WV Press News Sharing

W.Va. Legislature ends session with 332 bills sent to Gov. Justice 

W.Va. Legislature ends session with 332 bills sent to Gov. Justice 

WV Press News Sharing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The clock is ticking on many of the 332 bills approved by the West Virginia Legislature during the 60-session which ended Saturday at midnight. 

Numerous bills, see all bills below, were approved on the final night as the House of Delegates and State Senate reached compromises on language and policy. 

Among the bills on the clock: House Bill 2024, the Budget Bill, in which the House of Delegates and State Senate worked to create a compromise budget bill. The General Revenue Budget bill totals $4,874,575,878.

Gov. Jim Justice has five days to consider the budget bill. 

The Legislative adopting a budget during the regular legislative session for the fifth year in a row, eliminating the need for an extended budget session, which had been a regular need. 

While the Gov. Justice has already signed 47 bills, he now has 15 days to decide on the others: In total, 203 House Bills and 129 Senate Bills were advanced by the legislature.

When the Legislature was in session, the Governor had five days to approve or veto a bill. With the session adjourning at midnight Saturday, the governor now has 15 days to act on most bills. However, the budget bill and supplemental appropriations bills must be acted upon by the Governor within five days regardless of when they are received. If the governor does not act within these time limits, bills automatically become law without his signature.

Among other bills noted by the legislative staff: 

House Bill 3135 modifies the salaries of the Governor and Constitutional Officers beginning January 1, 2025. The House’s version set the salaries for the Governor at $180,000 and Constitutional Officers at $115,000. The Senate amended House Bill 3135 would set the sallies at the amount paid to certain federal employees pursuant to two different federal employee pay schedules beginning in 2025. The Governor would be paid the rate of Grade 15, Step 10 federal employee. The 2023 salary rate is $177,978. The Constitutional Officers would be paid the rate of Grade 15, Step 4 federal employees. The 2023 salary rate is $129,269. Both salaries are set under the Salary Table For Locality Pay Area of the Rest of the US as published by the US Office of Personnel Management. Salaries cannot change during official terms, therefore salaries will be reevaluated every four years.

House Bill 3084 updates various provisions of charter school code. It makes charter schools eligible for School Safety Fund money. It allows a higher education institution to apply organize a charter school and enter into a charter school contract.

House Bill 2967 provides for the expedited processing of professional or trade license applications for service members, veterans, and their spouses, when the applicant is licensed, in good standing, in another jurisdiction.

Senate Bill 220 establishes the Industrial Hemp Development Act, covering the sale of kratom and other hemp-derived cannabinoids including delta-8 and delta-10. The bill limits the sale to those 21 years old and up. Unapproved products are considered contraband with criminal penalties for unlawful possession, distribution and sales.

House Bill 3035 provides a statewide multi-tiered system of support and intervention of grade-level literacy and numeracy in grades K through 3. The Senate amended House Bill 3035 removes the provision for students to be at grade level in math by third grade. The amendment also removes the flexibility for counties to phase in the placement of assistant classroom teachers where needed. The amendment also removed the option to use paraprofessionals as teacher assistants.

House Bill 2007, a bill that would ban gender surgery for minors, but allows treatment with medication under narrowly-tailored circumstances. This bill was passed yesterday. The House only made one change and added a title amendment.

House Bill 3261 amends the requirements for provisionally licensed social workers in West Virginia who are seeking to become fully licensed. The bill requires a provisionally licensed social worker must be employed for four of the last ten years as a supervised social worker to be considered for full licensing.

House Bill 2008 requires local entities to enforce immigration laws. The legislation prohibits state and local entities from adopting laws, rules, or ordinances that would restrict compliance with federal immigration laws or immigration officials.

Senate Bill 667 requires periodic performance audits by the legislative auditor of the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission, the main governing body of high school sports, cheerleading, and marching bands in the state.

Senate Bill 737 bill creates a special revenue account, the Emergency Medical Services Salary Enhancement Fund, to supplement the salaries of EMS workers across the state. The bill will provide a mechanism for distribution of the funds to the counties demonstrating the most need, counties who have a special levy, counties who have reached the maximum rate on a regular Levy and counties and that suffer from competition from border states.

Senate Bill 534 authorizes municipalities to establish private outdoor designated areas that are zoned for alcohol consumption in that area for alcohol drinks sold for by qualified permit holders, who are class A licensees.