CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Senate voted 18-16 to support a ruling by Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, that House Bill 4005 does not require a fiscal note before being voted upon by the full Senate.
In addition, the Senate also voted 18-16 to reject a motion that would have killed the bill upon its first reading.
The bill would completely repeal West Virginia’s prevailing wage rate for all public construction projects.
Rule 15A of the West Virginia Senate states, “Prior to any committee reporting a bill to the floor, any bill which either increases or decreases the revenue or fiscal liability of the State or any county, municipality or other subdivision of the State or in any manner changes or modifies any existing tax or rate of taxation, such bill shall have attached thereto a fiscal note, if available.”
Fiscal notes are required for bills that would affect the state’s General Fund or liabilities of the state. Because prevailing wage projects would fall outside of that requirement, no fiscal note is required for the bill.
Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, invoked Rule 22 of the West Virginia Senate, which provides a way for a Senator to make a motion to reject a bill on first reading. The motion was rejected.
“It is disheartening to me that in the short window of time that we have, we must continue to waste precious time with obstruction and political games that do nothing to get West Virginians back to work or grow our state’s economy,” Senate President Cole said. “We remain committed to advancing reforms that will move our state forward.”
House Bill 4005 was reported out of the Senate Government Organization Committee on Monday, and was read for a first time today. The bill is expected to be voted upon by the Senate on Thursday.