Delegates

725 bills introduced in the State Senate

78 bills have passed the House of Delegates

63 bills have passed the State Senate

10 bills have completed legislative action and await the Governor’s consideration (6 House bills and 4 Senate bills)

2 bills have been signed into law by the Governor

My View from the Capitol:

On the financial front, West Virginia tax collections fell behind $50 million dollars in the first two months of the fiscal year. The State Treasury received a boost last month when the State Treasurer turned over a one-time payment of $20 million. That money came from the unclaimed property fund and interest on the Board of Treasury investments.

Additionally, the Justice administration revised revenue estimates downward by $16.5 million – $6 million for January and $10.5 million for April. But, that cushion is now committed, which means the state’s budget for the remaining five months of the fiscal year is tight, and as of today, revenues are $20 million behind estimates.

Sales taxes collections are coming in nearly two percent above last year’s level and right about at the projections for the year. Sales tax collections were three percent higher in January than the same month last year, and that could be a positive trend. The slowdown in the energy sector continues to be a major problem for the state. Severance tax collections are running nearly $40 million behind estimates for the year.

News From Around the State:

State lawmakers want tougher drinking water regulations

Justice leaning toward signing solar bill

Solar power bill doesn’t move at light speed in coal-focused West Virginia

Metro government incentive bill is back, this time with bipartisan support

Justice reports revenue collection surplus after decreasing estimates for January

Lawmakers urge focus on West Virginia child welfare

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