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West Virginia Legislative Brief February 24, 2017: Commentary

Welcome to the 2017 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 17th day of the 60-Day Legislative Session.

Legislative Action by the Numbers:

  • 708 bills introduced in the House

  • 442 bills introduced in the Senate

  • 25 bills have passed the Senate and await House consideration

  • 14 bills have passed the House and await Senate consideration

My View from the Capitol:

If you are among those thinking the Legislature isn’t taking the state’s half-billion dollar budget gap seriously, that was proven wrong this week as both chambers went on the attack.  There’s no agreement on a budget yet, but a lot of debate — sometimes emotional — broke out in both the House and the Senate on Wednesday.  Lawmakers got vocal after Tuesday’s announcement that the bond ratings agency Moody’s downgraded West Virginia’s rating for a third time in one year.

The Republican majorities in the Legislature and the Governor, a Democrat, have been far apart on their visions for the budget. The Republicans favor a financial fix that goes heavier on cuts, although neither house has presented a budget proposal yet.  Justice presented a budget with $450 million in “revenue enhancements,” based largely on new or increased taxes and only about $26 million in cuts. It's fair to say the budget bill will be a major sticking point between the Legislature and that of the Administration.

Click here to view the West Virginia Legislative Membership Directory - 2017

Legislative Calendar - Important Days to Remember

First Day - February 8
20th Day - February 27
 - Submission of Legislative Rule-Making Review Bills Due.
35th Day - March 14 - Last day to introduce bills in the House.
41st Day - March 20 - Last day to introduce bills in the Senate.  
47th Day - March 26 - Bills due out of committee in house of origin to ensure three full days for readings.
50th Day - March 29 - 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 - April 8 - 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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