West Virginia Legislative Brief for 3/5/21
Welcome to the 2021 Legislative Brief, your one-stop shop for legislative news from a variety of sources throughout West Virginia, and my view of the legislative happenings on the horizon. Today marks the 24th day of the 60-day Legislative Session.
Legislative Action by the Numbers:
954 bills introduced in the House of Delegates
586 bills introduced in the State Senate
35 bills have passed the House of Delegates
63 bills have passed the State Senate
11 bills have completed legislative action and await the Governor's consideration (5 House, 6 Senate)
2 bills have been enacted in law with the Governor's signature
My View from the Capitol
Needless to say, this bill is going to be highly debated, regardless of which side of the issue you stand. The Governor has been trying to get his message out to the public through his virtual town hall style meetings. The challenge here is reaching the majority of West Virginians. Rumor has it there is very little support in the House as the bill was introduced. The Senate may have more initial support, but still a long way to go for any type of passage.
COVID-19 has prevented the Governor from repeating his very successful in-person town hall style meetings, which absolutely moved the needle concerning the road bond passage proposal.
Speaking of state finances, following a better than expected February, the state is heading into the last four months of the budget year $208 million above revenue estimates. The state collected $321.6 million in taxes last month which was $32.4 million ahead of estimates. Severance tax collections have remained “sluggish.” The state collected $19.4 million for the month of February which was below estimates by $8.9 million. It is hoped we see better numbers in the coming months.
Legislative Calendar - Important Days to Remember
Opening Day - January 13, 2021: Assemble to organize by election of officers and open and publish election returns. (WV Const. Art. VI, §18)
First Day - February 10, 2021: First day of session. (WV Const. Art. VI, §18)
Twentieth Day - March 1, 2021: Submission of Legislative Rule-Making Review bills due. (WV Code §29A-3-12)
Thirty-fifth Day - March 16, 2021: Last day to introduce bills in the House. House Rule 91a does not apply to originating or supplementary appropriation bills, and does not apply to Senate or House resolutions or concurrent resolutions.
Forty-first Day - March 22, 2021: Last day to introduce bills in the Senate. Senate Rule 14 does not apply to originating or supplementary appropriation bills, and does not apply to Senate or House resolutions or concurrent resolutions.
Forty-seventh Day - March 28, 2021: Bills due out of committees in house of origin to ensure three full days for readings.
Fiftieth Day - March 31, 2021: Last day to consider bill on third reading in house of origin. Does not include budget or supplementary appropriation bills. (Joint Rule 5, paragraph b)
Sixtieth Day - April 10, 2021: Adjournment at Midnight. (WV Const. Art. VI, §22)