Know How: Alert

Title

West Virginia Legislative Brief: Commentary from Gil White 2/22/19

GET KNOW HOW

Subscribe

Stay up-to-date with industry knowledge!

Legislative Action by the Numbers:

1134 bills introduced in the House of Delegates
668 bills introduced in the State Senate
133 bills have passed the House of Delegates
137 bills have passed the State Senate 
34 bills have completed legislative action (13 House bills and 21 Senate bills)
11 bills are pending the Governor's review and/or signature
2 bills have been vetoed by the Governor
10 bills have been signed into law by the Governor

My View from the Capitol:

For the second time in two years, West Virginia was once again in the national news for a teachers strike. While this strike only lasted two days, the disruption and chaos was evident.  

Ultimately, 12 Republican members of the House of Delegates joined all 41 Democrats in a motion to "postpone indefinitely" SB 451, the Comprehensive Education Reform Bill. This motion is a parliamentary tactic to effectively kill a piece of legislation. Once adopted, no more debate or work can continue on a bill. The leadership of the House and a majority of Republican delegates opposed the motion in order to continue working on this important bill. 

SB 451 contained many important provisions that were considered to be beneficial to public education in West Virginia, including:

  • A 5% pay raise for all teachers and service personnel
  • $2,000 bonus for certified math teachers
  • $250 tax credit to reimburse teachers for out-of-pocket expenses
  • $24 milliion for more school counselors and student support personnel
  • Increasing the state aid formula to provide funding for West Virginia's smallest counties
  • Allowing county school boards and voters to increase regular levy to invest in public education
  • Permit counties to designate critical need subjects and increase pay to those teachers
  • Creating a "safe schools fund" for schools to use for safety and security

Nonetheless, the bill was defeated. Meanwhile the House is gearing to pass a stand alone pay raise bill where it's destiny is unknown in the Senate.  

With only 15 legislative days remaining, look for the legislative pace to continue to be hectic with split sessions expected in both Chambers for the remainder of the session.

On a final note, 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, Ohio, 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 9

20th Day - January 28 - Submission of Legislative Rule-Making Review Bills due

35th Day - February 12 - Last day to introduce bills in the House

41st Day - February 18 - Last day to introduce bills in the Senate

47th Day - February 24 - Bills due out of committee in house of origin to ensure three full days for readings

50th Day - February 27 - 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 9 - Adjournment at midnight

 

News From Around the State

West Virginia teachers unions call strike as Senate brings back charters, ESAs

Senate approves intermediate court creation by 1 vote sends to House; liquor retail bill also approved

House votes to table omnibus education bill indefinitely

Unions call end to strike; teachers returning to classrooms Thursday

Campus conceal carry bill goes to the House floor

Pay raise bill up for passage in the House; Blair says money could be used on roads

Ketchum sentencing pushed back to March 6 

House committee passes bill to make major changes to school calendar

House debates restoring money to racetrack purse funds

Bill lowering severance tax for steam coal is moving in House

Contributors

Government Relations Coordinator - WV
(304) 280-6966
Charleston, WV