News from the House

David Kelly,
WV House of Delegates,
District 6

News from the House-Week 7
HB 5540: This bill is also known as Laken’s Law. The bill passed the House unanimously this week. The bill provides for the following measures:
· Annual education about the dangers of substance abuse
· Provide resources to help reduce youth substance use
· Detail the specific dangers of fentanyl heroin and other opioids
· The use of opioid reversal drugs
Lead sponsor, Jeff Stevens said the following: “Being proactive instead of reactive in battling this drug epidemic is how we can help turn the tide. This crisis did not overtake our communities overnight. It’s going to take more than just targeting dollars and doctors to change the culture these opioids created.”
HB 5235: This bill doubles the criminal penalties for anyone found guilty of sexual assault on a minor. The bill also adds failure to report any of the following crimes is a felony:
· Sexual Assault
· Sexual abuse
· Sexual exploitation of a child
HB 4880: This bill eliminates all state income tax on Social Security by phasing it out over a three-year period. House Majority Leader Eric Householder said the following about the bill:
“This would provide an immediate tax reduction of 35 percent, then 65 percent the next year until the elimination in the third year and phasing it in is a softer way to be sure the budget remains stable, and the state can maintain its obligations. West Virginia has 50,000 retirees and any time we can give tax relief to our citizens it’s a great day for West Virginia.”
House Finance sent to the floor of the House bills that provide pay increases:
HB 4883: this bill provides for pay increases for WV State Police Teachers and school service personnel.
HB 4734: In August of 2023 during a special session the House addressed the salary needs of the uniformed staff at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. It was my desire to address the same needs for the non-uniformed staff during the regular session. This bill makes good on that promise. The bill Adjusts the salaries for all non-uniformed full-time staff of the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and it is in addition to the Governor’s proposed pay raise.