WVSBA The Legislature

February 26, 2007 - Volume 27 / Issue 14

Bill Edition

Bills Introduced Feb.19-Feb. 23, 2007

Feb. 19-23, 2007 Session Bills Reviewed

By Howard M. O’Cull, Ed.D.,
West Virginia School Board Association Executive Director

Listed below are West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates bills introduced Feb. 19-23, 2007, with Feb. 19 being the 41st  day of the 2007 regular session – and the last day to introduce Senate Bill (except bills originating in committee, fiscal-related bills or resolutions.) Friday, Feb. 23 was the last day to introduce House Bills (except, again, for bills originating in committee, fiscal-related bills or resolutions.)

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

A total 70 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.

 

PUBLIC EDUCATION

 

House companion to governor’s bus travel time bill introduced

House Bill 3134. This measure, as introduced, is the same as Senate Bill 650.

The bill would establish maximum time limits for one-way bus transportation for any new bus route created to transport students in the wake of the closure or consolidation of an existing school facility.

The bill allows for a waiver of such limitations only upon a separate vote for a waiver by a county board and then approval by separate vote by the School Building Authority and the State Board of Education.

Note: Senate Bill 650 has been adopted by the SEC and has been referred to Senate Finance, its second reference committee.

That proposal is reviewed in the Feb. 23 issue of The Legislature.

House Bill 3134 is sponsored by House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, and House Minority Leader Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha.

(It is introduced on behalf of the governor.)

Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the House Education Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3134%20intr.htm

 

Board members would receive $12,000 in compensation annually

House Bill 3177. Proposed revisions to §18-5-4 would increase the salary of members of county boards of education to $12,000 a year.

Sponsored by Del. Doug Stalnaker, D-Lewis. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Education Committee, then House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3177%20intr.htm

 

Bill concerns naming of public facilities after living, elected officials

House Bill 3230. Proposed §4-13-1 would prohibit the naming of a publicly funded building, road, structure or project which receives any operating or construction moneys from state sources or state taxpayers for a living, elected official by any governmental entity.

The bill also provides that any responsible governmental official authorizing the naming of a building, road, structure or project for a living elected official is liable to the governmental entity for any costs incurred by a violation.

There are eight House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Tal Hutchins, D-Ohio. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3230%20intr.htm

 

Measure would equalized pay for high school head coaches

House Bill 3245. Proposed revisions to §18-5-33 would equalize pay for all high school sports head coaches.

There are nine House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Tim Ellis, D-Logan. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3245%20intr.htm

 

 

Head Start vehicles would be exempt from title tax

House Bill 3166. Proposed revisions to §17A-3-4 would exempt cars used for Head Start in community action agencies from the five percent privilege tax on the certificate of title.

There are several other provisions.

Sponsored by Del. Ron Fragale, D-Harrison. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Status/bills_history.cfm?year=2007&sessiontype=RS

Note: A Committee Substitute has been reported from House Finance. It deals with several additional subjects and will be on House First Reading today.


 

Measure would grant principals greater flexibility with personnel

Senate Bill 737. Proposed revisions to §18A-2-9 and §18A-3A-2b would require principals to take on greater authority and control over teachers' classroom teaching performance.

Toward this end, the bill requires the state Board of Education to propose rules for legislative approval designed to develop and implement a program to train principals to act with greater control and authority over the teachers in their schools in a manner similar to corporate CEO's in order to maintain higher standards in the classroom and promote constant professional improvement of teachers.

In order to further implement the statute, principals would be required to attain various professional development sessions, including programs offered by the state Center for Professional Development’s Principals’ Academy.

Part of the training would include would be based on the development and implementation of an “intensive program…with the intended goal to train principals to act with greater control and authority, in similar fashion and with similar methodology as corporate chief executive officers, charged with meeting operational goals in the management of the schools for which they are individually responsible and to develop and enforce minimum standards of classroom performance by classroom teachers while striving for continued professional development and improvement of teachers in the classroom.

The WVBE’s rules would also “include the requirement that principals, upon being trained to act with greater control and authority, shall enter into performance contracts with the (WVBE) which shall require principals to uphold minimum/mandatory standards within the classrooms and that each principal's performance in this regard shall be commensurately tied to employment-related incentives and disincentives, whichever is appropriate.”

There are other provisions.

Sponsored by Sen. Frank Deem, R-Wood. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Education Committee.

NOTE: The SEC has fashioned conceptual features of this legislation into a resolution where the topic would be studied in interim legislative sessions.

 

School employees would be prohibited from counseling students regarding abortion

House Bill 3126. Proposed §18A-2-14 would prohibit all WVBE and county boad employees from counseling, referring, transporting or assisting any student to obtain an abortion.

The bill provides a violation of its provisions is a misdemeanor.

There are six House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Kelli Sobonya, R-Cabell. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the House Health and Human Resources Committee, then the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3126%20intr.htm

House Bill 3137 is a related bill. It would prohibit all WVBE and county board employees  from transporting any student to obtain an abortion without parental consent.   The bill provides a violation of its provisions is a misdemeanor.

There are nine House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Ricky Moye, D-Raleigh. Introduced Feb. 20. Referred to the House Education Committee, then the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3137%20intr.htm

 

Bill relates to “definition” of a transfer for classroom teachers

House Bill 3131. Proposed revisions to §18A-2-7 would definine when classroom teachers are transferred so that school administrators know when to implement the notice provisions set out in Code, according to the Bill Note.

The pertinent language reads,

When used in this section the term "transfer" for a classroom teacher means a substantial change in the teacher's assignment which includes, but is not limited to the following:

  1. Assigning the teacher to a different school;
  2. Assigning the teacher to one or more classes in a certification area not utilized by the teacher in his or her present assignment;
  3. Assigning an elementary grade classroom teacher to teach a different grade level than his or her present assignment or to a split grade.

The Bill Note makes an additional statement that the proposed statutory definition is consistent with cases decided by hearing examiners fir the West Virginia Education and State Employees Grievance Board.

There are five House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. David Perry, D-Fayette. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the House Education Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3131%20intr.htm

 

“Permanent household members” could receive donated personal leave

House Bill 3175. Proposed revisions to §18A-4-10c would include "permanent household members" among the county board of education employees who are eligible to receive donated personal leave from personal leave banks established for care givers.

There are three House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Jon Amores, D-Kanawha. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Education Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3175%20intr.htm

 

Measure concerns medical qualifications for bus operators

House Bill 3220. Proposed §18A-2-10a would establish a statutory provision, saying that persons who are currently or have previously been employed as a school bus operator may not be rendered ineligible for employment as a result of having diabetes mellitus requiring insulin, if other requirements are met.

These are among specific bill provisions:

The proposed legislation would apply as long as individuals are under the care of a physician for the disease, (are) adhering to all treatment prescribed by their physicians and if they also meet all of the requirements to be eligible for a Commercial Drivers License (CDL).

The provisions of this section do not apply to a person seeking employment as a school bus operator who is not currently or has never previously been employed as a school bus operator in this state.

There are nine House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Larry Border, R-Wood. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Health and Human Resources Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3220%20intr.htm

 

School service personnel required staff development would be reduced for “additional preparation day”

House Bill 3232. Proposed §18A-3-9a would reduce staff development programs for school personnel from 18 hours to 12 hours.

It also would require that the six-hour reduction in staff development be used as an additional preparation day.

There are three House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Tim Ennis, D-Brooke. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Education Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3232%20intr.htm

 

Death of “permanent household member” would be added to Code provisions relating to excused absences

House Bill 3229. Proposed revisions to §18A-4-10 would allow full-time county board employees to be excused from absences in employment due to death of permanent household members.

There are three House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Amores. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Education Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3239%20intr.htm

 

“Official observations” of school employees would be required for evaluations

House Bill 3264. Proposed revisions to §18A-2-12 would include official observations of employee performance as a part of an evaluation of school personnel.

These are among bill provisions:

“For purposes of this section, an `official observation form’ is any form whether paper or electronic, approved by the county board as an official observation form, developed by the state board in active consultation with the center for professional development, to include the standards for observation and evaluation and the criteria to be used to determine whether the performance of each professional meets the standards.

  1. For purposes of this section, "official observation" means to make one or more observations of an employee using an official observation form with the intent to gather data to determine whether more official observations are warranted and to provide data to construct a valid evaluation.
  2. For purposes of this section, "evaluation" means to analyze the data gathered on the relevant official observation forms for the purpose of determining whether the performance of each professional meets the standards as set forth by the state board in conjunction with the center for professional development.
  3. For the purpose of this section, "official evaluation form" is a form on which the elements of the evaluation are recorded. The contents of this form shall reflect the standards and criteria developed by the state board in conjunction with the center for professional development and shall be approved as an official evaluation form by the county board of education…

The frequency and duration of the official observations, shall be on a regular basis and of a frequency and duration as to insure the collection of sufficient, credible and empirical data from which reliable conclusions and findings may be drawn: Provided, That no fewer than one official observation shall be made for each school personnel per year. Provided, however, That the state board in consultation with the center for professional development may require additional official observations as is deemed appropriate.”

Sponsored by Del. Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Education Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3264%20intr.htm

 

 

Senate School Aid Formula Bill on Senate First Reading Today

Senate Bill 541. This is the Senate’s version of School Aid Formula legislation.

It is on Senate First Reading today.

Major bill details were reviewed in the Feb. 23 edition of The Legislature.

The measure is sponsored by Sen. Education Chairman Bob Plymale, D-Wayne, and Larry Edgell, D-Wetzel. It originated in the SEC Feb. 19.

Edgell is SEC vice chairman.

http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/SB541%20SUB2.htm

 

 

Measure would prohibit SBA funds from going to newly constructed schools exceeding state Board of Education travel guidelines

Senate Bill 703. Proposed §18-9D-20 would prohibit the School Building Authority of West Virginia from funding any new construction that would result in the bus travel times of students in grades pre-kindergarten through five exceeding 30 minutes.

Sponsored by Sen. Plymale. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Education Committee, then Senate Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb703%20intr.htm

 

 

WVSSAC would be evaluated by legislative auditor

Senate Bill 644. Proposed revisions to §18-2-25 would subject the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission to evaluation by the Legislative Auditor and require board members and officers to comply with ethical standards for elected and appointed officials.

There are 12 Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Evan Jenkins, D-Cabell. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Education Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb644%20intr.htm

The House companion is House Bill 3221. Sponsored by Del. Jim Morgan, D-Cabell. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Government Organization Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3221%20intr.htm

 

“Celebrate Freedom Week” measure introduced

House Bill 3252. Proposed revisions to §18-2-9 would institute a "Celebrate Freedom Week" and require the instruction in the study of the Declaration of Independence and other founding American historical documents, including the Bill of Rights, during this week.

There are five House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Education Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3252%20intr.htm

 

 

Public officials’ “trinkets” bill introduced

House Bill 3207. Proposed §6B-2-5c would prohibit elected or appointed officials from using public funds to purchase, distribute or disseminate certain items and publications.

Thus, the appointed person's name or likeness could not appear on any publicly-owned vehicles, unless for ceremonial events.

“Trinkets” also would be banned as would any “display of the elected or appointed person's name or likeness upon or in any publication, broadcast, cable or satellite communication, communication in any newspaper, magazine or periodical publication, communication sent by mass mailing, communication by telephone book or communication by leaflet, pamphlet or flyer, or any other publication or media communication intended for general dissemination to the public, within (60) before a Primary or General Election in which the elected or appointed official, or the person on public payroll, is a candidate”

Trinkets are defined as items of “tangible personal property that are not vital or necessary to the duties of the official's or public employee's office, including, but not limited to, the following: Magnets, mugs, cups, key-chains, pill-holders, band-aid dispensers, fans, nail files, matches, and bags.”

There are certain exceptions, including stationary items.

There are eight House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Sobonya. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3207%20intr.htm

 

 

Discrimination based on age and sexual orientation would be prohibited

Senate Bill 686. Under terms of this legislation, several proposed sections of law relating to the state Human Rights Commission would be amended ostensibly to prohibit discrimination based on age and sexual orientation in places of employment and public accommodations.

It also would add “age” and “sexual orientation” to the categories covered by the Fair House Act which prohibits discrimination in housing.

There are 16 Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Edgell. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb686%20intr.htm

The House companion measure is House Bill 3211. There are 11 House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. John Doyle, D-Jefferson. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3211%20intr.htm

 

 

Abortions would be prohibited at state institutions of higher education

Senate Bill 671. Proposed revisions to §18B-2A-4 would prohibit abortions at state college or university medical facilities, except when the abortion is necessary to save the life of the woman receiving the abortion.

Sponsored by Sen. Dave Sypolt, R-Preston. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee, then the Senate Education Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb671%20intr.htm

 

Fee waivers would be expanded at all state higher education institutions

Senate Bill 699. Proposed revisions to §18B-10-6a would expand fee waivers to all state-supported higher education institutions.

(Currently fee waivers apply to Marshall University and West Virginia University.)

Sponsored by Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Education Committee, then Senate Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb699%20intr.htm

 

Graduate tax credit proposal introduced

House Bill 3165. This legislation, which would establish §11-21-10b, would create a credit against West Virginia personal income tax liability in the amount of payments made on student loans.

There are 11 House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Sammy Cann, D-Harrison. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3165%20intr.htm

 

Bill would remove “administrative link” between Shepherd University and Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

House Bill 3125. This measure would remove the administrative link between Shepherd University and Blue Ridge Community and Technical College.

There are three House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Doyle. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Education Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3215%20intr.htm

 

Education Flexibility Act would be expanded

House Bill 3240. Proposed revisions to §18B-2A-8 would extend the provisions of the higher education flexibility act to institutions of higher education that offer graduate degrees and are not or are no longer administratively linked to another institution of higher education.

There are five House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Doyle. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Education Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3240%20intr.htm

 

PROMISE Scholarship would be acceptable to Salem International University

House Bill 3273. Proposed revisions to §18C-7-3 would include Salem International University as an eligible institution for PROMISE Scholarship recipients to attend.

There are four House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Cann. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Education Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3273%20intr.htm

 

 

PERS earned income limit would apply to TRS disability retirees

Senate Bill 664. Revised §18-7A-25 would set the same earned income limit for new teacher disability retirees as is set for public employee disability retirees.

The pertinent language reads:

“After July 1, 2007, any teacher retiring because of a disability, shall at least once each year during the first five years following the retirement on account of disability, undergo a medical examination to be made by or under the direction of a physician designated by the retirement board or shall submit a statement signed by the disability retirant's physician certifying continued disability, or both.

“In addition, any teacher retiring because of a disability after July 1, 2007, shall annually file a copy of the disability retirants' annual statement of earnings with the retirement board.

“If the retirant refuses to submit to the medical examination or provide the certification or statement of earnings in any period, his or her disability annuity may be discontinued by the retirement board until the retirant complies. If the refusal continues for one year, all of the retirant's rights in and to the annuity may be revoked by the retirement board.

“If, upon medical examination of a disability retirant, the physician reports to the retirement board that the retirant is physically able and capable of resuming employment with a participating public employer, the retirant shall be returned to the employ of the participating public employer from whose employment he or she retired and his or her disability annuity shall terminate:

Provided, That the retirement board concurs in the physician's report. A disability retirant who is returned to the employ of a participating public employer shall again become a member of the retirement system and the retirant's credited service in force at the time of his or her retirement shall be restored.

“If a review of the disability retirant's annual statement of earnings or other financial information as required by the retirement board determines that the disability retirant's earned income for the preceding year exceeds the substantial gainful activity amount as defined by the United States Social Security Administration, the disability retirant's annuity shall be terminated by the retirement board, upon recommendation of the retirement board's disability review committee, on the first day of the month following the retirement board's action.

“Any person who wishes to reapply for disability retirement and whose disability retirement annuity has been terminated by the retirement board may do so within ninety days of the effective date of termination by requesting an examination at the applicant's expense.”

Sponsored by Sen. Ed Bowman, D-Hancock. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Pensions Committee, then Senate Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb664%20intr.htm

 

TRS members would receive Cost-of-Living increase

House Bill 3125. Proposed §18-7A-26u would provide a cost-of-living increase, based on the annual increase in the consumer price index, for persons under the Teachers Retirement System that are at least sixty years of age and that have received retirement payments for at least five years.

There are nine House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Sobonya. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the House Education Committee, then the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3125%20intr.htm

 

Teachers employed by statewide service personnel association could receive TRS credit

House Bill 3167. Proposed revisions to §18-7A-17 would allow teachers employed by a statewide service personnel association to count this service towards retirement credit.

Sponsored by Del. Ron Fragale, D-Harrison. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3167%20intr.htm

 

 

Some Defined Contribution System members could opt to become TRS members

House Bill 3227. Proposed §18-7B-7 would provide the option for former state employees who were members of the West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System prior to July 1, 1991, who became employed with a school district after July 1, 1991, and who were precluded from becoming members of the State Teachers' Retirement System in favor of the defined contribution retirement system, to exercise the option to transfer to the State Teachers' Retirement System.

Sponsored by Dels. Fragale and Mike Caputo, D-Marion. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3227%20intr.htm

 

 

Some credit union members could receive PEIA coverage

House Bill 3237. Proposed revisions to §5-16-2 would include those credit unions whose bylaws provide for that credit union to only have as members state employees or employees of political subdivisions and their family members within the definitions of employer and "employee" for purposes of the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency.

Sponsored by Del. Perry. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3237%20intr.htm

 

PEIA plans would be able to cover abortions

House Bill 3243. Proposed §5-16-7f  would prohibit coverage for abortions under insurance plans provided under the Public Employees Insurance Act.

There are three House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Armstead. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Health and Human Resources Committee, then the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3243%20intr.htm

 

 

PERS service credit would be extended to persons in the U.S. military

House Bill 3209. Proposed revisions of §5-10-15 and §29-6-10 would provide rewards to those serving in the military by providing service credits, for purposes of public employment retirement, for service in any branch of the military including the West Virginia National Guard and Reserve, according to the Bill Note.

It provisions also would provide additional testing credit points in state Civil Service examinations for members of the National Guard and Reserve who are applying for state employment.

There are six House sponsors, including Del. Ralph Rodighiero, D-Logan. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3209%20intr.htm

 

 

Bill relates to payment of Workers’ Compensation benefits

House Bill 3180. Proposed revisions to §23-5-9 would specify that Workers’ Compensation benefits which are directed to be paid by a decision rendered by an administrative law judge are to be paid while a decision is pending on appeal.

The bill also references the proper mechanism for handling any overpayments which may result in the event that an administrative law judge's decision awarding benefits is subsequently reversed on appeal.

There are eight House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Carrie Webster, D-Kanawha. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3180%20intr.htm

 

 

Parental notification measure introduced; companion to Senate measure

House Bill 3128. This legislation, as introduced, is the same as Senate Bill 544 which is reviewed in the Jan. 19 issue of The Legislature.

The latter measure (as amended) is on Senate Second Reading reference to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

There are seven House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Brent Boggs, D-Braxton. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the House Health and Human Resources Committee, then the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3128%20intr.htm

 

Additional parental notification bill introduced

House Bill 3187. Proposed §16-2F-8a would require facilities providing abortions to obtain parental notification or consent in writing by the parent or by a notarized signature of the parent.

The fine for a first offense would be an amount 10 times the amount of the abortion and upon a subsequent offense closure of the facility for 30 days.

There are six House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Rodighiero. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Health and Human Relations Committee, then the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3187%20intr.htm

 

 

DHHR would be subjected to performance-based outcomes for child abuse/neglect cases

Senate Bill 655. This legislation would establish performance measures for the state child welfare program.

The bill would create reporting requirements to the Legislature.

It  establishes timelines, requires privatization of program components that do not meet the performance measures and grant rule-making authority to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources to accomplish the goals of the article.

There are other provisions.

There are three Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Roman W. Prezioso, D-Marion. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb655%20intr.htm

 

Bill expands definition of “imminent danger” in terms of child abuse/neglect

Senate Bill 696. Proposed revisions to §49-1-3, §49-6-3, and -5 would prohibit parents, guardians or custodians from allowing registered sexual offenders access to children in their custody.

The bill also defines key terms and makes technical changes for purposes of consistency.

It is similar to House Bill 2713 which is reviewed in the Feb. 5 issue of The Legislature.

There are 11 Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Prezioso. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb696%20intr.htm

 

Law enforcement officials could not interfere in serving warrants in child abuse investigations

House Bill 3124. Proposed §61-8D-1a would prohibit any law enforcement or other official from interfering in the service of a warrant in child abuse investigations and to provide a penalty for violations, including dismissal or forfeiture of office.

There are nine House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Sobonya. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3124%20intr.htm

 

Bill creates West Virginia Correctional Center Nursery Act

House Bill 3143. This proposed legislation would create a correctional center nursery program which will allow incarcerated pregnant women to keep their infants with them in a special housing unit.

There are 11 House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Fleischauer. Introduced Feb. 20. Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3143%20intr.htm

 

Bill relates to “limit” on child support

House Bill 3191. Proposed revisions to §38-3-18 would establish the limitation on child support as beings tolled until the last child that is subject of an income withholding order reaches age 18 or is legally emancipated.

Sponsored by Del. Bob Ashley, R-Roane. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3191%20intr.htm

 

Children born “addicted” to controlled substances would be considered as having been abused

House Bill 3203. Proposed revisions to §61-8D-1 would establish the legal finding that a child born addicted to a controlled substance constitutes child abuse.

There are 11 House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Jeff Eldridge, D-Lincoln. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3203%20intr.htm

 

 

English would be official language

House Bill 3261. The purpose of this legislation is to make English the official language of West Virginia in terms of documents, information, literature or written materials.

There are five House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Woody Ireland, R-Ritchie. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3261%20intr.htm

There is a similar Senate Bill.

 

 

Measure relates to stalking

Senate Bill 658. Proposed revisions to §61-2-9a would define the offense of stalking generally, establish offenses, enhance penalties and define terms.

One proposed change in the term “stalking” would relate to persons who “willfully engage in a course of conduct toward another by any manner or means with the intent to harass a person with whom he or she has or in the past had or with whom he or she seeks to establish a personal or social relationship…”

The bill would establish various penalties for violating its provisions including felonies for second or subsequent convictions.

There are provisions relating to domestic violence, weapons used in stalking, and several new statutory definitions.

There are six Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Jeffery Kessler, D-Marshall. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb658%20intr.htm

 

Some criminal records would be expunged

Senate Bill 706. Proposed §61-11-26 would allow persons who committed misdemeanor offenses when they were ages 18-26 to be able to petition the courts for “expungement of the conviction and the associated records…”

The court then could set a date for a hearing.

If the court finds there are no “current charges or proceedings pending relating to the matter for which the expungement is sought and that the petitioiner has not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving violence to the person or another or any sexual offense involving a minor, the court may grant the motion and order the sealing of all records in the custody of the court and expungement of all records in the custody of any other agency or official including law-enforcement records…”

Expungement, as based on the statute, is deemed to “never to have occurred,” with the court and other agencies (having had expunged records), to answer any inquiry to the effect that “no record exists on the motion.”

The individual whose record is expunged would not have to disclose the “fact of the record or any matter relating thereto…”

There are other provisions.

Sponsored by Sen. Kessler. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb706%20intr.htm

 

Methamphetamine would be classified as Schedule II narcotic

House Bill 3186. Proposed revisions to §60A-1-101 would reclassify methamphetamine as a schedule II narcotic rather than a schedule II nonnarcotic which also increases the penalty.

There are four House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Jeff Tansill, R-Taylor. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3186%20intr.htm

 

Fines would be doubled for assaulting athletics officials

House Bill 3193. Proposed revisions to §61-2-15a would double the fines for those convicted of assaulting athletics officials.

The current fine for a first offense is a $50 fine, which would become a $100-$200 fine.

For persons who commit battery upon an athletics official, the fines would move from $100 to $200-$1,000.

There are other provisions.

There are 11 House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Ellis. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3193%20intr.htm

 

State Police would be response for issuing administrative subpoenas in cases involving child pornography

House Bill 3217. Proposed §61-8C-6 would establishe the West Virginia State Police as the entity which is authorized to issue administrative subpoenas to internet service providers in cases of suspected child pornography; to define offenses and set forth penalties and fees.

Sponsored by Dels. Virginia Mahan, D-Summers, and Joe DeLong, D-Hancock. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3217%20intr.htm

 

Commissioner of Corrections would be responsible for keeping track of repeat offenses by persons convicted of sexual crimes against children

House Bill 3262. Proposed §2-1-1b would  require the commissioner of corrections to keep track of repeat offenses committed by persons convicted of sexual offenses against children.

The pertinent language reads:

“In addition to those duties prescribed to the commissioner, the commissioner shall keep a record of convictions of repeat sexual offenses committed by convicted child sex offenders who reside in this state. At a minimum, the record shall include the name and address of the offender, the date of the offender's first conviction for a sexual offense committed against a child and all subsequent offenses which result in a conviction.”

There are 10 House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Sobonya. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3262%20intr.htm

 

 

Bill relates to election ballots; other provisions

Senate Bill 634. Similar to SB 618, which is reviewed in the Feb. 19 issue of The Legislature, this measure also would shorten from 95 to 84 days the period of time in which a candidate may challenge the eligibility of another candidate before the state Election Commission.

Sponsored by Sen. Kessler. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, then the Senate Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb634%20intr.htm

 

Supreme Court Justices would be elected from numbered divisions

Senate Bill 656. The primary purpose of this legislation is to establish a procedure whereby state Supreme Court Justices are elected from numbered divisions, with candidates from each numbered division to be voted upon at large from the entire state.

Sponsored by Sens. Jenkins and H. Truman Chafin, D-Mingo. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb656%20intr.htm

The House companion measure is House Bill 3159. There are five House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Bill Stemple, D-Calhoun. Introduced Feb. 21. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3159%20intr.htm

 

 

Entities could participate in purchasing card program

Senate Bill 640. The purpose of this legislation is to authorize local governments to participate in the purchasing card program administered by the state Auditor’s Office as a means of alternative payment.

(As written the measure applies to county commissions.)

There are four Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Shirley Love, D-Fayette. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Government Organization Committee, then the Senate Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb640%20intr.htm

 

Department of Administration would propose rule regarding acceptable use of Internet

Senate Bill 660. Proposed revisions to §5A-1-12 would require the Secretary of the Department of Administration to propose a rule implementing public employee acceptable use standards for the Internet.

Sponsored by Sen. Bowman. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Government Organization Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Status/bills_history.cfm?year=2007&sessiontype=RS

 

 

Coverage would be required for autism spectrum disorder

Senate Bill 637. Proposed §33-15-22, §33-16-18 and §33-16D-17 would require health insurers to provide full coverage for the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder.

Sponsored by Sen. Vic Sprouse, R-Kanawha. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee, then the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb637%20intr.htm

 

 

Measure relates to delinquency proceedings

Senate Bill 709. Proposed revisions to §49-5-9 would authorize the circuit courts to grant both custodial and noncustodial improvement periods to juvenile respondents in delinquency proceedings.

Sponsored by Sen. Kessler. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb709%20intr.htm

 

Matter concerns juvenile’s possession of deadly weapons

House Bill 3179. Proposed revisions to §49-5-8 would permit the presiding officer of a juvenile proceeding to order a juvenile taken into custody or a law-enforcement official to take a juvenile into custody when there is probable cause to believe that juvenile has illegally possessed a deadly weapon, and to permit waiver and transfer of jurisdiction from juvenile proceeding to criminal jurisdiction if there is probable cause to believe that juvenile has illegally possessed a deadly weapon.

There are six House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Webster. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3179%20intr.htm

 

Bill relates to payment of services in child or juvenile proceedings

House Bill 3189. Proposed revisions to §49-7-33 relates to child or juvenile proceedings and would expand the definition of services to include non-health care related services.

An additional bill provision would prevent non-approved providers from seeking payments above the Medicaid rate or the customary rate set by the Department of Health and Human Resources.

Dels. Ennis and Margaret Ann Staggers, D-Fayette, are bill sponsors. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, then the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3189%20intr.htm

 

Improvement period would be available for juveniles placed in DHHR custody

House Bill 3257. Proposed §49-5-9 would permit judges presiding over juvenile proceedings to order an improvement period in which the juvenile is placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Resources for placement in a residential treatment facility.

There are four House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Webster. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3257%20intr.htm

 

 

Consumers Sales Tax

Bill would abolish food tax

House Bill 3123. The purpose of this legislation is to abolish the food tax, increase the tax on nonintoxicating beer per barrel from $5.50 to $6.35, increase the tax on cigarettes to $1.35, increase the tax on non-cigarettes tobacco products from seven to 14 percent, and to dedicate the first $5 million of revenue to the Department of Agriculture's crop transition program.

There are six House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3123%20intr.htm

 

Managed timberland

Bill would increase assessed valuation of managed timberland properties

House Bill 3231. The purpose of this legislation is to increase the assessment of value of managed timberland while providing for a 10 percent tax on the sale or transfer of managed timberland.

Sponsored by Dels. Melvin Kessler, D-Raleigh, and Rodighiero. Introduced Feb. 23. Referred to the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3231%20intr.htm

Also refer to House Bill 3154. This measure would increase the rate of tax paid on the privilege of severing timber and eliminating the exemptions allowing reductions from the tax.

There are other provisions.

There are seven House sponsors, including lead sponsor Del. Kessler. Introduced Feb. 21. Referred to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, then the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3154%20intr.htm

Another related measure is Senate Bill 711. It would create open and closed classifications for certified managed timberlands, assessment, valuations, and taxes imposed.

Sponsored by Sen. Love. Introduced Feb. 19. Referred to the Senate Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb711%20intr.htm

 

Property Taxation

Measure relates to “Qualified Continuing Care Retirement Community”

House Bill 3174. Proposed §11-4-3 would include Qualified Continuing Care Retirement Communities under the provisions of the "Tax Limitations Amendment."

There are other provisions.

Sponsored by Del. Doug Reynolds, D-Cabell. Introduced Feb. 22. Referred to the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3174%20intr.htm

NOTE: There is a similar Senate measure.

 

Soft Drink Tax

Bill would eliminate soft drinks tax

House Bill 3135. Proposed §11-19-2, -4,  and -5 would eliminate the Soft Drinks Tax by approximately $1 million per year in near equal amounts over a period of 14 years and to authorize the Tax Commissioner, in lieu of selling tax stamps and crowns, to use an invoice method to collect the tax imposed.

           

Sponsored by Speaker Thompson and Minority Leader Armstead. Introduced Feb. 20. Referred to the House Finance Committee, http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3135%20intr.htmhttp://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/

           

2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb3135%20intr.htm

 

 

Senate Bill 685 would state that West Virginia will not participate in the REAL ID Act of 2005 enacted by the U.S. Congress. The House companion measure is House Bill 3219Senate Bill 692 would provide health care to the poor, uninsured and underinsured residents of the state, according to the Bill Note…Senate Bill 652 would require the state Attorney General to report to Joint Committee on Government and Finance and the governor concerning contracts entered into for legal services…Senate Bill 662 would impose taxes on certain “unauthorized substances,” in cocaine, marijuana, controlled substances, mash, unauthorized alcohol, etc…Senate Bill 698 deals with “anti-SLAPP legislation,” which, according to the Bill Note, is defined as a procedural mechanism in which to confront and defeat strategic lawsuits which are brought to stymie public participation…Senate Bill 714 would, among other things, allow counties that are participating in metro government to increase the hotel occupancy tax, to increase tax on transfer of real property, and other taxes…Senate Bill 727 relates to Brownfield Economic Development Districts…Senate Bill 740 would establish the state Transportation Oversight Commission which would, among other provisions, divide the state into five “transportation regions”…

House Bill 3151 would provide county commissions with the authority to regulate the location of businesses selling sexually-oriented materials…House Bill 3163 would allow the state Director of Personnel to provide monetary incentives in programs developed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public service…House Bill 3202 would extend the hours of operation for sale of retail liquor by two hours…House Bill 3213 would add a 55th Delegate District comprised of Mason and Putnam Counties…House Bill 3253 would revert the “911 fee” on wireless communications from $3 to 75 cents…House Bill 3255 would direct that any unallocated funds from the sale of bonds be distributed equally between the Economic Development Project Bridge Loan Fund, the state Infrastructure Fund for water and sewer improvements, and the Disaster Recovery Fund for providing grants to businesses damaged or destroyed by floods. The bill relates to excess lottery revenues…House Bill 3256 would require the state to adopt the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, providing that any constitutional conflicts with the West Virginia Constitution would be “addressed at the time they are identified”…House Bill 3258 would prohibit elected state officials from becoming lobbyists for two years after their term of office expires…House Bill 3157 relates to the legal employment status of West Virginia workers…House Bill 3162 is a related measure. It would require verification of the “lawful presence” of persons in the U.S. who are applying for state, local, or federal public benefits.

 

 

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.

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