CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Senate today, by a vote of 18-16, passed a motion to discharge SB 14 – Creating Public Charter Schools Act of 2015 – from the Senate Finance Committee and move it to First Reading on the Senate Floor.
On Monday, the bill was postponed indefinitely in committee by a vote of 8-6, with three Republican Senators absent from the meeting due to excused absences: Senator Chris Walters, R-Putnam, for a serious family illness; Senator Jeff Mullins, R-Raleigh, for illness; and Sen. Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha, to participate in a deposition. The bill could only be taken up again in committee had a member who voted on the prevailing side moved to reconsider the vote on that motion.
West Virginia Senate Rule 34 states: “Any bill, resolution or business may, by majority vote of the members present, be withdrawn from the committee to which it had been referred to be taken from the table, and placed upon the calendar of the Senate in such order of business as the senate may direct: Provided, That those bills, resolutions or business referred to the Committee on Rules under authority of Rule No. 17 may by two-thirds votes of the members present be withdrawn from the Committee on Rules.”
The full Senate, in adopting its own standing rules, has retained the power to withdraw any bill from any committee, even the President’s committee – the Committee on Rules – when the committee has not, for whatever reason, reported the bill.