Jack Walker, Randy Yohe, Emily Rice Published

Tracking The Bills The Governor Vetoes, Signs Into Law

A close-up photo shows Governor Jim Justice's hands as he signs a bill into law.
More than half of the bills passed by the West Virginia Legislature in its regular session awaited a response from Gov. Jim Justice by Tuesday.
WV Governor's Office

Updated on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 6:25 p.m.

This is a developing story and will be updated as bills are signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice.

Wednesday marks the deadline for Gov. Jim Justice to sign into law bills that the West Virginia Legislature passed in its 2024 regular session.

Just one day out from the deadline, more than half of this year’s bills were still awaiting approval from Justice.

This is not uncommon, as governors often use the final hours before the deadline to decide upon bills. Any bills Justice does not act upon will automatically become law by Thursday.

At a press briefing Tuesday, Justice said his inaction was because many bills came to him late, following drawn-out discussions on the Legislature floor.

Plus, budgetary concerns muddied important financial decision-making days before the session ended, he said. With the Legislature approving a budget lower than he had requested, Justice said he would call lawmakers back for a special session before May 14.

Justice vetoed his third bill this year on Wednesday afternoon. House Bill 5105 would have exempted virtual public school students from vaccine requirements, and allowed private and parochial schools to set their own vaccine requirements.

As the law stands, all students in West Virginia must still receive vaccines for diseases like polio and measles, unless they are homeschooled or medically exempt. The other bills Justice vetoed this year would have allocated funding to neuroscience research at West Virginia University, and increased the capacity of renewable energy facilities in the state.

Justice used the final remaining hours of Wednesday to grant tens of other bills his stamp of approval.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting has provided a list of some of the final bills Justice approved on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a description of what the new laws entail.

Education and Child Care

  • Senate Bill 146 creates a state task force on adult education. The task force will consider funding options, and collect findings for the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability.

  • Senate Bill 487 requires the State Board of Education to review professional development resources for teachers every five years. It aims to ensure content is still necessary and focused on what actually happens in classrooms.

  • Senate Bill 568 aims to reduce chronic absenteeism by altering school protocol for addressing student absenteeism and increasing contact between schools and parents of absent students.

  • Senate Bill 844 redesignates the Educational Broadcasting Authority, which oversees West Virginia Public Broadcasting, as the Educational Broadcasting Commission. It also reduces the number of members who serve on the EBA, and grants the cabinet secretary for the Department of Arts, Culture, and History hiring power over its executive director.

  • House Bill 4305 grants in-state tuition status to higher education students who receive economic development incentives to relocate to West Virginia.

  • House Bill 4830 loosens training requirements for teachers. The requirement goes down from annually to every three years.

  • House Bill 4975 establishes a web-based foster parent information system.

  • House Bill 5405 increases professional development resources for West Virginia teachers.

  • House Bill 5514 increases the annual training requirements for county boards of education.

  • House Bill 5520 lowers the age of presumed competency for juvenile delinquency proceedings from 14 to 13.


  • Senate Bill 170 compensates certain firefighters who develop bladder cancer, mesothelioma or testicular cancer through workers’ compensation.
  • Senate Bill 325 allows for penalties for manufacturers who deny, restrict or prohibit the acquisition of a 340B drug by a safety net provider of contract pharmacy. The 340B drug program allows covered providers to offer federal resources to Medicaid and Medicare recipients.

  • Senate Bill 453 requires pricing and payment transparency from pharmacy benefits managers contracting with PEIA. Pharmacy benefit managers manage prescription drug benefits for clients ranging from health insurers and Medicare Part D drug plans to large employers.

  • Senate Bill 477 criminalizes sharing health care workers’ personal information on the internet with the intent of harming them.

  • Senate Bill 667 creates the Physician Assistant Licensure Compact, allowing physician assistants to provide certain medical services when licensed to do so.

  • Senate Bill 679 clarifies the role of the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration Commissioner in overseeing businesses engaged in manufacturing, processing, distributing or sale of hemp-derived cannabinoid products. Purchase of these products is limited to adults aged 21 and over.

  • Senate Bill 681 removes a requirement that members of the Army National Guard or Air National Guard who receive tuition funding from the state for a medical degree program must work in West Virginia for 10 years after graduating. Now, the number of years of in-state work required is set by the state’s adjutant general.

  • Senate Bill 755 increases age verification requirements for the online sale of tobacco products, including vapes.

  • House Bill 4233 codifies in state law that the term “non-binary” is prohibited from being used as a sex on state birth certificates. The term was already not included as an option for sex at birth.

  • House Bill 4756 creates a state Alzheimer’s plan task force.

  • House Bill 5175 eliminates funding for the Center for Nursing and transfers its duties and authorities to the Higher Education Policy Commission.

  • House Bill 5347 establishes a program for emergency medical services personnel to become certified paramedics.

  • House Bill 5349 makes labeling requirements for food products more specific.

  • House Bill 5540, known as Laken’s Law, is named after Morgan Laken, who died from a fentanyl overdose in 2021. It requires students to be taught about fentanyl, heroin, and opioid awareness, prevention and abuse, addiction, community resources, substance abuse among young people, and how to administer opioid reversal agents like Narcan. The instruction will begin in the 2024-2025 school year.

Elections and Government

  • Senate Bill 217 allows the state and its political subdivisions to negotiate construction prices when all bids received exceed the budget.

  • Senate Bill 438 slightly reduces the information certified practitioners of a field must provide the public through the state agency that granted their certification.

  • Senate Bill 542 clarifies vacancy protocol for county commissions, including how commissioners should proceed when a deadlock is reached over candidates.

  • Senate Bill 624 eliminates voter registration records for individuals who move out of West Virginia or receive a driver’s license in another state.

  • Senate Bill 628 reconciled financial claims made against the state.

  • Senate Bill 834 increases the number of members on the state’s advisory board for motor vehicle dealers.

  • Senate Bill 866 appoints the state treasurer as chairperson of the West Virginia Investment Management Board.

  • Senate Bill 874 creates local port authority districts, which are zoned through the state’s Division of Multimodal Transportation Facilities.

  • House Bill 4350 removes a state policy allowing individuals to file candidacy for a vacant public office after the filing deadline when no one from their party has already filed their candidacy.

  • House Bill 4552 requires candidates in partisan elections to immediately verify their party affiliation upon filing for office.

  • House Bill 4782 requires municipalities to regulate zoning ordinances equally for all businesses, regardless of whether a business sells firearms or ammunition.

  • House Bill 5690 creates a state task force on artificial intelligence.

Infrastructure and Development

  • Senate Bill 610 expanded the Water Development Authority’s ability to appoint employees.

  • Senate Bill 631 prohibits municipalities from disconnecting water service for nonpayment of stormwater fees.

  • Senate Bill 782 updates property development permits and deadlines.

  • Senate Bill 827 clarifies state terminology surrounding salvage yards, and the conditions for receiving a specialized regional distribution and dismantling license from the state.

  • Senate Bill 874 creates local port authority districts, which are zoned through the state’s Division of Multimodal Transportation Facilities.

Public Safety and the Courts

  • Senate Bill 578 clarifies property ownership terms in the state’s burglary crime law.

  • Senate Bill 649 clarifies that judges recalled to serve in West Virginia are entitled to per diem compensation from the state.

  • Senate Bill 712 reduced the minimum age for state police cadets from 21 to 18.

  • Senate Bill 778 expands the types of offenses that can grant an individual a “repeat offender” status for felony convictions in West Virginia.

  • House Bill 4190 establishes a silver alert system for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive impairments.

  • House Bill 4297 establishes that correctional officers who undertake specific training qualify as law enforcement officers.

  • House Bill 4399 allows certain individuals whose criminal charges have been dismissed to have those charges expunged from their record.

Tourism and Recreation

  • Senate Bill 148 establishes an auto-renewal program for state wildlife licenses.

  • Senate Bill 222 provides discounts and fee exemptions to veterans at certain state parks.

  • Senate Bill 690 creates a commission on agrotourism.

  • Senate Bill 824 increased the West Virginia Motorsport Committee from five to 17 members, all appointed by the governor.

  • House Bill 4700 bans individuals who exhibit harassing or harmful behaviors from certain sports wager activities.

  • House Bill 4793 allows residents who are at least 21 years of age to manufacture moonshine for personal or family use.

For a full list of bills that the West Virginia Legislature passed in its 2024 regular session — as well Justice’s action on them — visit the Legislature’s website.

To view our full coverage of the West Virginia Legislature’s 2024 regular session, visit the webpage for our program The Legislature Today.