WVSBA The Legislature

February 6, 2006 - Volume 25 / Issue 8

Bill Edition Index

 

Bills Introduced Jan. 30-Feb. 3, 2006

(Note: Wording in Index may not correspond to accompanying bill headlines; numerical sequence may vary due to considering some related measures as part of the review of  particular bills by topic.)

PUBLIC EDUCATION

Compulsory Schooling
            Senate Bill 466 –  would raise compulsory schooling to age 18.

County Boards
            Senate Bill 459 –  would increase minimum wage rates; Senate Bill 494 – would require those persons working on public improvements must provide health insurance coverage to their employees; House Bill 4245 is companion measure; House Bill 4256 – would establish procedure for removal of appointive county officers; stylistic or technical changes made to existing section regarding county officers such as county boards of education members; House Bill 4264 – would require county boards to develop a policy regarding students’ rights not to have to provide identifying information to U.S. military representatives; House Bill 4273  – would bar county-sponsored transportation for persons to receive an abortion; House Bill 4283 – would create veterans’ vendor preferences; House Bill 4324 – would bar officeholders’ names or “likenesses” on vehicles; identifies “trinkets,” which would be banned, and relates to disseminating information 60 days prior to an election; House Bill 4341 – would change law regarding ISE days so that 2 such days are held prior to Dec. 31, and 3 days after Jan. 1 but before end of instructional term; House Joint Resolution 8 – would provide constitutional amendment relating to eminent domain.

School Employees
            Senate Bill 417 – would revise state grievance procedure; House Bill 4364 is a related measure; House Bill 4259 – would make several changes in existing school service personnel laws, including statutes relating to employee classification Pay Grades; “Omnibus” legislation; House Bill 4296 – would address employer immunity for disclosing job-related information regarding employees; certain exceptions; House Bill 4377 – would establish standards for school-based interpreters for the deaf and hard-of-hearing; other provisions; House Bill 4347 – Would provide teachers a COLA increase in 2006, 2007; Measure also relates to Teacher’s Retirement System annuitants.

School Transportation
            House Bill 4304 –  would allow officials to lower speed limits where school buses travel.

West Virginia Board of Education
            Senate Bill 472 – would establish “Disability History Week” – 3rd week in October; various means outlined for awareness of disabilities; House Bill 4260 – would eliminate the state Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA); House Bill 4339 – would require surveillance cameras in school commons’ areas.

Teacher’s Retirement System
            House Bill 4325 – would provide COLA increase to certain retirees; Also reviewed is Senate Bill 458; House will 4378 – would allow out-of-state service credit to apply to TRS.

Public Employees Insurance Agency
            Senate Bill 477 – would require mammography or pap smear testing as relating to cancer detection; a related bill Senate Bill 453, would require PEIA coverage for testing for chronic kidney disease; House Bill 4278 – would provide county board employees who work for 30 consecutive days PEIA coverage; House Bill 4332 – would provide a cap for retirees’ premium increases; House Bill 4346 – would ban PEIA coverage for the abortifacient RU-486; House Bill 4359 – would allow, under certain conditions, persons covered by PEIA to seek treatment in foreign medical/health facilities.

Higher Education
            Senate Bill 415 – would provide fines for credit card solicitation violations; Senate Bill 446 – would place a ban on “human cloning” in state-sponsored medical institutions; Senate Bill 447 – would allow persons, based on conscience, to refuse to provide or do certain medical procedures; a related bill is House Bill 4315; House Bill 4240 – would change the name of the Community and Technical College of Shepherd to Blue Ridge Community and Technical College; House Bill 4253 – would remove the requirement that chairpersons of Shepherd University and the chairperson of the Community and Technical College of Shepherd serve on one another’s boards of governors; House Bill 4385 – would provide additional lottery proceeds for the Promise scholarship program.

Abortion
            House Bill 4367 – would require 48 hours’ parental notification in order for mnor to have an abortion; House Bill 4375 – would require abortion facilities to be within 1,500 feet or more of school; certain exceptions.

Child Welfare
            Senate Bill 219 – would prohibit minors from using wireless communication equipment when driving.

Crimes
            Senate Bill 430 – would increase penalties for “sexually violent predators”; Related measure is House Bill 4280, which includes a procedure for committing violent sex offenders after they have served prison terms; several provisions; Senate Bill 460 –would establish state “Child Abuse Registry”; Senate Bill 491 – would require juveniles adjudicated as sex offenders to be listed in sex offender registry; House Bill 4289 – measure would expand ‘imminent danger’ term for child abuse; House Bill 4291 – would provide safeguards to children who have been suggested to abuse as part of blended families; House Bill 4303 – would require DHHR to alert parents of pending interviews of their children at schools; House Bill 4355 – would provide for temporary detention of minors named as respondents in domestic violence protective orders; House Bill 4284 – would increase penalty for one convicted as an accessory to a crime “after the fact” as the same as one who is an accessory before the fact; House Bill 4285 – would define burglar’s tools; House Bill 4302 – would prohibit human trafficking/involuntary servitude, including that of minors; House Bill 4326 – would establish the “Drug Dealer Liability Act”; related bill, House Bill 4328, would increase penalties for delivery of controlled substances; other provisions.

Governmental Entities
            Senate Bill 428 – would provide for uniformity for agency purchasing cards; Senate Bill 434 – would stress use of fleet fuel efficiencies; House Bill 4255 – would include product’s expected life in purchasing specifications; House Bill 4316 – would allow some lawsuits to be brought in venues other than Kanawha County; House Bill 4330 – would limit budget increases; certain percentage votes required; House Bill 4336 – would establish state Energy Coordinator position; House Bill 4369 – would require Secretary of Administration to establish acceptable Internet standards.

Public Employees Retirement System
            Senate Bill 427 – would prevent a reduction in PERS retirees’ annuities (those who retired with disabilities at age 65).

Taxation
            Senate Bill 412 – would exempt farming equipment and livestock from real property taxation; House Bill 4332 – would remove timber severance tax; House Joint Resolution 109 – would make modifications in Homestead Exemption relating to 50 percent of the average cost of homes in areas of the property where Homestead Exemption is sought.

Table Games
            House Bill 4314 – would establish “table games” in West Virginia; 34 new sections of Code.

 

 

Jan. 30-Feb. 3 Bills Of Session Reviewed

Listed below are West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates bills introduced Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2006 during the fourth week of the Second Regular Session of the 77th West Virginia Legislature.

(This listing does not include House of Delegates carryover bills pertaining to public education. These will be included in a separate issue of The Legislature.)

Bills are listed topically, beginning with public education bills. A series of education-related bills follow. Lastly, some measures are cited briefly. Senate bills are listed first.

A total 65 bills/resolutions are reviewed.

For a copy of any bill, please contact WVSBA: 304.346.0571. You also may contact me at hocull@wvsba.org.

Bills are posted on the West Virginia Legislature’s Web site: www.legis.state.wv.us.

Editor’s Note: Listing is not exhaustive.

 

PUBLIC EDUCATION

Bill would raise compulsory schooling from age 16 to 18

Senate Bill 466.  Proposed revisions to §18-8-1 would change the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18.

Sponsored by Sen. Karen Facemyer, R-Jackson. Introduced Feb. 2. Referred to Senate Education Committee, then Senate Finance Committee. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_
SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb466%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Proposal – one of 4 such bills – seeks to raise WV wage rate

Senate Bill 459. Proposed amendments to §21-5C-2 would raise the minimum wage so that, by Dcc. 1, the wage rate would increase from $5.15 per hour to $5.50.

After May 1, 2007, the minimum wage would increase to $5.75, with subsequent increases to $6.00 per hour (Dec. 1, 2007), $6.25 per hour (July 1, 2008), to a finally-cited statutory increase of $6.75 (Dec. 1, 2008).

A related Senate measure is Senate Bill 146.

Editor’s Note: Other bills relating to minimum wage rate increases include House Bill 4023, House Bill 4051 and House Bill 4085. The Web site link for House Bill 4023  is http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_
SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4023%20intr.htm

The Web site link for House Bill 4051 is http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_
SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4051%20intr.htm

The Legislature’s Web site for House Bill 4085 is http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_
SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4085%20intr.htm

A related Senate Bill is Senate Bill 146. The Legislature’s Web site address is http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_
SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb146%20intr.htm

Senate Bill 459 has 12 sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Billy Wayne Bailey, D-Wyoming. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee, then Senate Finance Committee.  http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_
SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb459%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

‘Public improvements’ employers – health care ‘must’

Senate Bill 494. Proposed §21-1D-1 et. seq. would require “employers” working on “public improvement projects” to provide health insurance coverage to their workers.

The bill would establish a state “policy” that “workers on public improvement projects should be provided health care insurance as a benefit of employment.”

The proposal, as regarding “public improvements,” defines “construction” to mean any “construction, reconstruction, improvement, enlargement, painting, decorating, or repair of any public improvement let to contract…”

(Temporary or emergency repairs would be exempt.)

The bill applies to projects, as defined, having an aggregate value of $500,000 or more including “labor and materials…”

Under this proposed section, employers would have to “(establish) in writing to the public authority’s satisfaction that at least (75 percent) of the employees working on the (public) project are covered by (health insurance policy).”

Under a bill definition for “public authority,” county boards would be affected because they often include “projects for which expenditures are made, in whole or in part, from public funds.” Additionally, the bill affects state political subdivisions.)

Sponsored by Sens. Ed Bowman, D-Hancock, Jon Blair Hunter, D-Monongalia, and Jeffrey Kessler, D-Marshall. Introduced Feb. 3. Referred to Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, then  Senate Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_
SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb494%20intr.htm

The House companion bill is House Bill 4245. There are 11 House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Barbara A. Hatfield, D-Kanawha. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to House Health and Human Resources, then House Government Organization. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_
SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4245%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Procedure outlined for removal of appointive officers

House Bill 4256. Revised §6-6-7 and proposed §6-6-7a would establish a procedure for the removal of members appointed to county or municipal boards, authorities or commissions for fixed terms.

The bill, through the proposed §6-6-7 would establish the procedure for the removal of these officers.

It would require written notice of intent to remove while allowing appointed members to object in writing to an intended removal.

Other provisions include:

1. Requiring a hearing when a member objects to removal;

2. requiring that written decisions after removal hearings include findings of fact and conclusions of law in support of decisions removing or refusing to remove members from a board, authority or commission;

3. setting time periods for actions relating to removal procedures;

Appeals

4. authorizing an appeal of an adverse decision to circuit court;

5. requiring the provision of a written decision to the removal of a member who does not respond to notice of intent to remove;

6. authorizing the appointment of a person to fill the vacancy created by the removal of a member.

(Changes to the existing statute, §6-6-7, appear to be stylistic or technical. That section affects county board members specifically as “elective” officers via direct reference to “a member of a board of education…”.)

There are seven House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Bob Stemple, D-Calhoun. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to House Political Subdivisions Committee, then House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_
SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4256%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Pupils could ask names not to be given to military recruiters

House Bill 4264. Proposed §18-5-47 would require county boards to develop a policy requiring high school principals to “inform each high school student, or the student’s parent or legal guardian, of that student’s rights (under a provision of the federal No Child Left Behind Act and another corresponding federal law) to request that the student’s name, address and telephone listing not be released to military service.

A second bill provision would require notice to students, parents and legal guardians of “notice of the right to choose whether to disclose this information.”

The statute would become the “Student and Family Privacy Protection Act.”

There are 11 House  sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Bonnie Brown, D-Kanawha. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to House Education.  http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4264%20intr.htm

 

Bill would bar transportation reimbursement for abortion

House Bill 4273. Proposed §16-2J-1 would prohibit the state and “its counties” from paying or reimbursing any “person, business, organization or other entity for transporting any person to schedule, arrange or procure an abortion.”

A separate bill provision states that the measure is not meant to “condone, permit, allow or endorse any abortion.”
         
Sponsored by Del. Greg Howard, R-Cabell. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to House Health and Human Resources, then House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4273%20intr.htm

 

Veteran vendor preference outlined for public contracts

House Bill 4283.  Similar to Senate Bill 66 and Senate Bill 292, this measure would provide a 3.5% preference “as against a nonveteran resident West Virginia vendor,” providing the preference applies to the extent the resident veteran vendor’s bid does not “exceed the lowest qualified bid from a nonveteran resident vendor by more than (3.5%) of the latter bid…”

Another bill provision would provide the preference if at least 75 percent of the veteran resident vendor’s workforce “are residents of West Virginia.”

The provision is applicable during the “entire term of a (public) project (with the residents having to have lived in West Virginia) continuously for the two immediately preceding years and the vendor’s bid does not exceed the lowest qualified bid from a nonresident vendor more than (3.5 percent) of the latter bid…”

The vendor would have to certify that he or she meets the above residency requirements and make “written claim for the preference at the time the bid was submitted.”

The bill would affect county boards and other state entities in terms of purchasing of printing, commodities and supplies.

The legislation would amend §5A-3-37 and -37a.

There are 8 House sponsors, including lead sponsor Speaker Bob Kiss, D-Raleigh. Introduced Jan. 31. Referred to House Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee, then House Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4283%20intr.htm

Refer to http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb292%20intr.htm for Senate Bill 292 and http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb66%20intr.htm for Senate Bill 66

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Officeholders wouldn’t be able to use name on state cars

House Bill 4324. Proposed §6B-2-5c would prohibit elected officials from using their “name or likeness on any publicly-owned vehicles, except  during ceremonial events.”

Additionally, the bill would prohibit the officeholder from using public funds to “purchase, distribute or disseminate the elected or appointed person’s name or likeness on promotional mementos, keepsakes or trinkets…,” which the employees’ office, or items for which the presence of the officials’ name or likeness is unnecessary and has a promotional purpose, including…the following: pens, pencils, paperweights, magnets, mugs, keychains, pill-holders, band-aid dispensers, fans, pins, nail files, matches, and bags…”

Other bill provisions would prohibit elected officials from disseminating various communications, including mass mailing distribution, within 60 days of a Primary or General Election in which the individual is a candidate.

(The above provision also applies to elected officials’ agents or anyone on “public payroll.”)

Agent, in terms of the bill, would include campaign volunteers and others serving at the “discretion of an elected or appointed official.”

Public Officials’ likeness

Public officials could use their “likeness” on various records or reports, letterhead, documents or certificates or other material “issued in the course of their duties…or on promotional materials used for national tourism and economic development promotion.”

The legislation would require the state Ethics Commission to propose rules regarding its implementation, including emergency rules.

There are seven House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Kelli Soboyna, R-Cabell. Introduced Jan. 26. Referred to House Judiciary.

There are 11 House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Kevin Craig, D-Cabell. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Judiciary.

Note: This legislation appears identical to House Bill 4127. Unlike that proposal, House Bill 4324 includes 6 Democrat sponsors, whereas the former measure had only one Democrat sponsor among its 7 sponsors. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4324%20intr.htm

The Web site link for House Bill 4127 is   http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4127%20intr.htm

Del. Craig is House Judiciary Vice Chairman.

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Bill would direct scheduling of ISE school calendar days

House Bill 4341. Revised §18-5-45 would require that two school calendar Instructional Support and Enhancement Days (ISE Days) be held prior to Dec. 31, and that 3 ISE days be held after Jan. 1, but before the end of the instructional term.

According to the bill note, this type scheduling will provide “better flexibility in the scheduling of (ISE Days)…”

Sponsored by Dels. Robert A. Schadler, R-Mineral, Larry A. Williams, D-Preston, and Otis Leggett, R-Ritchie. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Education, then House Finance. Williams is House Education Vice Chairman. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4341%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Resolution would address use of eminent domain

House Joint Resolution 108. This proposed Resolution would prohibit the taking of private property for private use through a limitation on the ability of governmental entities to “condemn property for the purposes of private retail, office, commercial, industrial, or residential development.”

There are 11 House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. John Overington, R-Berkeley. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Constitutional Revision Committee, then House Judiciary Committee. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/rs/bills/hjr108%20intr.htm

 

Bills relate to school employee grievance process

Senate Bill 417. Proposed revisions to §18-29-3 et. seq. would make significant revisions in the state’s grievance procedure for education and public employees, namely the elimination of the current Step I conference with the immediate supervisor which is designed to “discuss the nature of the grievance and the action, redress or other remedy (the employee seeks).”

If the grievance is not granted, the grievant may appeal to the “chief administrator” within five days.

The chief administrator must issue an opinion within seven days after havng conducted a grievance hearing.

Level III administrative law judges or the chief administrator would have the ability to subpoena witnesses and documents for Level I and Level II hearings.

If the chief administrator’s designee holds the hearing, the grievance evaluator is to issue “the final decision and the chief administrator shall have no authority to override, reverse or modify the decision.”

‘Governing board’

In terms of  a county board – “governing board” – granting the grievance, the “chief administrator may not appeal the grievance…”

Level III grievance hearings would be conducted by administrative law judges (not hearing examiners).

Under terms of the bill, grievants – 1/3rd of the cost of the arbitration, and “the institution” 2/3rds of the costs.

The arbitrator must be “mutually agreed to by the parties.”

The bill contains several provisions regarding its arbitration process, including a “ban” on ex parte communication “with the arbitrator, unless the parties and the arbitrator otherwise agree in advance of the communication. The arbitrator shall maintain the confidentiality of the arbitration and may make rulings to safeguard that confidentiality.”

The arbitrator’s decision “is binding on the parties to the grievance,” unless set aside by a circuit court of if the award were “procured by corruption, fraud or an undisclosed conflict of interest, or the arbitrator exceeded his or her authority.”

There are several other provisions. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb417%20intr.htm

There are 10 Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Hunter. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to Senate Education, then Senate Finance.

House Bill 4364, a related measure, would establish binding arbitration for the state grievance process, with the employer bearing the cost of the arbitration, with the arbitrator’s decision being final and binding on the parties “and neither party has a right to appeal…”

Sponsored by Del. Tom Louisos. Introduced Feb. 2. Referred to House Judiciary, then House Finance.            http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4364%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Omnibus school service personnel bill introduced

House Bill 4259. Proposed revisions to §18-5-18a, §18A-4-8, 8a, and 8b, comprise the components of an omnibus school service personnel bill.

            These are among provisions:

Reductions in Force

There are 9 House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Charlene Marshall, D-Monongalia. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to House Education, then House Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4259%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Job-related information disclosure immunity proposed

House Bill 4296. Proposed §55-7-18a would provide employer immunity from civil liability for disclosing job-related information concerning an employee or former employee to a prospective employer.

There are four House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Craig. Introduced Jan. 31. Referred to House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4296%20SUB.htm

Note: This bill is on First Reading today.

 

Bill establishes standards for school-based interpreters

House Bill 4377. Proposed §18-5-18f would establish qualification standards for American Sign Language and English school-based interpreters.

Under terms of the bill, all school-based interpreters must hold a certificate awarded by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf or the general level interpreter proficiency certificate awarded by the National Association of the Deaf.

Procedures are provided to allow time for current professional interpreters and recent graduates to meet the certain criteria during a two-year provisional period whereby the interpreter or transliterator “must develop and implement an education plan in collaboration with the county superintendent…and a mentor who must be an interpreter or  transliterator who has (NAD Level IV or V certification or RID certification)…and at least (3 years) interpreting or transliterating experience in any educational setting.

“The mentor, in collaboration with the provisionally certified interpreter or transliterator, and the county superintendent…shall develop and implement an education plan designed to meet the certification requirements including a weekly on-site mentoring process.” 

A person who holds the provisional certificate could apply for one “time-limited extension,” based on letters of support from the mentor, a parent of a pupil the person serves, the county special education director, and a representative of the state Commission for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing.

Other documentation

Other documentation could include the person’s education records/credentials, and an explanation of why the extension is necessary.

In order to receive the extension, the individual must comply with a “plan and the accompanying time line for meeting (the bill’s requirements),” which is to be developed by a committee comprised, in part, by representatives of the Commission for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing.

A county board would be prohibited from hiring an interpreter who does not meet the new criteria after July 1, 2008 with the exception of new graduates.

There are other provisions.

There are five House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Sharon Spencer, D-Kanawha. Introduced Feb. 3. Referred to House Education, then House Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4377%20intr.htm

 

Bill would provide teachers a COLA raise for 2006, 2007

House Bill 4347. Proposed revisions to §18A-4-2 would provide a cost-of-living supplemental increase for the 2006 and 2007 years to Teachers' Retirement System annuitants who are receiving a disability annuity and has been retired for at least five years, or are receiving a retirement annuity and who are at least age 62 and have been retired for at least 5 five years.

The bill also provides that teachers receive a similar cost of living increase in the years 2009 and 2010. The supplement for both is equal to the percentage increase in the consumer price index.

That increase would be effective July 1, 2009 and 2010.

The COLA supplement would be equal to the percentage increase in the consumer price index as published by the United States Department of Labor.

Sponsored by Del. Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Education, then House Finance.
http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4347%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Bill would allow officials to lower speed limits

House Bill 4304. Proposed revisions to §17C-6-3 would allow local authorities to decrease the speed limit on streets and highways where school buses travel within the entities’ “respective jurisdictions.”

Sponsored by Dels. Mike Caputo, Linda Longstreth and Tim Manchin, all D-Marion. Introduced Jan. 31. Referred to House Roads and Transportation Committee, then House Education. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4304%20intr.htm

 

“Disability History Week” Proposed – 3rd Week in October

Senate Bill 472. Proposed §18-2K-1 et. seq. would establish the third week of October as Disability History Week, the purpose of which is to increase awareness and understanding of the “history and contributions of people with disabilities in the state, nation, and world.”

During the third week of October, the bill would require “…all public schools shall provide instruction on disability history, people with disabilities, and the disability rights movement.

“Such instruction will be integrated into existing school curriculum, including, but not limited to: Additions to existing lesson plans, school assemblies, or other school activities and may be provided by existing school personnel or by guest speakers.

“State colleges and universities are encouraged to conduct and encourage activities that provide education, awareness, and understanding of disability history, people with disabilities, and the disability rights movement.

“The Legislature will recognize Disability History Week each year by presenting a joint proclamation to youth leaders in the disability rights movement to reaffirm a commitment to the full inclusion of people with disabilities in our society and to recognize the disability rights movement as an important part of the history of our state and country.  

‘Recognized resources’

“Recognized resources for information, materials, and speakers include, but not limited to, centers for independent living, the statewide independent living council, the developmental disabilities council, and the state (Americans With Diabilities Act) coordinator.

“Provisions of this article are not intended to create a burden, financial or otherwise, for public schools or teachers or for colleges or universities.”

There are other provisions.

There are 10 Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Bob Plymale, D-Wayne. Introduced Feb. 2. Referred to Senate Education, then Senate Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb472%20intr.htm

 

Measure would eliminate OEPA statutory requirement

House Bill 4260. The purpose of this legislation is to remove the statutory requirement that the West Virginia Board of Education establish and staff the Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA).

Under terms of the bill, the WVBE would be responsible for establishing “a system” of education performance audits for the Process for Improving Education Council, which is comprised of the state Board of Education, Legislature and Governor, so that the Council would be assisted in “…monitoring the performance and progress of schools and school systems…”

There are numerous other provisions.

There are 7 House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. David Perry, D-Fayette. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to House Education, then House Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4260%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions

 

Surveillance cameras would be required in K-12 schools

House Bill 4339. Proposed §18-2-16b would require surveillance cameras in the common areas of all K-12 schools.

The requirement would be effective by Nov. 1, 2009, and would be required for monitoring all “common areas of schools, including hallways, playgrounds, dining halls, and areas where buses pick up and drop off students.”
statutory provisions, and to “…specify the quality and resolution of video or digital cameras to be used as well as the retention periods of video tape or digital images resulting from the use of the surveillance cameras.”

There are other provisions.

Sponsored by Dels. Rick Staton and Richard Browning, both D-Wyoming. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Education, then House Finance.  http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4339%20intr.htm

 

 COLA increase proposed for some TRS retirees

House Bill 4325. Proposed §18-7A-26t would provide an additional supplement to each TRS annuitant who is receiving a disability annuity and has been retired for at least 5 years, or is receiving a retirement annuity and is at least age 62 and who has been retired for at least 5 years.

The supplement, effective for 2006 and 2007, would be equal to the percentage increase in the consumer price index as published by the United States Department of Labor or 3 percent, whichever is less, multiplied by the first $18,000 of the retiree's annual annuity.

Sponsored by Del. Louisos. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Pensions and Retirement, then House Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4325%20intr.htm

Also refer to Senate Bill 458.  That measure would provide a one-time supplement to TRS annuitants equal to 5 percent of their annuity benefit up to $30,000.

The supplement would apply to TRS annuitants who have been retired for 5 consecutive years and to survivor beneficiaries receiving benefits (prior to the bill’s adoption).

There are other provisions.

There are 11 Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Clark S. Barnes. Introduced Feb. 2. Referred to Senate Pensions and Retirement, then Senate Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb458%20intr.htm

Also refer to House Bill 4347 listed above which has a COLA provision relating to retirees and which also would provide this type increase in the form of teacher salaries.

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Bill relates to out-of-state service credit applied to TRS

House Bill 4378. Proposed revisions to §18-7A-17 would allow teachers who transfer out-of-state retirement credit to apply up to 7 years towards eligibility for TRS retirement.

Sponsored by Dels. Doug Stalnaker, D-Lewis, Ron Thompson, D-Raleigh, and Harold Michael, D-Hardy. Introduced Feb. 3. Referred to House Pensions and Retirement, then  House Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4378%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Bill relates to mammography or pap smear PEIA testings

Senate Bill 477. Proposed revisions to §33-15-4c would require third-party insurers to provide insurance coverage for medically-indicated mammograms, pap smears and human papillomavirus testing (in terms of cancer detection).

The companion measure is House Bill 4379.

The Senate bill has 9 sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Roman W. Prezioso, D-Marion. Introduced Feb. 2. Referred to Senate Health and Human Resources, then Senate Banking and Insurance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb477%20intr.htm

The House bill has 11 sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Brown. Introduced Feb. 3. Referred to House Banking and Insurance, then House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4379%20intr.htm

A related bill, Senate Bill 453, would require PEIA coverage (and Medicaid) for testing for chronic kidney disease.

The bill also would require Medicaid providers to be “educated by the Bureau for Public Health in an effort to increase the rate of evaluation and treatment for chronic kidney disease,” including information regarding kidney disease risk factors such as improving the “nutritional status of chronic kidney disease patients,” etc.

There are 6 Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Prezioso. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to Senate Health and Human Resources, then Senate Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb453%20intr.htm

 

Personnel working for 30 days would get PEIA coverage

House Bill 4278. Revised §5-16-2, -5, and 25 would ensure that county board employees who work full-time for more than 30 consecutive days qualify for PEIA coverage.

It also would repeal the 80-20 requirements which requires payment of 20 percent of the aggregate premium by active employees; and, the measure would increase the amount that the Agency can have in its reserve fund from 15 percent to 20 percent.

Sponsored by Del. Browning. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to House Education, then House Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4278%20intr.htm

Also refer toS enate Bill 288. The Legislature’s Web site link is http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb288%20intr.htm

 

Retirees’ premium increases would be capped at 5%

House Bill 4332. Proposed amendments to §5-16-5 would place a 5 percent cap on all premium increases for Public Employees Insurance Agency retirees.

There are four House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Stalnaker. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Pensions and Retirement, then House Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4332%20intr.htm

Also refer to Senate Bill 267. The Legislature’s Web site link is http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb267%20intr.htm

 

Bill would ban RU-486 coverage by PEIA

House Bill 4346. Proposed §33-4-21 would prohibit PEIA payment for the abortifacient RU-486.

Sponsored by Del. Louisos. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Health and Human Resources, then House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4346%20intr.htm

Also refer to House Bill 4082. The Legislature’s Web site link is  http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4082%20intr.htm

 

Bill would allow treatment in foreign facilities

House Bill 4359. Proposed §5-16-28 would authorize those persons covered by PEIA to seek treatment in foreign medical/health facilities.

Under terms of the bill, if there are sufficient savings to do so, covered employees may choose to travel to foreign countries for medical care and treatment with the cost of travel, lodging and the treatment paid for by PEIA.

In addition, PEIA would reimburse the employee twenty percent of any savings, pay for the lodging and travel cost of a companion, pay for the cost of lodging for seven days of convalescence and pay the employer for seven days of paid sick leave for the employee.

Sponsored by Dels. Ray Canterbury, R-Greenbrier, Ron Walters, R-Kanawha, and Jeff Eldridge, D-Lincoln. Introduced Feb. 2. Referred to House Banking and Insurance, then House Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4359%20intr.htm

 

Bill provides fines for credit card solicitation violations

Senate Bill 415. Proposed revisions to §18B-14-10 would provide a misdemeanor penalty for violating existing college campus credit card solicitation laws such as offering tangible gifts to potential credit card applicants.

There are 11 Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. H. Truman Chafin, D-Mingo. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to Senate Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb415%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Ban would be placed on human cloning at med schools

Senate Bill 446. Proposed §18B-4-9 would prohibit cloning of human embryos in state medical schools, colleges or universities.

Those who violate the statute’s provisions would be dismissed from employment.

Sponsored by Sen. Vic Sprouse, R-Kanawha, and Shirley Love, D-Fayette. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to Senate Education, then Senate Health and Human Resources. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb446%20intr.htm

Senate Bill 456, a related bill, would prohibit the cloning of “any human being or human embryo.”

The bill establishes a felony for those who would violate its provisions.

Sponsored by Sen. Andy McKenzie, R-Ohio. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to Senate Health and Human Resources, then Senate Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb456%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Measure concerns immunity for abortion procedures

Senate Bill 447. Among the provisions of this bill is a section that would provide “immunity” for health care providers, institutions and payers that refuse to participate in abortion procedures, based on conscience.

Sponsored by Sen. Sprouse. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to Senate Health and Human Resources, then Senate Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb447%20intr.htm

Also refer to House Bill 4315. Sponsored by Del. Charles Trump IV, R-Morgan. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Health and Human Resources, then House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4315%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Bill would change name of CTC of Shepherd University

House Bill 4240. Proposed revisions to §18B-3C-13 would change the name of the Community and Technical College of Shepherd University to the Blue Ridge Community and Technical College.

Sponsored by Dels. Locke Wysong, Bob Tabb, and John Doyle, all D-Jefferson. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to House Education.
http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4240%20intr.htm

A related measure, House Bill 4253, would remove the requirement that the chairperson of Shepherd University and the Chairperson of the Community and Technical College of Shepherd serve on each other’s board of governors.

It, too, is sponsored by Dels. Doyle, Wysong, and Tabb. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to House Education. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4253%20intr.htm

Note: These bills are to be considered by House Education this week.  

 

Additional lottery dollars would go to Promise fund

House Bill 4385. Proposed §18C-7-7 would require the Promise Scholarship Board of Control to certify to the state Lottery Commission and report to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance the projected cost of the Promise scholarship program and any projected revenue shortfalls for the following fiscal year.

Upon receiving the revenue projections, the Lottery Commission would be required to adjust the payout percentage of its video lottery terminals to raise additional revenue to meet any projected revenue shortfalls in the Promise scholarship program the following fiscal year.

Additional revenues raised for the Promise scholarship program from video lottery terminals shall be deposited in the special revenue fund.

The Promise board would be required to recommend a legislative rule to the higher education policy commission to implement the proposed statutory provisions and the state Higher Education Policy Commission also would be required to promulgate rules necessary to implement the proposed statutory revisions.   

Sponsored by Del. Lane. Introduced Feb. 3. Referred to House Education, then House Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4385%20intr.htm

 

EDUCATION-RELATED

Parental notice needed for minors’ to have abortion

House Bill 4367. Proposed amendments to §16-2F-3 would require 48 hours’ notice to the parents of a minor seeking an abortion before an abortion could be performed.

This is one of several bills on the subject.

Introduced by Del. Larry Border, R-Wood. Introduced Feb. 2. Referred to House Health and Human Resources, then House Judiciary.  http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4367%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Abortion facilities must be 1,500 feet from schools

House Bill 4375. Proposed §16-2J-1, -2 would require “abortion facilities” to be located 1,500 feet or more from the “property on which any church, school or kindergarten is located.”

There is a stipulation that location of such a facility, if in compliance with the statute “on the date it begins operation,” and a school or church were subsequently located within 1,500 feet of the facility.

Note: The legislation ostensibly deals with abortions after the first trimester of pregnancy having to be performed at a hospital or “ambulatory surgical facility.”

Sponsored by Del. Eldridge. Introduced Feb. 3. Referred to House Health and Human Resources, then House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4375%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions. 

 

Minors - no wireless communication when driving

Senate Bill 219. As previously reported, this measure would disallow minors holding a Level I drivers instruction permit or a Level II intermediate driver’s license from using wireless communications when driving.

There are 6 Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Dan Foster, D-Kanawha. Originating in Senate Roads and Transportation Feb. 3. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/SB219%20SUB1.htm

 

Penalties to be increased for ‘sexually violent predators’

Senate Bill 430. This legislation is similar to Senate Bill 276 and House Bill 4039. Refer to the Jan. 30, 2006 issue of The Legislature for the Senate bill, and the Jan. 23 issue of The Legislature for House Bill 4039.

Sens. Tracy Dempsey, D-Lincoln, Unger and Evan Jenkins, D-Cabell sponsored Senate Bill 430. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to Senate Judiciary, then Senate Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb430%20intr.htm

The link for Senate Bill 276 is http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb276%20intr.htm

The link for House Bill 4039 is  http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/HB4039%20SUB.htm

That measure, having a double-reference, has been referred to House Finance.

 

Related bill

Another related bill is House Bill 4280. It outlines a procedure for committing violent sex offenders after they have served prison terms or when they have been found unfit to stand trial due to various “mental” conditions.

Sponsored by Del. Walters. Introduced Jan. 31. Referred to Senate Judiciary, then Senate Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4280%20intr.htm

Sen. Dempsey is one of 13 Senate sponsors for Senate Bill 276 which would be known as “The Protect Our Children Act” if implemented.

 

Bill would create state “Child Abuser Registry”

Senate Bill 460. This legislation is the companion to House Bill 4012. Refer to the Jan. 16 issue of The Legislature.

The legislation would establish a registry of convicted child abusers.

There are 13 Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Prezioso. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to Senate Judiciary, then Senate Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb460%20intr.htm

House Bill 4012 has passed the House and has been referred to Senate Judiciary, with a second reference to Senate Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/HB4012%20SUB%20ENG.htm

 

Adjudicated juveniles to be listed in sex offender registry

Senate Bill 491. Proposed amendments to §15-12-2, 3a would include juveniles adjudicated as sexual offenders to be listed in the sex offender registry.

Sponsored by Sens. Donna J. Boley, R-Pleasants, and Barnes. Introduced Feb. 3. Referred to Senate Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb491%20intr.htm

 

Measure expands ‘imminent danger’ term for child abuse

House Bill 4289. Proposed amendments to §49-1-3 would expand the definition of “imminent danger” for the purposes of  child abuse statutes to include parents who expose their children to abusive use of alcohol or any controlled substance, or who expose their children to controlled substance manufacturing locations.

There are four Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Virginia Mahan, D-Summers. Introduced Jan. 31. Referred to House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4289%20intr.htm

This measure is similar to Senate Bill 236. Refer to the  Jan. 30 issue of The Legislature. The link is http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb236%20intr.htm

 

Children of blended families to be covered by abuse law

House Bill 4291. Proposed revisions to §49-6-3, -5 would provide “the same” protection and safeguards to children who have been subjected to “aggravated circumstances” of neglect and abuse, including children of blended families.

There are seven House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Mahan. Introduced Jan. 31. Referred to House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4291%20intr.htm

 

DHHR needs to alert parents of abuse investigations

House Bill 4303. Proposed §49-6A-9a would require that the state Department of Health and Human Resources provide a letter of “explanation” to parents whose children are contacted at school for the purpose of investigating reports of suspected child abuse or neglect.

Under terms of the bill, the notice would be required in all “face-to-face (meetings made by DHHR for this purpose).

There are six House sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Randy Swartzmiller, D-Hancock. Introduced Jan. 31. Referred to House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4303%20intr.htm

 

Temporary detention of minor sought in DV orders

House Bill 4355. Proposed revisions to §48-27-403, §49-5-7, -8 would authorize temporary detention of juveniles who are the named respondents in emergency domestic violence protective orders in cases where the juvenile resides with the petitioner.

There are four House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Brown. Introduced Feb. 2. Referred to House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4355%20intr.htm

 

Measure relates to “accessory after the fact”

House Bill 4284. Proposed revisions to §61-11-6 would increase the penalty for one who is convicted of being an accessory after the fact to the same penalty – felony – for an accessory before the fact.

There are four House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Tabb. Introduced Jan. 31. Referred to House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4284%20intr.htm

 

Criminal offense would be set for making “burglar’s tools”

House Bill 4285. Proposed §61-3-11a would create the statutory offense of “manufacture or possession of burglar’s tools,” including explosives, instruments or “anything adapted, designed or commonly used for advancing or facilitating…burglary…”

Sponsored by Del. Howard. Introduced Jan. 31. Referred to House Education. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4285%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Bill covers human trafficking/involuntary servitude

House Bill 4302. One of three bills relating to this subject, this measure would provide criminal penalties for persons convicted of human trafficking and involuntary servitude.

Specific reference is made to trafficking victims as including “sexual servitude of a minor.”

There are several other provisions.

There are nine House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Brown. Introduced Jan. 31. Referred to House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4302%20intr.htm

For the other two bills, refer to House Bills 4073 and 4090. The latter also makes mention of “minors.”

The link to House Bill 4073 is http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4073%20intr.htm

The link to House bill 4090 is http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4090%20intr.htm

 

“Drug Dealer Liability Act” proposed; civil suits allowed

House Bill 4326. This legislation, which create 17 new sections of law in Chapter 16, Article 11 of statute, would establish the “Drug Dealer Liability Act,” the purpose of which is to allow civil suits to be brought against “illegal drug dealers.”

Civil suits against “illegal drug dealers” – “actions for damages” – could be brought by “a parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, or sibling of the individual drug user”  as individuals who were exposed to illegal drugs “in utero,” employers, medical facilities that “(fund) a drug treatment program or employee assistance program for the individual drug user or that otherwise expended money on behalf of the individual drug user.”

Additionally, civil suits could be brought by persons injured by one’s use of illegal drugs due to “the willful, reckless, negligent actions of an individual drug user.”

While any of the above individuals could bring a  civil suit against an “illegal drug user,” governmental agencies would be prohibited from doing so.

Damages

Damages recovered may include economic damages for treatment and rehabilitation, medical expenses, loss of economic and educational potential, loss of productivity, absenteeism, support expenses, accidents or injury and other “pecuniary loss proximately caused by illegal drug use.”

Non-economic damages, including those for physical and emotional pain, loss of enjoyment, disfigurement, etc. also could be brought as well as attorney fees and fees for witnesses who may provide expert testimony on behalf of the plaintiff.

The proposal includes several required stipulations regarding conditions for which an individual drug user may bring suit against a drug dealer, including disclosing information to law enforcement officials regarding “all of the information known to the individual regarding all that individual’s sources of illegal drugs,” non-use of illegal drugs for six months prior to bringing the civil action and the requirement that the “individual continues to remain free of the use of an illegal drug throughout the pendency of the action.”

Damages may be sought from a person who “distributed, or is in the chain of distribution of an illegal drug that was used by the individual drug user.”

As stated above various damages may be sought, including the cost of rehabilitation, medical expenses, absenteeism, etc. (as stipulated above).

‘Third parties’

Third parties would be prohibited from paying civil damages or awards or from providing a “defense or money for a defense, on behalf of an insured under a contract of insurance or indemnity.”

The bill establishes various definitions for “illegal drug market target communities,” including a county up to the state.

Another bill provision would permit various parties to join in the civil suit against the illegal drug dealer, with the courts authorized to provide “…relief against one or more defendants according to their respective liabilities.”

There are various other sections, including a stipulation that actions can be brought only for incidents having occurred “…(less) than two years after the cause of action accrues…”

Another bill provision says the civil suit is “tolled while the individual potential plaintiff is incapacitated by the use of an illegal drug to the extent that the individual cannot reasonably be expected to seek recovery…”

Prosecuting attorneys may represent that state or political subdivisions for actions brought under the statute.

There are numerous other sections, including the bill’s purpose and findings provisions which primarily deal with the “prevalence” of illegal drugs in society, the cost of using illegal drugs, and the viability of using the civil justice system as a “weapon” against drug use and illegal drug dealers, including small dealers in the workplace “who are not usually the focus of criminal investigations.”

The bill has various other sections.

There are seven House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Swartzmiller. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Judiciary).  http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4326%20intr.htm

A related bill, House Bill 4328, would increase the jail sentence from 1 to 15 years to 3 to 15 years for those convicted of delivering, manufacturing, or possessing (with intent to deliver or manufacture) any Schedule I or Schedule II narcotic drug.

There are four House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Howard. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4328%20intr.htm

 

Bill aims at purchasing card uniformity among agencies

Senate Bill 428. Proposed amendments to §12-3-10a, -d, -e would provide purchasing card uniformity throughout state agencies.

Selection of charge card vendors would be based on the “combination of competence and qualification in the provision of services and a determination of the best financial arrangement for the state…”

The above are among bill provisions relating to the purchasing card uniformity.

There are six Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Joe Minard, D-Harrison. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to Senate Government Organization, then Senate Finance.
http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb428%20intr.htm

 

Measures stresses use of state vehicle fleet fuel efficiencies

Senate Bill 434. Proposed §5A-3-49a would ensure that state government exercises leadership in the reduction of petroleum based fuel consumption through improvements in fleet fuel efficiency and the use of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and alternative fuels, according to the bill note.

The intent of the legislation is to reduce petroleum use and the displacement of petroleum by alternative fuels in order to promote markets for more alternative fuel and fuel efficient vehicles, encourage new technologies, enhance West Virginia's energy self-sufficiency and security, and ensure a healthier environment, again according to the bill note.

The proposed legislation provides preferences for providers of alternative fuel capable vehicles and combustion powered machines, and providers of fuels that contain not less than twenty percent alternative fuels.

The bill also requires certification of the plans to reduce fuel consumption for state owned vehicles to 80 percent of their 2006 level by 2010 and for state subdivisions to 80 percent of their 2007 levels by 2015.

There are 21 Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Bailey. Introduced Jan. 31. Referred to Senate Transportation and Infrastructure, then Senate Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb434%20intr.htm

 

Purchasing specs to include product’s ‘expected life’

House Bill 4255. Proposed amendments to §5A-3-5 would add the expected life of a product or commodity as a factor in standard specifications for state purchasing contracts.

This measure is similar to Senate Bill 156. Refer to the Jan. 23 issue of The Legislature. 

The House measure has eight Delegates as sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Dale Martin, D-Putnam. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to House Government Organization. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4255%20intr.htm

The link for Senate Bill 156 is http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb156%20intr.htm

 

Kanawha County lawsuit venue would be eliminated

House Bill 4316. Proposed amendments to §14-2-2 would remove the requirement that various lawsuits must be brought in Kanawha County Circuit Court, including suits which involve the governor, state officers, or state agencies (except as garnishee or suggestee).

Additionally, the bill addresses suits which seek to “enjoin or otherwise suspend or effect a judgment or decree on behalf of the state obtained in any circuit court.”

They, too, would not have to be brought in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

There are seven House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Gil White, R-Ohio. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4316%20intr.htm

 

Bill would limit budget increases; other matters

House Bill 4330. Proposed amendments to §4-1-18 would require an affirmative vote of 80 members of the House of Delegates present and voting to enact any increase to the state budget of more than 50 percent of “any budget surplus…”

The bill would direct that ½ of the budget surplus is to be the set aside for the state’s “rainy day fund” and the other ½ is to be used to lower the personal income and corporate net income taxes.

There are other provisions.

Sponsored by Del. Louisos. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Judiciary, then House Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4330%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Bill would create state Energy Coordinator position

House Bill 4336. This legislation is the same as Senate Bill 278. Refer to the Jan. 30 issue of The Legislature.

Under terms of the bill, the office of State Energy Coordinator would be established in the office of the governor.

The proposed code is §5-1F-1 et. seq.

There are five House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Craig. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Government Organization, then House Finance.  http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4336%20intr.htm

The link to Senate Bill 278 is http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb278%20intr.htm

 

Bill would require Internet ‘acceptable use standards’

House Bill 4369. Proposed §5A-1-2 would require the Secretary of Administration to propose a legislative rule to determine acceptable use standards for the Internet.

There are seven House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Marshall Long, D-Mercer. Introduced Feb. 2. Referred to House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4369%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Disability pensions would not be reduced at age 65

Senate Bill 427. Proposed amendments to §5-10-25 would prevent a reduction in the annuity of  PERS retirees who retired with disability at age 65.

Sponsored by Sens. Kessler, Hunter and Love. Introduced  Jan. 30. Referred to Senate Pensions, then Senate Finance.  http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb427%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Farming equipment would be tax exempt

Senate Bill 412. This legislation, same as House Bill 2884, would exempt farming equipment and livestock from personal property taxation.

There are six Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Helmick. Introduced Jan. 30. Referred to Senate Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb412%20intr.htm

Senate Bills 113 and 156 are similar measures. Refer to these links to the Legislature’s Web site:
Senate Bill 113 http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb113%20intr.htm
Senate Bill 256 http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb256%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in previous legislative sessions.

 

Bill would remove timber severance tax

House Bill 4332. The purpose of this legislation is to remove the severance tax on timber.

Sponsored by Del. Rick Thompson and Don Perdue, both D-Wayne. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Judiciary, then House Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4322%20intr.htm

 

Resolution would modify state Homestead Exemption

House Joint Resolution 109. Under terms of this Resolution, the state’s Homestead Exemption would be changed from $20,000 to 50 percent of the average cost of a new home in the area of the subject property, as that term would be defined by the Legislature.

(This change would require passage of a constitutional amendment.)

There are 11 House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. John Overington, R-Berkeley. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Constitutional Revision Committee, then House Judiciary. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/rs/bills/hjr109%20intr.htm

 

Measure would introduce table games in state

House Bill 4314. This proposed legislation would establish 34 new sections of law (§29-22C-1 et. seq.) would allow local referendum for establishment of table gaming in West Virginia.

As stated above, there are numerous provisions.

None of the accrued funds, as the bill is proposed, would be dedicated to public education directly in the counties which might approve a table games referendum. Moneys, instead, would go to municipalities and other governmental entities.

Some net proceeds, of course, would be dedicated to the state’s General Revenue Fund.

There are 11 House sponsors, including lead sponsor Speaker Kiss. Introduced Feb. 1. Referred to House Judiciary, then House Finance. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2006_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb4314%20intr.htm

Similar proposals have been introduced/considered in in previous legislative sessions. 

 

Senate Bill 421 would increase legislators’ compensation ultimately to $25,000 per year, with lawmakers also to receive Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) coverage. There is no companion House Bill…Senate Bill 422 would allow frequent commuters on the West Virginia Turnpike to turn in accumulated toll receipts in an equal amount to the cost of the calendar year commuter pass for a commuter pass for the remainder of the calendar year…Another Turnpike bill, Senate Bill 465, would limit the power of the West Virginia Parkways Authority to determine toll rates on the Turnpike. The House companion is House Bill 4344House Bill 4343 would prohibit the Parkways Authority from issuing new bonds once current bonds have been  repaid…Senate Bill 425 would add Mercer and Raleigh Counties as participating members of the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority…Senate Bill 426/House Bill 4271 would provide penalties for contractors’ or subcontractors’ use of unauthorized workers. There are other provisions…

Senate Bill 449 would eliminate the sales tax on food by Dec. 31…Also refer to House Bill 4334. It would eliminate the sales tax on food, imposing a sales tax on services (non-medical services), effective June 30…Another House measure, House Bill 4244 would gradually eliminate the business franchise tax…Senate Bill 455 would require “judicial enforcement” in terms of honoring the order of legislative business…Senate Bill 473 would provide enhanced penalties for careless driving which causes unintentional death or serious bodily harm to another…Senate Bill 488 would state that county commissions are to be considered joint employers of the assessor’s valuation fund employees…House Bill 4246 would prohibit municipalities from imposing user fees on persons who reside outside the municipality… House Bill 4251 would provide an alternative public funding option for Senate and House elections…A related bill, House Bill 4277, would apply to statewide offices such as that of governor, attorney general, auditor, etc….House Bill 4282 would establish the offense of failure to wear a seat belt as a primary offense…House Bill 4288 would prohibit the soliciting of funds on roadways, with county commissions empowered to make exceptions…House Bill 4305 would allow county commissions to regulate and restrict the location of any premises in which a limited video lottery retailer has a license…House Bill 4312 would increase the compensation of child support enforcement attorneys…House Bill 4319 would provide “equal” compensation to all state magistrates…House Bill 4338 would require minimum standards for municipal judges, including criminal background checks of persons who apply for municipal judgeships…House Bill 4366 would require state boards of licensure and examination to have Web sites that are accessible to the public…House Bill 4381 would allow counties to increase the hotel occupancy tax to 6 percent…House Joint Resolution 107 would increase Delegates’ terms to 4 years, and Senators’ terms to 6 years. 

 

 

The Legislature is published by the West Virginia School Board Association. It provides county board of education members, state policymakers, school administrators and the education community information and opinions regarding West Virginia legislative issues. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect official opinion or policies of the WVSBA, unless specifically stated.

West Virginia School Board Association
PO Box 1008
Charleston, WV 25324
Phone (304) 346-0571 • Fax (304) 346-0572 WVSBA.ORG

Debbie Thompson (Pleasants County), President
debthom@charter.net

Jean Westfall (Ritchie County), Chairman
WVSBA Committee on Communications*
Ljwm1108@ruralnet.org

Howard M. O’Cull, Ed. D., Executive Director, Editor
hocull@wvsba.org

Diane Slaughter, APR, CAE, Layout and Design
info@homesteadlane.com

Shirley M. Davidson, Administrative Assistant,
Production and Circulation
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* Committee on Communications: Judi Almond (Raleigh), Beth
Cercone (Clay), Bob Duckworth (Taylor), Despina “Dee”
Kaparoules (Mingo), David McCutcheon (Roane), Mike
Mitchem (McDowell), JoHanna Rorrer (Mason), Nancy Walker
(Monongalia), Don Tuttle (Wetzel), Hunter Williams (Hardy)

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