House of Delegates

House of Delegates
6:09 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Downstream Strategies Issues New Water Protection Report to Judiciary Committee

Downstream Strategies President Evan Hansen presents a new report to the House Judiciary Committee.
Credit Aaron Payne

Senate Bill 373 relating to water resources protection was sent to the House nearly one month ago to go through three committee stops. Two weeks ago the bill made it through the Health and Human Resource Committee with amendments to be sent to the Judiciary Committee. Wednesday, the second committee used its meeting to hear from Downstream Strategies President Evan Hansen.

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House of Delegates
8:33 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Bill to Restrict Abortion Past 20 Weeks Passes House

The House passed H.B. 4588, protecting unborn children who are capable of experiencing pain by prohibiting abortion after twenty weeks.

A motion to discharge House Bill 2364 or the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act from committee and put it up for immediate vote was rejected on February 11th.

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House of Delegates
7:52 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Government Fraud Prevention Act Downed by House

Delegate John Shott speaks in opposition of H.B. 4001, the Government Fraud Prevention Act.
Credit Daniel Walker

House Bill 4001 was introduced on the first day of the session as the False Claims Act. However, opponents of the bill referred to it as the “sue-and-settle” bill.

The bill offers monetary compensation to whistleblowers who bring forward information regarding fraudulent claims made against the government. That is, if the case is successful.

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House of Delegates
6:05 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

W.Va. House Looking to Double-Tap (Debt) Zombies

The House Banking and Insurance Committee discusses H.B. 4360, relating to consumer credit protection.
Credit Daniel Walker

A rule (#2: Double-Tap) for dispatching zombies in the movie Zombieland is essentially being applied by the House of Delegates in regard to killing “Zombie Debts” with H.B. 4360.

Zombie debts are defined as debts attempted to be collected in which the statue of limitations has passed.

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House Judiciary
5:24 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Public Hearing Held on a Bill Relating to the Future of Toll Collection in W. Va.

The House Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on a bill that would affect the way tolls are collected in the state.

House Bill 4156 as introduced would create the Safe and Efficient Parkway Act, authorizes electronic collection and enforcement of tolls.
The bill would only apply to the current tolls on the turnpike in regard to enforcement as it is already equipped with the technology such as photographing license plates to detect violations.

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House Judiciary
6:08 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

False Claims and Taxpayer Protection Act Once Again Approved to House Floor

House Judiciary Committee discusses H.B. 4001, creating the False Claims and Taxpayer Protection Act.
Credit Daniel Walker

House Bill 4001 was reported to the floor earlier in the session from the House Judiciary Committee. However, concerns from the business sector lead House leadership to request the bill be sent back to address those concerns.

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House Finance
5:43 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Bill to Keep West Virginians Working Passes in House Finance Committee

The House Finance Committee goes over H.B. 4409, creating the Valued Employee Retention Program.
Credit Daniel Walker

House Bill 4409 creates the Valued Employee Retention Program with the goal of giving employers incentive to reduce workers’ hours rather than laying them off.

It requires employers to enter an agreement to submit a plan explaining how instead of laying off their employees they would reduce their hours. In exchange, the employee could get unemployment benefits proportional to the amount of hours that they’ve been reduced.

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House of Delegates
6:01 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

'Brunch Bill' for Alcohol Sales Passes W.Va. House

Delegate John Overington speaks to his amendment that would make 2 a.m. the new time for last call.
Credit Daniel Walker

The bill that incited the most debate during Monday’s floor session was one that would allow private licensees to begin alcohol sales at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays instead of 1:00 p.m. as dictated by current code. Aaron Payne reports.

House Bill 4454 would allow restaurants and tourism destinations such as a bed and breakfast to serve alcoholic beverages as part of Sunday brunch.

Supporters of the bill said that it could boost profits from tourism in the state.

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House of Delegates
5:55 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

House Approves W. Va. Launch Pad Act

Delegate Doug Skaff speaks in support of H.B. 4343, the West Virginia Launch Pad Act.
Credit Daniel Walker

House Bill 4343 provides economic benefits for businesses working with technologies not currently in West Virginia if they locate or expand in launch pads areas in the state.

These benefits would begin on January 1, 2015 and last until December 30, 2030 and include state and local tax relief and assistance in moving a business here.

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5:40 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Bill Passes to Prohibit Sale of Electronic Tobacco Products to Minors

Lead sponsor of H.B. 4237 Delegate Tiffany Lawrence speaks to her colleagues during the House floor session.
Credit Daniel Walker

In Thursday’s House session, one bill on third reading and two bills mentioned in a speech dealt with the health and well-being of West Virginia’s children.

H.B. 4237 would protect the health of children from new products alternative to the traditional sources of tobacco.

These new products include electronic cigarettes and cigars and dissolving products such as toothpicks, gum and lozenges.

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House Of Delegates
4:14 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Abortion-Restricting Bill Rejected With Tie Vote

The vote to discharge a bill restricting abortion from committee is rejected as the result is a tie.
Credit Daniel Walker

A vote resulting in a tie is a rarity in the legislature but one occurred Tuesday in the House of Delegates.

There were no bills up for passage but, with it being “Pro-Life Day” at the Capitol, there was an attempt made to discharge House Bill 2364 from committee to be put to a vote on the floor.

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House of Delegates
5:01 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

House Close to Voting on Bill to Increase Minimum Wage in W. Va.

The House of Delegates will have a bill to increase minimum wage in West Virginia up for vote on Wednesday.
Credit Aaron Payne

Currently, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

The House Finance Committee amended H.B. 4283 to increase minimum wage by 75 cents to $8.00 per hour by January of 2015 and then add another 75 cents by January of 2016 to total $8.75. The amendment delayed those changes from July 2014 and 2015 respectively so that businesses could have time to budget for the increase.

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House of Delegates
1:29 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

House Passes Bills to Make Land Records Electronic, Adds Requirement to Consumer Transactions

The House before voting on H.B. 4010 and H.B. 4220.
Credit Daniel Walker

After a brief delay, the House convened for its final floor session of the week.

House Bill 4010 creates the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act. It was approved and recommend for enactment in all 50 states by the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws.

Delegate Mark Hunt explained exactly what the Act would entail before it was voted on.

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Judiciary Committee
3:31 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

House Looking to Prohibit Candidates From Using Email to Solicit Public Employees

Members of the House Judiciary Committee look over H.B. 4414, relating to the solicitation of public employees by an elected officer of the state.
Credit Daniel Walker

With the primary election coming in May and the general election in November, the House Judiciary Committee took a look at current code that prohibits elected officials and candidates from soliciting public employees, discussing H.B. 4414, relating to the solicitation of public employees by an elected officer of the state.

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House of Delegates
6:25 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

W. Va. House Passes Bill to Prevent Discrimination Against Pregnant Women In The Workforce

Discussion of Del. Folk's proposed amendments to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act during Wednesday's House session.

On Wednesday the House passed bill 4284, also known as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

The bill’s purpose would be to prevent discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace.

The following would be considered an unlawful employment practice:

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House of Delegates
5:48 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

House Takes Suggestions From Public Hearing, Moves Forward With Senate's Water Bill

The House Chamber during Monday's public hearing on S.B. 373, the "Water Bill."

The day after the House of Delegates’ public hearing on last month’s chemical leak and the safety of the water supply, lawmakers began the process of incorporating suggestions to strengthen Senate Bill 373.

While some speakers at the hearing felt that there were too many empty chairs at the hearing, Del. Don Perdue said the turnout from his fellow delegates was satisfactory.

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House of Delegates
11:32 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Citizens Voice Concern With S.B. 373 During House Public Hearing, Want Tougher Water Protection

The House Chamber during the public hearing on S.B. 373, or the "Water Bill."

Before sending Senate Bill 373 through its Health and Human Resources, Judiciary and Finance Committees, the House of Delegates allowed citizens directly affected by the chemical leak to voice their concerns and offer suggestions to the bill in a public hearing in the chamber

While the stories and testimonies were different, the overall message was a call to action for lawmakers.

Some of the highlights of the points speakers made were:

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House of Delegates
4:23 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

House Defends Triple Committee Reference of Senate's Water Bill

Delegate Meshea Poore responds to criticisms of the House's decision to send Senate 373 through three committees.
Credit Daniel Walker

It took 12 days from its introduction for the Senate to pass Bill 373.

It has been several days since its introduction to the House and the bill has yet to be seen by its first committee.

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House Finance Committee
5:20 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Poor W. Va. Road Conditions Explained During DOT Budget Hearing

Secretary of the Department of Transportation Paul Mattox delivers the proposed budget for FY 2015 to the House Finance Committee.
Credit Aaron Payne

Committee members heard from various offices that make up the department of transportation - the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Division of Highways, the State Rail Authority, the Division of Public Transit, the Public Port Authority, the Aeronautics Commission and the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Like in many other budget hearings, officials from each office laid out how they will handle their finances to deal with the upcoming tight fiscal years.

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Chemical Leak
4:21 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Longer Road for Chemical Spill Bill in W.Va. House

Credit Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia House of Delegates is paving a long legislative road for new regulations on above-ground storage tanks.
     But Speaker Tim Miley says his chamber isn't stalling the chemical spill-inspired bill.
     Miley says giving the bill three committee stops doesn't mean it won't go anywhere. Often, assigning a bill many committees shows leadership isn't seriously considering it.
     Miley says Senate Bill 373 could take longer in the House. A public hearing will take place in the House chamber Monday.

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