Briana Heaney Published

Special Session: 6 Bills Have Crossed Finish Line, 9 Bills Being Considered

Senators sit in at their desks, in the state senate, talking to each other.
Day two, May 20, 2024, of the special session is underway.
Will Price/Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Legislature is under way in its special session to pass additional appropriations to the budget. 

The House suspended rules and passed six of the eight budgetary bills that the Senate passed and sent over Sunday. Those bills will fund things like higher education, agriculture and food banks. One bill that relates to the state’s rainy day fund was sent back to the Senate to consider changes made by the House. 

Senate Bill 1001 is the only bill that has yet to make it out of the House. It funds the Department of Human Resources, and directly affects Intellectual Developmental Disabilities waivers. 

That bill was amended Sunday by Senate Finance Chairman Sen. Eric Tarr, R-Putnam, to require DHR to receive a signature from the secretary of the department to move line item funds around within the department. Some say this will create more transparency, others worry that it will bog down the department with more bureaucracy. 

The Senate suspended the rules and passed another six bills Monday and sent them to the House for consideration. The Senate only has one more bill left to send to the House. That bill would require addiction treatment facilities to be fully licensed and meet other requirements before they can be contracted by the state for patient care. 

Even though this bill does not appropriate money for governmental spending, proponents of the bill say it will save the state money and therefore is relevant to the current special session. 

So far, six bills are completed legislation this special session and await a signature by the governor.