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West Virginia Legislative Brief: 2/2/2018

Legislative Action by the Numbers:

912 bills introduced in the House
463 bills introduced in the Senate
29 bills have passed the House
43 bills have passed the Senate
1 bill has completed legislative action and been signed into law by the Governor

My View from the Capitol:

This week was highlighted around the proposed teachers pay increase and possible teachers strike. At least three counties are expected to use today as a walkout over concerns about pay and health insurance associated costs. It’s believed those three counties are Mingo, Logan and Wyoming. SB 267 is up for passage today in the State Senate. Upon passage, it will be sent to the House for further consideration. Undoubtedly, this proposed pay package will continue to be emotional and potentially disruptive to the committee process and remaining legislative agenda. 

On another legislative front, the legislation enabling an Intermediate Appellate Court in West Virginia was debated for four days in the Senate Judiciary Committee where it ultimately passed and was referenced to the Senate Finance Committee for further consideration. It is anticipated SB 341 will pass the State Senate but may face an uphill battle in the House of Delegates. While the merit of such a change in our court system has tremendous value, the cost associated with implementation could be viewed as stumbling block preventing final passage. Stay tuned.

Lastly, co-tenancy legislation passed out of the House Energy Committee (HB 4268). This bill would update the West Virginia co-tenancy laws related to natural gas development. Under current law, West Virginia requires unanimous consent from all co-tenants of a mineral property before any development can begin. This ultimately means a co-tenant controlling 1% of a mineral property can prevent development even if the other 99% would want to proceed. The bill now sits in the House Judiciary Committee where it’s expected to be taken up for consideration.

Legislative Calendar - Important Days to Remember

First Day - January 10
20th Day - January 28 - Submission of Legislative Rule-Making Review Bills due
35th Day - February 13 - Last day to introduce bills in the House
41st Day - February 19 - Last day to introduce bills in the Senate
47th Day - February 25 - Bills due out of committee in house of origin to ensure three full days for readings
50th Day - February 28 - Last day to consider bills on third reading in house of origin. Does not apply to the budget bill or supplemental appropriation bills.
60th Day - March 10 - Adjournment at midnight

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About this Author

L. Gil White, Government Relations Coordinator, Political Liaison Lawyer,
Government Relations Coordinator - WV

Gil White is a former 14-year elected member of the West Virginia State Legislature and a former political liaison to Governor Joe Manchin III.

During the 2016 WV Legislative Session, Mr. White discussed the sales tax exemption bill with Phil Kabler of The Charleston Gazette-Mail.  Click here to read the article.  

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