Eric Douglas Published

First Extraordinary Legislative Session Of 2024 Began Sunday

Wide angle shot of a legislative room from behind.
The state Senate met in response to the governor's call for a special session beginning Sunday evening, in conjunction with interim meetings.
Will Price/WV Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Legislature met Sunday evening in response to a call from Gov. Jim Justice to address issues with the state budget passed during the regular session, among others.

The House of Delegates met first and completed the first reading of 16 bills. The body then sent three bills to the House Finance Committee for further discussion. 

One of those, House Bill 101, if passed, sends more than $9 million to the West Virginia Department of Health and the Department of Human Services.

Bills must be read over three successive days unless a chamber suspends rules and allows it to be read three times on one day. 

The Senate did just that with about half of the introduced bills. But first, Senate Finance Chairman Eric Tarr, R-Putnam, offered a strike and insert amendment on Senate Bill 1001. His amendment replaced the original bill, changing how some funding is allocated for state hospitals. 

The Senate passed eight bills and sent them to the House for consideration and advanced six other bills to second reading, or the amendment stage. 

The Senate did not take up the 16th bill introduced in the House regarding having the Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) pay for certain weight loss medications. That bill was not on the call from the governor. 

The Senate also entered two resolutions to encourage the U.S. Department of Education to expedite processing of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applications and extended the governor’s state of emergency regarding student aid.