House Finance Committee
3:56 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Water Resource Protection Bill Passes Final House Committee Reference

The House Finance Committee removed several of the sections added by the other House committees in the water resource protection bill.

One of which was related to medical monitoring which the committee determined was a redundancy because Dr. Letitia Tierney from the DHHR explained during the meeting her office plans to pursue testing whether it is in the bill or not.

The Finance Committee also removed the requirement for water treatment plants to install an early chemical detection system. Delegate Boggs questioned availability of the technology.

“Obviously we heard from many of the people that much of the technology to detect leaks is only in theory,” Delegate Boggs said. “It’s not actually available right now and we tried to look at things where we could make sure we didn’t but an undue burden on our public service districts that may not have the means that say a West Virginia American Water Company would have.”

Boggs feels his committee did the best they could to make good legislation.

 “Certainly we didn’t spend as much time on the bill and have as much time as the Judiciary Committee did but I think that there are things that didn’t hurt the overall intent of the bill.”

Senate Bill 373 will be up for full vote today.

Another bill taken up by the Finance Committee Tuesday was Senate Bill 431 which would change the renewal cycle for drivers’ licenses in West Virginia from a five-year to an eight-year cycle. The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate and approved by House Judiciary.

The House Finance Committee approved S.B. 431, relating to issuance and renewal of certain driver's licenses and federal ID cards.
The House Finance Committee approved S.B. 431, relating to issuance and renewal of certain driver's licenses and federal ID cards.

The only point of contention was an amendment proposed which would eliminate a $10 fee to acquire a federally compliant license as opposed to the normal West Virginia license.

Delegate Richard Iaquinta asked Acting Commissioner of the DMV Steven Dale how the licenses were paid for prior to the proposed charge.

“We were fortunate enough to get some additional grant money for several years in a row,” Dale said. “However, that grant money has dried up and is no longer available. We were using that grant money to backfill our budget to pay for the additional cost for those folks that chose to get [the license] for federal use.”

Delegate Doug Skaff asked if there was no grant money and the fee was done away with where the money to administer the program would come from.

“Our challenge was of course to figure out a way to pay for these additional costs,” Dale responded. “It would require an additional appropriation probably out of the state road fund to backfill our funds to pay for that.”

Not wanting to raid the struggling road fund, the amendment was rejected.

The bill without the amendment however was approved and sent to the floor with the recommendation that it do pass.

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