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The Newsletter of the West Virginia Legislature
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Volume XXVI, Final Issue - June 2015
 

Completed Legislation

Acts

Senate Bill 523 (Alcohol and Drug Overdose Prevention and Clemency Act) Creates the Alcohol and Drug Overdose Prevention and Clemency Act, permitting immunity for persons who seek appropriate medical treatment either for themselves or others in instances of drug or alcohol related overdoses. Anyone who seeks medical treatment must provide certain information and cooperate with law enforcement and medical assistance personnel.

Actions of Suits

Senate Bill 315 (West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act) Amends the general consumer protection provision of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act. It exempts all acts or transactions permitted or regulated by the Federal Trade Commission or other state or federal authority. It also clarifies that only consumers can bring causes of action not businesses. It eliminates all equitable relief except for injunctions and provide that out-of-pocket loss must be established in order to recover damages. The bill requires proof of proximate causation between damages suffered and violation alleged and provide that either party to an action may demand a jury trial.

Senate Bill 411 (Bankruptcy Trust Claims Act/Asbestos and Silica Claims Priorities Act) Contains both the “Bankruptcy Trust Claims Transparency Act” and the “Asbestos and Silica Claims Priorities Act.” The former provides a system that allows defendants, juries and the courts to be informed of all the possible trust claims that a plaintiff in an asbestos action has or could bring. The latter systematizes the elements of the various range of claims that can be brought in asbestos or silica related claim. It also sets forth evidentiary requirements and establish procedures for managing those cases.

Senate Bill 421 (Punitive Damages) Relates to the treatment of punitive damages and provides limitation on punitive damages in civil actions. The bill provides for when the damages may be awarded in civil action. Bifurcated trials may also be provided upon request.

Senate Bill 578 (Occupational Disease Claims) Authorizes compromise and settlement of occupational disease claims. It also permits the final settlement of medical benefits for nonorthopedic occupational disease claims and requires a claimant to be represented by a legal counsel in these claims.

House Bill 2568 (Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - VETOED) will create the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This will prohibit abortions after 20 weeks when the gestational age of the fetus reaches pain-capable gestation age except when the fetus is not medically viable or the patient has a condition that, on the basis of a reasonably prudent physician’s medical judgment, so complicates her medical condition. However, an abortion may occur if the fetus is not medically viable or to avert death or serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a bodily function. If an abortion occurs according to one of those exemptions the physician shall terminate the pregnancy in a manner which, in reasonable medical judgment, provides that best opportunity for the fetus to survive. If the person is not a physician or other licensed medical practitioner and performs or attempts to perform an abortion that person shall be deemed to have engaged in the unlawful practice of medicine.

House Bill 2902 (West Virginia ABLE Act) Authorizes the establishment of savings plan program to be administered by the State Treasurer for the benefit of individuals with a disability, known as the "Achieving a Better Life Experience in West Virginia Act" or the "West Virginia ABLE Act". It is similar in nature to the current 529 college savings program for college tuition administered by the Treasurer. This savings plan will allow the establishment of a savings account in which individuals with a disability and their families can save private funds to support the individual with a disability when they aren’t in a position to so.

Agriculture

Senate Bill 30 (Herd Sharing - VETOED) Allows herd sharing of milk producing animals. It allows someone to share ownership in a milk producing animal for consumption of raw milk. This requires an agreement between the parties, a payment arrangement for boarding of the animal, entitles the parties to share in the raw milk, and requires acknowledgment of the dangers, a release of liability and a prohibition against further distribution. The seller is required to meet state and federal standards set by the state veterinarian for animal health requirements for milk-producing animals.

Senate Bill 237 (Captive Cervid Farming Act) Creates the “Captive Cervid Farming Act” which will require that any person that operates a captive cervid farming facility in the state to hold a license issued by the Department of Agriculture. The Department will be charged with the duty of regulating captive deer farming facilities. The bill creates two classes of licenses for the facilities. Class One licenses allows facilities to breed and propagate captive cervidae, and create cervid byproducts for sale to others with a fee of $750.00 each. Class Two licenses for facilities to breed, propagate, harvest or slaughter captive deer, create deer byproducts, permit hunting of captive cervidae or sell venison to others with a fee of $1500.00 each. The licenses must be renewed every two years. The Department may also issue a provisional license for those facilities not yet built, but the facility may not operate until fully constructed, inspected and approved by the Department. Licenses are not transferable and a change in ownership of a facility does not transfer the license. The bill provides transition provisions for facilities currently operating in the state and gives these facilities the authority to continue to operate until the Department makes available applications for licenses pursuant to the Act. Current facilities must apply within 60 days of the applications becoming available. The bill provides that the owner or the customer of an owner of a facility operating pursuant to the Act that is harvesting captive deer from the facility is not subject to current statutory provisions relating to importation of wildlife, propagation of wildlife, or private game farms regulated by the Division of Natural Resources. The Department has the authority to inspect facilities, take samples or specimens to determine compliance with the license and with the law. If violations are found, the Commissioner may issue warnings, impose civil penalties of not more than $1000.00 plus the costs of investigation, suspend, revoke or modify a license, obtain declaratory judgments that a violation has occurred or obtain an injunction. The bill also provides criminal penalties for the following acts: the release or permitting of a release of a captive deer from a captive deer farming facility, causing the entry or introduction of wild deer into a captive deer farming facility, and the ceasing of operation or abandonment by the owner of a captive deer farming facility without compliance with the Act or rules or regulations. A person violating (1) or (2) above is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction, shall be confined in jail for not more than 90 days or fined not more than $300.00 or both. A subsequent conviction would constitute a misdemeanor and the penalty is confinement in jail for up to 1 year or fined not more than $1000.00 or both. A person who intentionally or knowingly violates the above is guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be confined in a state correctional facility for not less than 1 nor more than 3 years, or fined not more than $1000.00 or both. The bill also amends provisions of the WV Code relating to the production of nontraditional agriculture products by eliminating the exception for white-tailed deer and their subspecies and adding captive deer regulated pursuant to the Act to the current provisions of the code relating to the production of nontraditional agriculture products.

Senate Bill 250 (Conservation Agency Financial Assistance Applications) Stops supervisors from voting on contracts in which they or immediate family members has an interest. Current law required that if an elected conservation district supervisor applies or intends to apply to participate in a West Virginia conservation agency financial assistance program, then all the applications for that program must be evaluated and approved by another conservation district. This bill transfers that authority to the state agency.

Senate Bill 255 (Eliminating Certain Boards, Councils, Committees, Panels, Task Forces and Commissions) It eliminate the following boards, councils, committees, panels task forces and commissions: West Virginia Sheriffs’ Bureau, Clinical Laboratories Quality Assurance Advisory Board, Care Home Advisory Board, Comprehensive Behavioral Health Commission, Public and Higher Education Unified Educational Technology Strategic Plan including the Governor’s Advisory Council for Educational Technology, West Virginia Consortium for Undergraduate Research and Engineering, Governor’s Commission on Graduate Study in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, West Virginia Rural Health Advisory Panel, Ohio River Management Fund Advisory Board; Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission; Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board, Environmental Assistance Resource Board, Commercial Hazardous Waste Management Facility Siting Board; Workers’ Compensation Board of Managers, State Medical Malpractice Advisory Panel, West Virginia Steel Futures Program including Steel Advisory Commission, West Virginia Health Insurance Plan Board, Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission, and Sexually Violent Predator Management Task Force.

Senate Bill 304 (Farmers’ Markets Vendor Permit) Requires the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to establish a uniform farmers’ market vendor permit that is valid statewide. Current permit fees and requirements for farmers’ market vendors are handled by local health departments and can vary widely from county to county. A permit is required in each county because food permits are currently not recognized across county lines, which places additional regulatory and fiscal burdens on vendors selling in more than one county. The bill prohibits additional, unnecessary and duplicative permits by a health department. The permit would cost $15 annually. The bill defines “farm and food products” and requires that they be “West Virginia grown” or otherwise properly labeled. Four types of farmers markets are defined: (1) A traditional farmers market; (2) An on-farm market or farm stand; (3) An online farmers market; and (4) A consignment farmers market that will require a food establishment permit not individual vendor permits. House Bill 2657(Department of Agriculture Travel Reimbursement) Ensures that the Department of Agriculture travel policy and procedure guidelines will be used for reimbursement of expenses incurred by members of the Livestock Care Standards Board. Currently, the board is reimbursed according to Travel Management guidelines of the Department of Administration.

House Bill 2658 (Slaughtering of Nontraditional Agriculture) Removes the requirement that all nontraditional agriculture be slaughtered in an inspected slaughterhouse. This will specifically exclude rabbits and game birds, which were the animals with the issue. “Except for rabbits and game birds, nontraditional agriculture shall be slaughtered in an inspected meat processing facility.”

Alcohol

Senate Bill 273 (Breweries) Authorizes brewers and resident brewers with limited manufacturing in this state to sell up to 4 growlers per customer per day for off premise consumption and not for resale. It also allows them to offer complimentary samples of nonintoxicating beer and nonintoxicating craft beer at manufacturing facilites. The samples can be no more than 2 ounces and no person can receive more than ten 2-ounce samples in one day. The brewers must offer complimentary food with the samples as well as verify that the person is 21 or over. They may advertise the brands of nonintoxicating beer or nonintoxicating craft beer. They can sell no more than 25,000 barrels per calendar year. There is no additional fee for a licensed brewer or resident brewer to sell growlers. The bill authorizes licensed brewpubs, Class A retail dealers, Class B retail dealers, private clubs, Class A retail licensees or Class B retail licensees to sell up to 4 growlers per customer per day for off premise consumption and not for resale. There is an annual fee of $100. The bill sets the requirements for filling and refilling growlers, including labeling and sanitation. It further changes the license fees for brewers and resident brewers (was $1,500 for all) to: (a) less than 12,500 barrels - $500 for each place of manufacture; (b) 12,501 barrels up to 25,000 barrels - $1,000 for each place of manufacture; (c) more than 25,001 barrels - $1500 for each place of manufacture. The bill decreases the license fee for brew pubs from $1,000 to $500 for each place of manufacture. It also requires brewers and resident brewers to estimate and report the number of barrels it will produce during the license period. At the end of the license period, the brewer or resident brewer must report its total production and pay the higher license fee if it changes. The bill removes the bond requirement for a brewpub license.

Senate Bill 574 (Distilleries and Micro-Distilleries Sales) Fosters craft distilling in West Virginia by relating to the sales of liquor by distilleries and mini-distilleries. It sets fees, reduces buyback prices, and set fees that must be paid to the commissioner of Alcohol Beverage Control on sales to customers from a distillery or mini-distillery for off-premises consumption. It provides that the liquor cannot be sold for less than the price set by the commissioner and raises the production level allowable for mini-distilleries.

Appropriations

Senate Bill 283 (State Banking Institutions) Simplifies the process by which a bank may adjust the hours of operation for branch offices and reduce the time the Division of Financial Institutions has to act upon an expedited branch application. This bill deletes the current restrictions on closure of banking offices on weekdays and also removes the requirement of a board resolution and legal advertisement when a banking institution wants to change the hours or days it is open for business. The bill requires the institution to provide 45 days advance written notice to the Commissioner of Financial Institutions and to post signs at the bank of the change in the hours or days of operation. The bill amends the expedited procedure for authorization of a branch bank by reducing the amount of time the Commissioner must provide notice of his or her acceptance or rejection of notice of establishment of a new branch office, from 35 days to 21 days.

Senate Bill 463 (Supplemental Appropriation-Various) Makes Supplemental appropriation to DHHR, DHS, Health Care Provider Tax, Medicaid State Share Fund

Senate Bill 466 (Supplemental Appropriation) Makes supplemental appropriation of $13,000 of federal funds to the Department of Commerce’s Workforce West Virginia and $13,000 for the Office of Economic Opportunity.

Senate Bill 467 (Supplemental Appropriation) Increases spending authority for the Department of Agriculture, specifically the State Conservation Committee, by $12,382,910.

Senate Bill 469 (Supplemental Appropriation) Increases spending authority for the Department of Environmental Protection by $40,000.

Senate Bill 471 (Supplemental Appropriation) increases spending authority for the Human Rights Commission by $13,000 and the Division of Human Services by $18,900 for medical services and $89,100 for the federal economic stimulus.

Senate Bill 472 (Supplemental Appropriation) increases spending authority for Division of Motor Vehicles by $20,100.

Senate Bill 473 (Supplemental Appropriation) increases federal spending authority for the West Virginia Division of Military Affairs and Public Safety, specifically the State Police, by $1,512,687.

Senate Bill 475 (Supplemental Appropriation) increases federal spending authority for Division of Military Affairs and Public Safety, specifically for Division of Corrections, Parolee Supervision Fees, Division of State Police, and Motor Vehicle Inspection Fund, by $1,164,886.

Senate Bill 476 (Supplemental Appropriation) transfers $1,000,000 from the Division of Purchasing Repairs and Alterations line to the Buildings Line.

Senate Bill 477 (Supplemental Appropriation-DOH) Supplements, amends, decreases and increases appropriation from State Road Fund to DOH

House Bill 2576 (Separation of Agencies - VETOED) Separates the listing of agencies within the executive department from one subsection to twelve subsections by department. It also changes the “Division of Banking” to the “Division of Financial Institutions” to be consistent with the name change made during the 2012 Regular Legislative Session.

House Bill 2760 (Supplemental Appropriation-Bureau of Senior Services) Makes a supplementary appropriation to the Bureau of Senior Services - Lottery Senior Citizens Fund in the amount of $31,355,462.

House Bill 2933 (Supplemental Appropriation-Public Defenders) Makes a supplementary appropriation to the Department of Administration’s Public Defender Services. The bill aims to increase the amount of funding available to public defender lawyers due to the financial burden of public defender work. The bill will appropriate $12,700,000 to the Department of Administration’s Public Defender Services for Appointed Counsel Fees.

House Bill 3021 (Supplemental Appropriation) Supplements, amend, and increase items of appropriation in the aforesaid accounts for the designated spending units for expenditure during the fiscal year 2015.

House Bill 3022 (Supplemental Appropriation-Various) Appropriates funds to a number of different accounts. It will give $410,629 to the Treasurer’s Office, $500,000 to the State FFA-FHA Camp and Conference Center, and $1,500,000 to the WV Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. The bill will also move $123,962 to the Mountwest Community and Technical College, $500,000 to the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and $500,000 to West Virginia State University. This is a total appropriation of $3,534,591.

Arbitration

Senate Bill 37 (Enacts Uniform Arbitration Act of 2000) Changes the Act by excluding its requirement for written findings of fact and conclusions of law for arbitrations conducted by organizations subject to the Securities Exchange Act and the Commodity Exchange Act because these arbitrations have historically not provided those findings unless specifically requested by the parties to the arbitration. It will modify declarations of public policy that West Virginia favors enforcement of arbitration agreements and arbitration provisions contained in other contracts or agreements and permits appeal could be taken from an order granting (as well as) denying a motion to compel in matters involving Consumer Credit Transactions.

Athletics

Senate Bill 436 (State Athletic Commission) Changes the composition of the State Athletic Commission by increasing the payments to referees, judges and timekeepers, increasing certain licensing fees, and making changes regarding rules for certain sporting events.

House Bill 2492(Entities Showing Closed Circuit or Subscription Events) Repeals the requirement that an entity charging admission to view certain closed circuit telecast or subscription television events needs to obtain a permit from the State Athletic Commission and report certain information. The bill would make it easier and less costly for these broadcasters to show events that they are already legally allowed to broadcast.

Attorneys

Senate Bill 89 (Salaries) The salary of the Executive Director of the Prosecuting Attorneys Institute shall be established by the Prosecuting Attorneys Institute Executive Council and shall be at least $70,000 annually. Aviation

House Bill 2138 (Noncommercial Recreational Aircraft Operations) Adds noncommercial recreational aircraft operations to the list of protected activities for the purpose of limiting the liability of landowners. This will allow landowners to have landing strips and other areas on their land marked for the use of aircraft. Liability will be held by the pilot and passengers for aircraft operations.

Banks and Banking

Senate Bill 545 (Overdraft Approval) Removes the requirement of prior approval of overdrafts made by the executive officer or director or a state-chartered banking institution. The removal of the approval only applies in situations less than $1,000 or if there is a written pre-authorized interest bearing extension of credit.

Board of Commissions

Senate Bill 294 (Councils, Committees and Boards) Eliminates certain councils, committees and boards deemed unnecessary, inactive or redundant, as well as remaining antiquated unnecessary code provisions. More specifically, the bill eliminates the Council for Community and Economic Development and moves the duties and authority to the Director of the W.Va. Development Office and the Statewide Interstate Mutual Aid Committee under MAPS. It terminates the Principals Standards Advisory Council (Education) and West Virginia Health Insurance Planning Board (Insurance).

Senate Bill 412 (Real Estate Complaint Filings) Provides that no disciplinary action can be brought against a real estate licensee when the complaint filed contains allegations that occurred more than two year ago. It establishes time limitations for when complaints can be filed for unprofessional conduct against a licensee.

Senate Bill 582 (Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs - VETOED) adds two sections of code relating to the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs. The bill requires the office to report to the Select Committee on Minority Affairs and requires the director of the office to implement recommendation of the select committee. This bill continues the Minority Affairs Fund and establishes a community-based pilot projection. Objectives, goals, and funding of the program are provided within the bill.

House Bill 2140 (Governance and Leadership Capacity of County Boards) Establishes a process to build governance and leadership capacity of county boards during periods of state intervention. It requires county boards to establish goals and action plans for improvement and sustained success to end intervention in not more than five years. The goals and action plans are subject to approval of the state board and must include needed training and active engagement by the county board in the improvement process. Progress on the goals and action plans must be annually assessed and reported to the state board on the readiness of the county board to accept return and sustain improvement. If a determination is made at the fifth annual assessment that the county board is still not ready, the state board must hold a public hearing in the county so that the reasons for continued intervention and concerns of citizens may be heard. Continued intervention is allowed only after the hearing. Supports for continued improvement must continue, as needed, for three years following end of an intervention. For another intervention within this three years, another public hearing must be held.

House Bill 2160 (WV School of Deaf and Blind - VETOED) Makes the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind eligible to participate in any and all funding administered or distributed by the West Virginia School Building Authority. The authority is not required to distribute funds to Schools for the Deaf and Blind nor may it penalize the consideration or priority ranking of a project of the schools for lack of local project funds.

House Bill 2217 (Commissioner of Labor) Removes language that the Commissioner of Labor be a person identified with labor interests of the state and requires that identification be with employee issues. The new requirement states that the commissioner have knowledge and experience in employee issues and interests. Relations between employers and employees is an essential part of this knowledge.

House Bill 2227 (National Coal Heritage Area Authority) Expands the number of member counties in the National Coal Heritage Area Authority. It increases the number of members and provides for appointments by county commissions rather than the Governor. The bill provides for a chairperson appointed by and serving at the will and pleasure of the Secretary of Education and the Arts rather than the Governor. It creates a standing committee and its responsibilities. The bill transfers all assets and responsibilities of the Coal Heritage Highway Authority to the National Coal Heritage Area Authority.

House Bill 2272 (Board of Pharmacy) Amends the authority of the Board of Pharmacy. The bill repeals the current statutory official prescription paper system and allows the Board of Pharmacy to develop and maintain an official prescription paper program through rule making. It clarifies the rule-making authority of the Board of Pharmacy to include the ability of pharmacy interns to administer certain immunizations. The bill also details certain other rule-making procedures.

House Bill 2370 (Regional Councils for Governance) Expands the powers of the regional councils comprised of superintendents, county board members and others in the governance of regional education service agencies. The executive director must be selected from nominations of the regional council and the council determines one half of the director’s annual performance evaluation. The role of the council is also expanded through required consultation on developing the job description and qualification for the director position and informing the director in carrying out his or her duties to achieve the purposes of the section and provide services to school systems within the region. Several outdated references to computer programs and systems are updated and prescriptive provisions are removed.

Capitol Complex

House Bill 2187 (National Motto - VETOED) Encourages public officials to prominently display the national motto on all public property, public buildings and all buildings designed, constructed and maintained with public funds from the state, a county or a municipality. The bill is intended to promote national unity.

Child Services

Senate Bill 393 (Child Welfare/Juvenile Justice) Amends and creates a number of sections to West Virginia state code relating to child welfare and juvenile justice. This bill provides that juveniles may only be transferred to juvenile diagnostic centers under certain circumstances. It establishes the criteria a juvenile’s home must meet when the juvenile is transitioning from out-of-home placement back into the home. This bill requires that an aftercare plan must be established for juvenile’s who took part in out-of-home treatment. It establishes community-based youth reporting centers and creates a Juvenile Justice Reform Oversight Committee. The bill provides for a multidisciplinary team and the establishment of its members. This team shall advise the court on treatment and rehabilitation plans and monitor the juvenile’s progress. Prepetition diversion processes shall be established for juvenile’s who commit truancy offenses. The bill establishes the requirements for these prepetition diversion programs and allows probation officers to participate in them. Any existing truancy programs in the judicial circuit as of January 1, 2015 may continue to operate notwithstanding new requirements. The bill provides for cooperative agreements between the Department of Health and Human Resources and private agencies to house status offenders, and also provides that a juvenile adjudicated as a status offender may not be placed in out-of-home placement in certain circumstances. Standardized screeners may conduct an evaluation of the juvenile in certain circumstances, and the court is permitted to include reasonable and relevant orders to parents in its disposition order for a juvenile. Under this bill, the Supreme Court of Appeals is authorized to develop community-based juvenile probation sanctions and incentives. Individual case planning is also established, and the disclosure of juvenile records to the Department of Health and Human Resources and Division of Juvenile Services is permitted for case planning.

House Bill 2025 (Sex Offenders) Prohibits certain sex offenders from loitering within one thousand feet of a school or child care facility. This aims to prevent convicted sex offenders from scoping out potential victims and protect children. The bill provides exceptions for lawful means of being within one thousand feet of a school or child care facility. Employment, supervision, and counseling are all exceptions to these provisions.

House Bill 2527 (“Erin Merryn’s Law”) Establishes a Task Force on the Sexual Abuse of Children. The bill designates who will become a member of the task force as well as lays out a process for the selection of presiding members. It lays out the duties of the task force which include gathering information on sexual abuse of children, creating state and county goals for prevention of abuse, and makes recommendations to the state and county governments for implementation of the goals. The bill also requires the task force to consult with appropriate government agencies when appropriate to gather information on implementation of goals

House Bill 2200 (Child-Welfare) Re-arranges all of the existing child welfare laws in the state of West Virginia. This bill essentially functions as a restructuring of the old juvenile justice and welfare law. It regroups the sections of the bill into seven articles that all feature related content, as opposed to various sections being spread across the bill. It creates a General Provisions article, an article concerning the responsibilities of the executive branch agencies, an article regarding special programs such as disabilities, an article regarding court actions, a record keeping article, an article about missing children, and an article about interstate cooperation.

Claims

Senate Bill 382 (Court of Claims Over-Expenditure Bill) Relates specifically to the Department of Health and Human Resources. It provides payments to certain claimants who provided commodities and/or services to the state that were not paid due to the agency involved overspending their budgets. The total amount to be paid from general revenue is $176,344.42.

Consumer Protection

Senate Bill 542 (Consumer Credit and Protection Act) Clarifies permitted and prohibited actions with regard to the prohibition of the following issues: oppression and abuse in the course of debt collection, unreasonable publication, and use of unfair or unconscionable means in the course of debt collection. It increases permitted delinquency charges, modifies damages and penalties for violations, and modifies the limitation of actions brought under this chapter. The time allowed after discovery to correct an error without liability is adjusted in certain circumstances. Damages for inflation are adjusted and venue of an action or proceeding brought by a consumer is specified.

House Bill 2395 (Storm Scammer Consumer Protection Act) Provides consumers with the right to cancel residential roofing contracts where the contract is expected to be paid from a property and casualty insurance policy. The bill provides definitions and establishes a consumer's right to cancel. It also creates standard disclosure and notice requirements and provides rules for the proscribed cancellation period. The bill also prohibits certain acts and provides the misdemeanor criminal offense and related penalties.

House Bill 2662 (Eye Care Consumer Protection Law) Creates definitions such as “licensee” and “valid prescription.” Requirements are provided for valid prescriptions for both contact lenses and spectacles. This does not include a diagnostic lens or device that is not intended from a diagnostic contact lens that is used by a licensee during an examination, to correct or enhance vision or an optical instrument or device that is sold without consideration of the visual status of the individual who will use the optical device.

Contracts

House Bill 2011 (Workers’ Compensation Fund) Changes requirements of employer’s knowledge of danger to employees relating to Worker’s Compensation payment. Currently violation of any safety statue for workers is viable for payout, even if one is not aware of the law. The bill seeks to change the doctrine of liability to deliberate intent. The bill will require proof in a legal case that employer is deliberately placing an employee in an unsafe working condition in order to claim Workmen’s Compensation. Evidence cannot be circumstantial in nature and precautions included in the equipment manuals may also not be presented before the court.

House Bill 2234 (Divorce Proceedings) Requires a court to permit a party in a divorce proceeding to resume using the name he or she used prior to the marriage. The current law requires that both parties maintain their legal last name throughout the divorce proceedings. The bill would ensure courts allow either party to use their original legal name during the course of the proceedings. This would help expedite the process for parties wishing to change their name and ensure they are called by their desired name.

Corrections

Senate Bill 370 (Crime, Delinquency and Correction Committee) Updates the Governor’s Committee on Crime, Delinquency and Correction. The bill establishes the membership of the committee, ensures compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, authorizes legislative rule making, and designates the Division of Justice and Community Services to be the staffing entity of the Committee.

Senate Bill 374 (Parole Hearings) Creates an exemption and permits parole hearings to be conducted without the presence of the inmate when there is documentation providing a medical condition that precludes his or her appearance.

Senate Bill 375 (Parole Hearings-Law Enforcement) Requires law enforcement only receive notice about parole hearings and notice of release through regular U.S. Mail whereas others persons listed on the Parole Hearing Notification Form and Notice of Release will be sent notice by certified mail.

Senate Bill 507 (Regional Jail Personnel) Amends current state code and allows Regional Jail personnel the same authority to monitor inmate emails and electronic communications as they now monitor phone calls. There is an exception for attorney-client privileged communications.

House Bill 2274 (Mutual Aid Agreements) Authorizes the Commissioner of Corrections to enter into mutual aid agreements. The bill allows these agreements to take place between the state and political subdivisions within the state, other state governments, and the federal government. This may be done for numerous salutary purposes. Such agreements must be approved by the Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety and must contain provisions allowing the termination of the agreement at any time by the Secretary.

Courts

Senate Bill 363 (Court of Claims) Allows Court of Claims to set maximum rates and service limitations for reimbursement of health care services given by a health care provider by Court of Claims. Rates are required to be submitted to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance

Senate Bill 415 (5th Circuit Court) Adds an additional judge in the fifth circuit (Calhoun, Jackson, Mason, and Roane), the tenth circuit (Raleigh), the twenty-third circuit (Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan), and the twenty-sixth circuit (Lewis and Upshur) beginning in 2017.

Senate Bill 430 (Family Courts) Codifies the traditional practice of courts to allow family courts to enter mutual orders prohibiting certain kinds of bothersome or annoying conduct by parties with domestic relation actions against each other.

Senate Bill 479 (Family Court Judges) Adds positions for one additional family court judge to the 6th (Cabell County) and 23rd (Mineral, Hampshire, and Morgan Counties) family court circuits. The bill also provides that judges taking office in 2017 shall be elected at the regularly scheduled elections occurring in 2016 and shall serve a term of eight years.

Crime

Senate Bill 242 (Misleading/Deceptive Information) Creates a misdemeanor offense for disseminating false misleading or deceptive information regarding matters effected by or effecting the state of emergency or state of preparedness. Violators will be charged with a sentence of up to one year, $5000.00 or both.

Senate Bill 454 (Trademark Counterfeiting) Amends current state code, creating the criminal offense of trademark counterfeiting. The bill creates misdemeanor and felony offense. If the total retail value of the items bearing the counterfeit mark is less than $1,000, the offense is a misdemeanor. If the retail value is more than $1,000, the offense is a felony. Misdemeanor penalties are a fine up to $2,000 for the first misdemeanor offense and/or confinement in jail for a period not to exceed one year. Felony penalties are one to five years in a correctional facility and/or a fine not to exceed $20,000. In a case where a perpetrator is a firm, partnership, corporation, union, association, or other organization capable of suing or being sued, the maximum fine is increased to $10,000 for misdemeanors and $20,000 for felonies. Seizure and forfeiture of property may also be used in commission of this crime.

House Bill 2240 (Strangling - VETOED) Provides that an act of domestic violence or sexual offense by strangling is an aggravated felony offense. This bill will modify the current law to include the term “strangle” when describing malicious and unlawful wounding. The term “strangle” is also inserted in the description of 1st degree sexual assault.

House Bill 2606 (Disorderly Conduct) Clarifies the potential sentence for disorderly conduct. This bill corrects the place of incarceration for those convicted. If the offense is a misdemeanor, the place of incarceration should be jail. The current law indicates that persons convicted of a violation of this law should be “committed to the custody of the Division of Corrections”. This is only done when a person is committed to a prison or other correctional facility and is seldom done in cases involving violations which rise only to the level of a misdemeanor.

House Bill 2607 (Fleeing from Law Enforcement) Contains criminal penalties for interfering with or fleeing from law enforcement, probation and parole officers. It changes the penalties for several of the violations to make it clear that the convicted person may be both fined and confined. This legislation is also correcting potentially conflicting language that relates to penalties for violators who fall under “CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC JUSTICE.” These penalties include obstructing an officer, fleeing from an officer, making false statements to an officer, and interfering with emergency communications.

House Bill 2608 (Misdemeanor Offenses) Eliminates the words “or both” in the statue relating to misdemeanor offenses. This eliminates a redundancy in the law, as persons convicted of a violation of these provisions already must be both jailed and fined. The bill also changes the word “which” to “when” to eliminate the absurdity in subsection (c) relating to subsequent offenses.

House Bill 2664 (DUI Offenses) Known as "Andrea and Willy's Law", increases penalties for causing death or injury while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It will dramatically increase the penalties for all DUI offenses except for driving under the influence when under 21 years of age. It will make all DUI’s causing death a felony. It will create a new felony offense for DUI’s causing serious bodily injury. Under current law, all DUIs’ causing bodily injury are misdemeanors.

House Bill 2939 (Sexual Misconduct) Clarifies reporting requirements for sexual misconduct by a student upon another student, making it mandatory to report it to law enforcement. It states that the failure to report such misconduct will be a misdemeanor offense that is punishable up to a year in jail and/or a fine of $10,000. This also increases the penalty for other failures to report. Any person over the age of eighteen who receives a disclosure from a credible witness or observes any sexual abuse or sexual assault of a child shall immediately, and not more than forty-eight hours after receiving that disclosure or observing the sexual abuse or sexual assault, report the circumstances or cause a report to be made. Under existing law, if a school teacher or other school personnel witnesses or receives a disclosure of “sexual abuse” or “sexual assault” he or she is required to report the incident to law enforcement. However, the definition of “sexual abuse” is limited only to sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian. Therefore, unless the abuser is a parent, guardian, or custodian, the law does not require a school teacher to report sexual abuse to law enforcement. Additionally, the penalty for failure to report only applies to those situations involving “abuse or neglect”.

Disabilities

House Bill 2797 (Intellectually Disabled) Replaces certain terms in the code. The term “mentally retarded” is replaced with “intellectually disabled” and the term “handicapped” is replaced with “disabled.” This ultimately updates appropriate terms for individuals.

Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia

House Bill 2733 (Schedule III Controlled Substances) Removes certain drugs from Schedule III of the controlled substances law. The bill also updates the requirements of the Control Substance Monitoring Program. It clarifies the information that is required when picking up someone else’s prescription and eliminates the specified training program for those persons who may access the database and allows the Board to approve a training program. The bill also extends the expiration date of law relating to the Multi-State Real-Time Tracking System through June 30, 2017.

House Bill 2931 (Schedule I Drugs) Adds drugs to the classification of schedule I drugs and rewrites the licensing requirement for the practice of medicine and surgery or podiatry. This bill is typically updated to address synthetic drugs which are developed. It will add three hallucinogenic substances, or which contains any of its salts, isomers and salts of isomers, whenever the existence of such salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation as well as eleven tryptamines. It also adds ten substituted amphetamines. These are pschoactive chemicals used as stimulants.

Domestic Relations

House Bill 2586 (Domestic Violence/Personal Safety Relief) Allows for an alternative form of service of process in actions against nonresident persons by petitioners seeking domestic violence or personal safety relief. This bill addresses the permissible methods of serving process on an out-of-state defendant who has allegedly engaged in any act constituting domestic violence or abuse; constituting a basis for seeking personal safety relief, or violating the provisions of a duly authorized protective or restraining order. Orders issued by this state or another jurisdiction will be viable. This will provide for service of process on this nonresident either by law enforcement or by constructive appointment of the Secretary of State as the designated agent for the nonresident violator.

Education

Senate Bill 7 (CPR Training) Requires that at least 30 minutes of CPR and the psychomotor skills necessary to perform CPR be taught in the public school system once during grades 9 through 12 as a condition of graduation. The instruction must be based upon an instructional program established by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, or another nationally-based program that uses the most current evidence-based Emergency Cardiovascular Care guidelines. These standards are minimum standards and do not preclude additional instruction. The bill provides that a certified CPR trainer is not required for CPR instruction unless that instruction is to result in certification. It permits the instruction to be provided by community members such as EMTs, paramedics, police officers, firefighters, and American Heart Association representatives. These community members are encouraged to provide training and instructional resources at no cost to the schools. The bill also adds the requirement that care for conscious choking be taught with First Aid.

Senate Bill 19 (Early Childhood Education - VETOED) Sets up the guidelines for early childhood education program instruction days. It sets up the minimum requirements that the educational program must equate to 4 days per weeks, one thousand two hundred minutes per week, and 146 instructional days per year.

Senate Bill 243 (School Nutrition Standards) Allows deviation from legislative rules relating to nutrition standards during states of emergency or preparedness in those areas under the declaration. There are provisions to ensure the substituted foods are safe and nutritional and substitutions are reported to the joint committee.

Senate Bill 287 (Posthumous High School Diplomas) Requires the state board to provide for the awarding of a high school diploma to a deceased student, at the request of the parent, guardian or custodian, if the student: (1) Was enrolled in a public school in this state at the time of death; (2) Was academically eligible, or on track to complete the requirements for graduation at the time of death; and (3) Died after the completion of the eleventh grade school year.

Senate Bill 425 (MU,WVU, and WVSOM Investments) Provides West Virginia University, Marshall University, and the Osteopathic School of Medicine with more authority to invest assets of the respective institutions. It also removes the cap on the amount of non-general-revenue funds the institutions may invest with their foundations.

Senate Bill 439 (Higher Education Personnel) Modifies 16 statutes and creates one new statute regulating the administration of personnel matters by institutions of higher education.

Senate Bill 447 (Homeschooled Diplomas) Allows those who administer programs of secondary education at a public, private or home school to issue diplomas or other appropriate credentials to persons who have completed the program. The bill declares that the diploma or other credentials must be legally sufficient to demonstrate that the person meets the definition of having a high school diploma or its equivalent. State agencies and higher learning institutions may not reject or discriminate against those who have obtained this type of diploma, however, they may look into the content of the program to determine whether a person meets specific requirements. The postsecondary program must meet the requirements of chapter 18 of the West Virginia State Code.

Senate Bill 577 (Governing Boards Investing) Adds a new section of code designated §12-1-12e that allows governing boards of certain four-year colleges and universities to invest established funds in their respective nonprofit foundation that has been established to receive contributions exclusively for that institution.

House Bill 2005 (Alternative Teacher Certification) Clarifies and updates alternative programs for the education of teachers. The bill adds, clarifies and removes definitions. The bill adds the West Virginia Department of Education as an additional option for an alternative program partner and removes the limit on programs for positions in an area of critical need and shortage. The bill also provides for rulemaking as well as removes language replicated in or conflicting with other statute provisions. It requires a separate program review process and removes degree requirements in certain disciplines. It also removes requirements for minimum semester hours. The bill requires the method of instruction to be set forth in a program plan. It also removes specific requirements for mentors and requires a professional support team to be set forth in a program plan. In addition, the bill authorizes certain existing support structures to be used. The bill allows options for charges to offset costs and clarifies the initial hiring process. Finally, it requires that final decisions and recommendations on progress of a program teacher reside with the principal.

House Bill 2139 (Retired Teachers) Restarts expired provisions that allow retired teachers to be employed as substitutes in areas of critical need and shortage for substitutes beyond the 140 day post-retirement employment limit. The bill adds additional features to improve monitoring of compliance with the provisions and encourage the long-term posting of critical shortage positions. This will help allow teachers to fill in positions of need and ensure that the school system has the proper amount of teachers.

House Bill 2377 (Instructional Time) Describes the constitutional authority of the State Board of Education for the general supervision of the public schools and the statutory Process for Improving Education, including student performance as the ultimate measure of whether a thorough and efficient education is being provided. It recognizes the necessity of judgment and reasonable discretion by the state board to balance the need for local autonomy and flexibility to improve student performance with the letter of the law for school operations. It further authorizes the board to approve alternatives proposed by county boards and schools for instructional time and provides parameters for those alternatives. Lastly, the bill makes findings for consideration by the state board on maximizing learning time.

House Bill 2381 (Mentoring Increment) Provides a $2,000 mentoring increment to teachers with certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards who teach in schools that are in the lowest 5% in achievement. This increment will also be given to teacher’s schools who are in the lowest 10% with the largest achievement gaps statewide and also mentor other teachers as part of their assignment. They may not receive additional mentoring pay.

House Bill 2478 (Public School Finance) Relates to the foundation allowance for public education transportation cost. It allows propane as an eligible fuel for the 10% additional percentage allowance for school bus systems using alternate fuels. The bill fixes the amount to be used for the replacement of buses for the school years beginning on July 1, 2105 and July 1, 2016. It also provides provisions for the payment of public school teachers.

House Bill 2550 (Unexcused Absences) Revises and defines the procedure for reporting unexcused absences of a student to a parent, guardian or custodian and provides that notice is received, and opportunity for conference with the school is achieved before the action is referred to the court system. It also revises the number of absences that trigger court action from five days to ten days.

House Bill 2598 (Disabled Students) Ensures that teachers of students with disabilities receive complete information regarding the school’s plans for accommodating those students’ needs. It also requires the school to provide specific instruction to a teacher regarding the contents and requirements of an accommodation plan prepared for his or her student according to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. If the plan is prepared in writing, the school must provide the teacher with a copy of the plan and any updates, and the teacher is required to sign the document to acknowledge receipt.

House Bill 2632 (Instructional Materials) Exempts the obtaining of instructional materials, digital content resources, instructional technology, hardware, software, telecommunications and technical services for use in and in support of public schools from the division of purchasing requirements. The bill requires certain technology tools to adhere to state contract prices. Additional personalized learning as potential student use for technology and provisions for technology system specialists will be factored in. The purchases of instructional materials, digital content resources, instructional technology, hardware, software, telecommunications and technical services will be extended by the State Board for use in and in support of public schools. A state technology plan, based on county plans, for state level procurement and allocation of instructional and instructional support technology and for use in and in support of the public schools will be created. This plan guides the expenditure of appropriations for the 21st Century Technology Infrastructure Network Tools and Support funded in part in the Department of Education budget and in part from net lottery.

House Bill 2645 (Underwood-Smith Teacher Loan Assistance Program) Expands the availability of the Underwood-Smith Teacher Loan Assistance Program. It will include not only teachers who are certified in an area of critical need but those schools and geographic areas of critical need. It increases the annual amount of assistance program available from $2,000 to $3,000. This legislation expands the opportunities for achieving alternative certification of teachers and the subject areas in which a recipient may teach and to establish critical need alternative teaching certificates. The Governor will designate the Higher Education Student Financial Aid Advisory Board created to select recipients to receive Underwood-Smith Teacher Loan Assistance Awards.

House Bill 2674 (PROMISE Scholarship - VETOED) Changes the eligibility requirements for PROMISE scholarships. It allows students to satisfy one of the merit-based requirements by scoring within the eightieth percentile on a nationally recognized entrance examination. It also removes a requirement that home school students acquire a general equivalency degree (“GED”).

House Bill 2780 (Campus Police Officers) Allows a higher education governing board to apply for and receive any public or private grant or other financial award that is available to other law enforcement agencies in the state. It also allows a governing board to compensate employees and pay tuition and expenses for attendance at a law-enforcement training academy. The governing board can require that each employee enter into a written agreement that obligates the employee to repay the employer if he or she voluntarily discontinues employment within one year immediately following completion of the curriculum. The amount of the repayment is proportionate to the portion of a full year that the officer remained employed.

House Bill 2793 (Home-School Students - VETOED) Clarifies that a student who is home schooled may not be classified as habitually absent. The bill requires the parent of a child who is to be home schooled to notify a county superintendent of intent to home school, not the person who provides the home schooling, along with an assurance that certain subjects will be taught.

House Bill 2840 (Instructional Days - VETOED) Provides an alternate means for students to make up lost instructional days by allowing county boards of education to distribute lessons on the Internet. A county board may submit a plan for providing instruction during emergency closures and sets for the criteria to be included in that plan. These options may include lessons on electronic devices provided to students, lessons posted on a board or school website, distribution of emergency closure day packets of instructional assignments, or any combination of these instructional delivery methods. This will come into play when a school is in a state of emergency.

House Bill 2867 (Transfer Credits) Requires higher education institutions in the state to accept course credit transfers from other institutions in WV if the comparable course at the sending institution is at least 70% the same or similar to course at the receiving institution. The requirement applies to all institutions that are accredited by a national, regional, programmatic or other accrediting body recognized by the US Department of Education under the Higher Education Act of 1965.

House Bill 2884 (HEPC,CCTC and Governing Boards) Modifies the deadline for newly appointed members of the Higher Education Policy Commission, Council for Community and Technical College Education and governing boards to complete the mandatory training and development hours. Current code requires new members to complete three hours of training and development within six months of appointment. The bill changes the reporting period to a fiscal year schedule consistent with the reporting period for existing members. The change is needed to make tracking members’ compliance easier for the entities and reporting to the Governor and Legislature more streamlined for the Commission and Council.

House Bill 2976 (Nursing Scholarship Program) Broadens the Nursing Scholarship Program’s eligibility criteria to include appropriate programs through which the critical shortage of nurse educators can be addressed. The bill expands the types of master’s and doctoral level programs for which a Nursing Scholarship is available to include any type of master’s degree in nursing and a doctoral degree in education. The Policy Commission and the Center for Nursing believe that these programs are appropriate pathways for nurses seeking to become nurse educators.

Elections

Senate Bill 249 (Straight Party Voting) Prohibits the use of straight party ticket voting. The bill accomplishes this by making changes to a number of sections of code to eliminate this option from ballots, both paper and electronic.

Senate Bill 312 (Filing Financial Statements) Modifies the West Virginia Code that sets forth penalties for a candidate’s failure to file a financial statement. It eliminates general language that prohibited a candidate’s name from being placed on the ballot “unless” they have filed the appropriate statements and replaces it with more specific language. Under the new language, a candidate who failed to file the required reports by the eighty-fourth day before the general election may not have his name placed on the ballot.

Senate Bill 316 (Veteran Owned Business) Exempts veteran owned businesses from paying the initial filing fee of $100 for a new business and the $25 annual filing fee for the subsequent four years of operation.

Senate Bill 322 (Electronic Ballots) Removes unnecessary language concerning the handling of ballots cast electronically during any requested recount. As part of the required canvass following an election, three percent of the precincts in each county are subject to a hand-counting requirement which is meant to ensure the accuracy of the machine voting totals. The bill eliminates the requirement that the automatic recounting of precincts occur. It would leave unchanged a challenging candidate’s ability to request a recount of one or more precincts as part of his election challenge.

Senate Bill 351 (Charitable Organizations) Changes the threshold by which a charitable organization would be required to have either an audit or a financial review by an independent certified public accountant. The bill will also require charitable organizations to report annually the amount of money received and spent in this state for charitable purposes. Currently, registered charitable organization are required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State which includes a variety of financial documents. For those charitable organizations raising more than $200,000 in yearly contributions, an annual professional audit is required. The bill would change the minimum amount of contributions received for the audit requirement to $500,000. The bill would change the amounts for the financial review requirement to $200,000 up to $500,000.

House Bill 2010 (Election of Judges) Requires the election all justices to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, all circuit court judges, all family court judges and all magistrates be on a nonpartisan basis by division.

House Bill 2157 (Absentee Ballots) Makes the crime of committing fraud on voter ballots a felony. Any person who obtains, removes, or disseminates an absentee voter’s ballot, intimidates an absent voter, or completes or alters an absentee voters ballot will be held guilty of the crime. Penalties include a jail sentence of 1 to 5 years, a fine of $10,000 to $20,000, or a combination of the two.

House Bill 2457 (Publicly-Owned Vehicles) Prohibits the use of the name or likeness of elected or appointed officials on publicly-owned vehicles. This legislation will solely limit the means officials can use in their campaigns. For example, public officials names will not be allowed to be advertised on a publicly owned vehicle and public funds are not permissible for purchases towards the campaign.

House Bill 2914 (Resort Area Districts) Provides for voluntary dissolution of resort area districts. The bill establishes a procedure for a dissolution. The bill permits nominations for resort area board members be made by mail or electronic means. The bill permits property owners to make nominations. The bill provides for election of board members by plurality vote instead of by a majority vote. The bill limits the amount of assessments that may be levied against a parcel of real property.

Energy

Senate Bill 280 (Well Work Permits) Permits the transfer of well work permits, such as in the case of an asset purchase, upon approval of the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. Under current law, well work permits are nontransferable and purchasers of assets must begin the application process over upon transfer of title.

Environmental

Senate Bill 352 (Cooperative Associations) Amends the laws regarding cooperative associations. It expands the definitions and scope of cooperatives to include “qualified person,” “qualified activity” and “goods and services” including food and beverages, arts and crafts, woodworking and furniture-making, and recycling, composting and repurposing materials. The bill limits recycling cooperatives to nonprofits that can only use one non-certificated motor vehicle to haul and they must be recycling their own members’ recyclable goods. The bill expands the membership of a cooperative to include employees and volunteers, and persons engaged in the sale, creation, and aggregation of goods and services.

House Bill 2001 (Alternative and Renewable Energy Act) Repeals portions of the Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act. It no longer requires businesses to maintain a portfolio of alternative energy practices nor requires them to seek to convert a certain percentage of their energy production to alternate and renewable energy. The bill also repeals the sections related to creating a credit system for these energies.

House Bill 2004 (Emission Standards) Relates to the submission of West Virginia’s compliance plan with the EPA’s new emission standards. The EPA set forth new rules in June of 2014 for state’s carbon emissions and requires states to create a plan to reduce these emissions. The bill requires the Department of Environmental Protection to submit a compliance plan for both houses of the Legislature to approve of the plan. The bill also includes language for the plan to be rendered void should the EPA’s rules not be put into effect. Estates & Trusts

House Bill 2053 (Memorandum of Deed of Trust) Permits the recording of a memorandum of deed of trust in lieu of the deed of trust. This expands the type of forms that a deed of trust can be made in to be enforced. The bill sets the requirements for the content of the memorandum of deed of trust. It also requires recording of the original deed of trust prior to commencement of foreclosure action or other execution thereof.

House Bill 2266 (Administration of States) Repeals sections of the state code regarding the publication requirements of administration of states. The new language will require appraisement of a property to be filed and a public notice of appraisement to be filed within thirty days of the appraisal or within 120 days of the estate opening. The estate must be filed within ninety days of the first date of publication of the appraisal. All notices must be filed as legal advertisements in the appropriate news outlet. Finance

House Bill 2114 (Federal Adjusted Gross Income) Updates the meaning of federal adjusted gross income and certain other terms used in the West Virginia Personal Income Tax Act and specifies effective dates. This brings terminology in the West Virginia Personal Income Tax Act into modern legal terminology ensuring the law makes sense under current legal doctrine.

House Bill 2115(Federal Taxable Income) updates the meaning of "federal taxable income" and certain other terms in the West Virginia Corporation Net Income Tax Act by bringing them into conformity with their meaning for Internal Revenue Code's definitions. This helps bring West Virginia into current modern legal terminology and makes the laws more accessible.

House Bill 2212(Severance Tax) Changes the amount of severance tax annually dedicated to the West Virginia Infrastructure General Obligation Debt Service Fund. The amount of tax will be reduced from $23 million to $22.5 million. This fund is used to pay the general debt of the infrastructure spending in the state.

House Bill 2213(Excess Lottery Proceeds) Reduces the deposit of excess lottery proceeds into the Infrastructure Fund from $40 million to $30 million for fiscal year 2016 and increase the percentage of such funds in the Infrastructure Fund which may be used to make grants from 20 percent to 50 percent for fiscal year 2016. This is a spending request by the governor to help shift funds within the budget.

House Bill 2523 (State Police 100th Anniversary) Creates a special revenue account to offset costs for the West Virginia State Police 100th Anniversary in 2019. The account will be funded by merchandise sales, legislative appropriations, and other sums available for deposit to the special account; public or private. The fund will expire on December 31, 2019 and remaining funds shall be transferred to the Academy Training and Professional Development Fund.

House Bill 2549 (County Financial Statements) Requires the preparation and publication or notice of county financial statements by October 15 rather than "within ninety days after the first session held after the beginning of each fiscal year." This is intended to make information more accessible and within a more timely manner for the public.

House Bill 2764 (Supplemental Appropriation-Medicaid) Provides an increase to the FY 2015 appropriation for Medicaid in the amount of $31,355,462. It is currently estimated that there is an $80.1 million shortfall for Medicaid in FY 2015. This appropriation will provide for a portion of that shortfall.

House Bill 2766 (Supplemental Appropriation) Expires five items from the aforesaid accounts to the General Revenue unappropriated balance for the fiscal year 2015.

House Bill 2769 (Supplemental Appropriation-Unappropriated Surplus Fund) Expires funds in the amount of $30,082,664.63 from various executive agency accounts to the unappropriated surplus balance in the state fund. This supplemental appropriation bill will expire items of appropriation and cash balances in the aforesaid accounts for the designated spending units during the fiscal year 2015.

House Bill 2770 (Supplemental Appropriation-Human Services) Makes a supplementary appropriation from the State Fund and State Excess Lottery Revenue Fund to the Division of Human Services. The purpose of this bill is to supplement, amend, and increase an existing item of appropriation in the aforesaid account for the designated spending unit for expenditure during the fiscal year 2015.

House Bill 2772 (Supplemental Appropriation-Purchasing Card Fund) Expires funds to the unappropriated surplus balance in the State Fund and General Revenue from the Auditor’s Office to the Purchasing Card Administration Fund.

House Bill 2876 (Moral Obligation of State) Directs payment of moral obligations of state agencies, approved by the Court of Claims, for claims against the State which, but for the constitutional immunity of the State from suit, or other legal restriction, could be maintained in the regular courts of this State and have been determined by the Court of Claims to be those that the State “should in equity and good conscience discharge and pay.”

House Bill 2926 (Consumer Credit Sale/Loans) Amends the WV Code to make it applicable to all consumer credit sale or consumer loans (both precompiled and non-precompiled). The amendment will also specifically allow a lender on a non-precompiled consumer loan after an installment is more than 10 days overdue to unilaterally grant a deferral and charge a deferral fee to defer payment. The bill also specifically allows a lender to agree in writing to a modification of a consumer credit sale or consumer loan and make and collect a modification charge as agreed to by the parties. The amount of the modification charge not paid in cash may be added to the outstanding balance of the loan.

House Bill 3020 (Supplemental Appropriation-DOC) Makes an appropriation to the Division of Corrections for Security System Improvements by $7,100,000. The purpose of this supplemental appropriation bill is to supplement, amend, and add an item of appropriation in the aforesaid account for the designated spending unit for expenditure during the fiscal year 2015.

Firearms

Senate Bill 284 (Law Enforcement Certification Process) Regulates the law enforcement certification process for applications to make, transfer or possess firearms regulated by the National Firearms Act. Current federal law requires that the chief law enforcement officer of the jurisdiction of residence of an applicant certify that the applicant is not prohibited from possessing firearms in order to obtain agency approval. The bill also allows for a criminal background check, allows for appeal of refusal to circuit court and specifically prohibits refusal to certify on other grounds.

enate Bill 347 (Concealed Carry Permit - VETOED) Eliminates the crime of carrying a concealed weapon without a concealed carry permit. The bill repeals the provisions creating exceptions to concealed carry license requirements including licensing fees. It allows persons to carry with or without a license in the “woods of this state.” It requires attorney’s fees and costs be paid for a successful appeal of a concealed handgun application denial and sets out procedure for license transfer upon moving from county to county.

House Bill 2128 (Concealed Weapon at State Capitol) Allows a concealed carry permit holder to bring a loaded weapon onto the premises of the Capitol. The firearm must be kept in a locked vehicle and be out of normal view. The permit must be valid and issued by a sheriff or other appropriate body of jurisdiction.

House Bill 2502 (Weapons on School Buses) Authorizes active law-enforcement officers and retired law-enforcement officers acting as security for schools to carry deadly weapons on a school bus, on school property or at school sponsored functions when certain conditions are met. It specifies the conditions and qualifications of officers to carry firearms. The bill also determines penalties for those who violate the law and carry weapons on school premises.

House Bill 2636 (Concealed Weapon Permit Holders) Protects the privacy of concealed weapon permit holders. The bill provides that information relating to applications for concealed weapon permits is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. The Freedom of Information Act gives every person the right to inspect or copy any public record of a public body in this state, unless it is expressly exempted in the Act. Information collected in the application process for a concealed weapon permit is confidential and provides criminal penalties for violations. It makes certain changes to the state’s Freedom of Information law by modifying the definition of “public record” to expand its reach, eliminating a public body’s man-hour expenses from inclusion in reimbursement charges, mandating the creation of a statewide FOIA database, accessible through the Internet, under the Secretary of State, including the promulgation of forms for public bodies to disclose all FOIA requests and their disposition and granting of rulemaking authority pursuant thereto. It also states a presumption of public accessibility to all public records and it establishes a FOIA exemption for concealed deadly weapon applications, establishes their statutory confidentiality, provides for their disclosure for law enforcement purposes, and provides for misdemeanor offenses for violations of that confidentiality.

Food

Senate Bill 60 (Food Handler Cards) Provides that any food handler cards or permits issued by a county health department shall be valid for three years. It provides that a card or permit, if required, shall be obtained within 30 days of employment. The bill also provides that a card or permit obtained in one county shall be valid in all counties of the state, provided that applicants pay an additional fee, not to exceed $10.00.

Funds

Senate Bill 298 (PERS Accounting) Amends the current section concerning unified accounting for the Public Employees Retirement System. All references to the members deposit fund, the employers’ accumulation fund, the retirement reserve fund, the income fund and the expense fund mean the Public Employee's Retirement Fund.

Senate Bill 335 (Opioid Antagonist Carry and Administer) Permits emergency responders, state police, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs and volunteer and paid firefighters to carry and administer an opioid antagonist (Naloxone hydrochloride) in an emergency to respond to instances of opiate overdose. In addition to first responders, the bill allows prescribers to offer an opioid antagonist to patients to whom they are prescribing an opioid, a relative, a friend, a caregiver, or someone in a position to assist a person at risk. It requires the health care professional to offer information and training to the patient and their family members or caregivers. The bill provides immunity to licensed health care providers for prescribing and dispensing an opioid antagonist to initial responders who act in good faith and to any person possessing an opioid antagonist who, acting in good faith, administers it to a person suspected of having an opioid overdose event. It also requires that a person who administers the opioid antagonist to seek additional medical attention for a person suspected of having an opioid overdose. Additionally, the Office of Emergency Medical Services is required to report certain information to the Legislative Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability and the Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities. The Office is also granted rulemaking authority to develop training requirements for prescribers.

Senate Bill 445 (Regional Jails Funds - VETOED) Clarifies that Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority excess funds are to be invested in the West Virginia Board of Treasury Investments or the West Virginia Investment Management Board.

Senate Bill 581(Courtesy Patrol) Moves funding for the Courtesy Patrol from the Division of Tourism to the Division of Highways. It removes the requirement that up to $4.7 million from the Tourism Promotion Fund be transferred to the Courtesy Patrol and clarifies how the fund is to be spent.

House Bill 2626 (Abandoned Land Reclamation Fund) Modifies limitations on the use of federal grant funds allocated to the state in order to address water and land reclamation needs arising from the effects of coal mining that occurred predominantly before 1977. The bill would remove the 30% limitation that once existed in federal law upon the expenditure of funds allocated to the state “for the purpose of protecting, repairing, replacing, constructing or enhancing facilities relating to water supply, including water distribution facilities and treatment plants, to replace water supplies adversely affected by coal surface-mining practices.” Also in conformance with federal law, the bill would increase from 10% to 30% the limitation that once existed in federal law upon the use of the grant funds for distribution by the Secretary of the State’s Department of Environmental Protection into either the State’s Reclamation and Restoration Fund or the State’s Acid Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment Fund. The purposes for these two funds are described in the bill and would remain unchanged.

House Bill 2663 (Rehabilitation Services Vending Program) Creates a special revenue account called the “Rehabilitation Services Vending Program Fund.” The deposits will be made of the vending machine funds when the vending machine is not under any contract with a licensed vendor. Currently, this income is deposited into the Division of Rehabilitation Services general operating fund. The separate fund is needed for the division to comply with federal law.

House Bill 2778 (WV Transportation Infrastructure Fund) Establishes the West Virginia State Transportation Infrastructure Fund Program within the Division of Highways. The program is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the state to maximize funds for transportation infrastructure projects in this state. The bill will create a special fund within the State Road Fund that would function as a revolving fund that would be available for transportation projects of municipalities and local government entities. The entities would pay back the amount borrowed from the fund for the project. The fund will be made up of both state and federal dollars. The bill will provide definitions and rule making authority to the Commissioner of Highways.

House Bill 2810 (Property Rescue Initiative) Directs the West Virginia Housing Development Fund to implement a statewide property rescue initiative to allocate $1 million per year for five years to a revolving loan program. It also provides for removal or rehabilitation of dilapidated housing throughout the state by counties and municipalities through training, technical services, and consultation, and with annual reports to the Legislature.

House Bill 2879 (Depository Funds) Amends current provisions limiting the amount of state funds in any depository in excess of the amount insured by an agency of the federal government or the amount insured by a deposit guaranty bond to not exceed 90% of the value of collateral pledged on the collaterally secured bond given by the depository. The bill changes current code to require the depository to have a deposit guarantee bond or other securities on any deposit beyond that guaranteed by the FDIC. The new limit of the amount to be secured by the depository in excess of the amount insured by an agency of the federal government must be at least 102% of the amount on deposit.

Governmental Agencies

House Bill 2008 (Division of Highways Audit) Requires the Division of Highways to turn over all materials in order for there to be an independent study conducted on the agency beginning May 1, 2015. The study will be reported to the Committee on Government and Finance December 2015.

Hazardous Materials

House Bill 2625 (Hazardous Waste Management Fee) Continues the current hazardous waste management fee until June 20, 2020. Under current law, the fee and the fund established to administer the fee terminates on June 30, 2015. The fee is an annual certification fee assessed for all facilities that manage hazardous waste. The fee amount is determined by legislative rule, but proceeds shall not exceed $700,000.00 per year. All the money collected from the fees are deposited in the State Treasury in a special fund designated as the "The Hazardous Waste Management Fee Fund,” The fund will include any interest earned on the fund and shall be expended to meet the matching requirements of federal grant programs which support the hazardous waste management program.

Health and Human Services

Senate Bill 238 (County Boards of Education) Limits the liability of county Boards of Education for loss or injury arising from the use of school property made available for unorganized recreation. County boards will remain liable for acts or omissions which constitute gross negligence or willful and wanton conduct.

Senate Bill 262 (CHIP) Transfers the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Children’s Health Insurances Agency from the Department on Administration to the Department of Health and Human Resources.

Senate Bill 267 (Office of Health Enhancement and Lifestyle Planning) Repeals the Governor’s Office of Health Enhancement and Lifestyle Planning. The Office creates the position of Director as well as creating a Health Enhancement and Lifestyle Planning Advisory Council, composed of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Director of the Public Employees Insurance Agency, the Commissioner of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, the Chair of the West Virginia Health Care Authority, and the director of the West Virginia Children’s Health Insurance Program, or their designees, along with a number of public members. The director was tasked with developing a five year strategic plan for “implementation of any and all health care system reform initiatives”, was directed to consult and coordinate with higher education institutions and the Higher Education Policy Commission and was to consult with the Bureau for Medical Services and the Public Employee Insurance Agency concerning medical home pilot projects. The GOHELP office also incorporated the rule-making authority previously granted to the Pharmaceutical Cost Management Council which was repealed at the same time.

Senate Bill 274 (TANF Program Sanctions) Eliminates from the current code the specific sanctions to be imposed when recipients of TANF monies fail to abide by the policies of the program, violate their personal responsibility contract, or have engaged in fraud or deception to receive benefits. In place of the codified sanctions, the bill permits the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources to prescribe policies that will set forth the sanctions as well as the policies to determine what constitutes de minims violations. The bill gives rulemaking authority to the secretary of DHHR to promulgate legislative and emergency rules to set sanctions rather than allowing it to be done by policy. Additionally, a reporting requirement is added to advise the Legislature on the success of those measures and the relative strength of West Virginia’s sanctions in comparison to neighboring states.

Senate Bill 277(Birth Certificate) Allows either parent of a stillborn child to request a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth. There is a provision for a fee which would be the same as a fee for a death certificate. The bill also specifies the information that would need to be included in the certificate.

Senate Bill 286 (Immunizations) Rewrites the code section relative to compulsory immunizations for school children. The bill alters the process for obtaining a medical exemption for immunizations. It eliminates the need to process the request through the local health officer. It provides that a certificate with the signature of the personal physician of the child be provided to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources who shall grant the exemption. The Secretary has rulemaking authority to develop the certificate. The bill also creates a religious exemption for compulsory immunizations. To obtain such an exemption, an affidavit is required that includes the religious tenant that precludes the child from receiving immunizations and states that the child has seen a physician who has discussed the benefits and risks involved. The physician’s signature is required on the affidavit. Finally, the bill alters the make-up of the Immunization Advisory Committee. This committee is to advise the Secretary on the changing needs and opportunities for immunization from known diseases.

Senate Bill 295 (Medicaid) Alters the Bureau for Medical Services (Medicaid) program within the Department of Health and Human Resources. It would establish a Board of Review to review grievances of service recipients and providers. It sets forth the purpose of the Board of Review. A procedure is established to allow the Board to hear a review of any decision which a party feels is unjust. The bill would also provide that an appeal of any decision of the Board of Review may be through an appropriate Circuit Court. Additionally, the agency is required to provide a copy of the entire record to the Circuit Court. The Circuit Court is permitted to hear issues in the record but may also take additional testimony on issues beyond what is set forth in the record. The actions which the court may take include: affirming the decision of the Board of Review, remanding the matter for further proceedings or reversing the decision. The judgment of the Circuit Court is final unless reversed by the Supreme Court.

Senate Bill 332 (Tax Department Fees) Authorizes a 1% administrative fee for collection, distribution and administration of special revenue fees by the Tax Department and authorize the Tax Department to be reimbursed for fees imposed by the Enterprise Resource Planning System on transactions. The bill provides that all fees are to be retained by the Tax Department in a revolving fund for general tax administration with monies remaining in the fund on the last day of the fiscal year in excess of $3 million transferred to the General Revenue Fund. The bill also authorizes fee increases by legislative rule provided that no increase may be made within 3 years of the initial imposition of the fee or within 3 years of the most recent increase that has occurred pursuant to any provision of statute or rule.

Senate Bill 336 (Health Care Authority) Alters the powers and duties of the Health Care Authority. It would change the authority of the Health Care Authority to collect from hospitals a financial obligation based upon gross revenue to an amount based upon net revenue and would eliminate the authority of the Health Care Authority regarding rate review for hospitals.

Senate Bill 455 (DHHR Spending Authority) Increases the spending authority for the department of Health and Human Resources - Division of Human Services Health Care Provider Tax - Medicaid State Share Fund - Medical Services by $14,700,000.

Senate Bill 559 (Social Worker Qualifications) Relates to qualifications for a provisional license to practice as a social worker and adds statutory exemptions for social work licensing. It exempts professionals engaged in social work-like activities, as well as employees of the Department of Health and Human Resources also engaged in social work-like activities. For those who work for DHHR, they must first demonstrate sufficient standards of qualifications, education, training, and experience by completing a training program designed by the Department. The bill requires the Secretary of West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to promulgate rules and requires a legislative audit of the application process.

House Bill 2100 (Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable Act) Creates the Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable Act. This would allow hospital patients to designate a lay caregiver to provide aftercare assistance in the patient’s residence. The bill aims to give more patient choice in their aftercare providers by helping them select workers they are more familiar with and caregivers that know their patients’ medical situation.

House Bill 2161 (Human Trafficking - VETOED) Adopts the Uniform Act on Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking by creating a Commission on the Prevention of Human Trafficking. It will require the public posting of hotline information in certain business and public locations and make services available to victims of human trafficking. The bill will also provide victims immunity from criminal prosecution for certain crimes directly resulting from human trafficking as well as changing the definition of human trafficking. It also expands criminal remedies and enforcement tools to combat human trafficking and allows victims to petition the circuit court to vacate and expunge a conviction for certain crimes directly resulting from human trafficking.

House Bill 2496 (Interstate Medical Licensure Compact) Adopts the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. The bill aims to strengthen access to health care. The Compact provides a streamlined process that allows physicians to become licensed in multiple states, thereby enhancing the portability of a medical license and ensuring the safety of patients. The Compact creates another pathway for licensure and does not otherwise change a state's existing medical practice statutes.

House Bill 2535 (Suicide Prevention Training) Relates to suicide prevention training. The bill aims to expand the number of people who are trained in suicide prevention in order to maximize the possibility that at risk children and adults can be saved. The bill will mandate that school care personnel from the middle school to college level are trained in suicide prevention and provide that literature on the subject is handed out to children and young adults. It will also provide that discussion about preventing suicide occurs and that mental health information is readily available. All licensed medical professionals will be required to obtain suicide prevention training as part of their training.

House Bill 2595 (Out-of-State Health Care Facilities) Eliminates the out-of-state health care facilities and providers from the definition of "affected persons." The applicant would be an agency or organization representing consumers, any individual residing within the geographic area served or to be served by the applicant, any individual who regularly uses the health care facilities within that geographic area, the health care facilities located within this state which provide services similar to the services of the facility under review and which will be significantly affected by the proposed project, the health care facilities located within this state which, before receipt by the state agency of the proposal being reviewed, have formally indicated an intention to provide similar services within this state in the future, third-party payers who reimburse health care facilities within this state similar to those proposed for services, any agency that establishes rates for health care facilities within this state similar to those proposed, or organizations representing health care providers. The bill also removes out-of-state health care facilities or providers from consideration by the WV Healthcare Authority in reviewing applications for certificates of needs. Certificates of need are the first step in the process to develop any health care facility in the state of WV. Certificates of needs consider “affected persons” as people within a certain radius of the proposed destination of the new facility which could include large health care facilities in a bordering state within the geographical area.

House Bill 2648 (Epinephrine Training) Provides training for emergency administration and authority to administer epinephrine for emergency care or treatment of anaphylactic reactions anyplace where allergens may be capable of causing a severe allergic reaction. The bill provides a necessary and reasonably safe means of care for emergent situations where an allergic reaction to food, insect venom or other allergen is causing a life threatening allergic reaction, by making epinephrine auto-injectors (known commonly as epipens) available to entities and organizations where allergens may exist. These include hotels, restaurants, recreation camps, youth sports leagues, parks and resorts and sports arenas. DHHR shall promulgate legislative rules, conduct and approve education training programs, establish minimum curriculum requirements for that education, provide prescriptive authorized health care practitioners, permit acquisition and maintenance of a supply of epipens, authorize use of epipens in certain circumstances, and provide that administration of an epipen is not the practice of medicine.

House Bill 2652 (Health Care Authority) Reduces the amount of the assessment paid by hospitals to the Health Care Authority. This bill changes the formula for the assessment currently paid by hospitals to the Health Care Authority. Currently, the formula is based on gross revenues. It will be changed to net patient revenue. The effect of the change is a reduction of the assessment and a decrease in special revenue dedicated to the operations of the Health Care Authority. House Bill 2669(Tuberculosis Testing) Provides that mandatory testing for tuberculosis applies only for those students or school employees who are suspected of having the disease or who show signs or symptoms. It eliminates the tuberculosis skin test requirement for students and school employees who are at low risk for the disease. The National Center for Disease Control and Prevention no longer consider this test necessary or effective.

House Bill 2880 (Opioid Dependence Treatment Program) Creates a pilot program to assist participants in addressing their dependence on opioids by maintaining abstinence from the use of those substances and reducing recidivism. An appropriate mutual research partner or partners (either a state university or nationally recognized criminal research institute) would be selected by the Division of Corrections and the Court. This group would develop an evaluation plan for the pilot program and shall include performance measures for the pilot program. The pilot program shall include addiction treatment, including medication-assisted treatment to offenders within the criminal justice system. The court may conduct the pilot program in any circuit court that is conducting an Adult Day Court Program and shall conduct the program in up to five authorized Adult Drug Court Programs. The evaluation plan shall be in place before an enrollee can participate in the program. Once developed, the Adult Drug Court Program shall select persons who are participants who have been clinically assessed and diagnosed with opioid addiction, not to exceed two hundred individuals. In serving a treatment provider, a community addiction services provider shall: provide treatment on an integrated service delivery model; conduct additional professional comprehensive substance abuse and mental health diagnostic assessments for persons under consideration for selection purposes; determine their treatment needs; develop individualized goals and objectives with participants; provide access to the non-narcotic, long lasting antagonist therapy and provide other types of therapies. The selected research institute shall prepare a report on the finding obtained from the pilot program including data from the testing and performance measures used. Upon completion of the report, the research institute shall submit the report to the Governor, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals, the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources and the Commissioner of the Division of Corrections.

House Bill 2888 (Rotary Drum Composters) Allows the use of rotary drum composters to destroy or dispose of the carcass of any animal to prevent the spread of disease.

House Bill 2999 (Neonatal Abstinence Centers) Authorizes the creation of neonatal abstinence centers. It will also require the secretary to promulgate a licensure program and rules, require the state agency to consider neonatal abstinence care as a unique service in conducting certificate of need review and exempt neonatal abstinence centers from moratoriums on certain nursing facilities. This bill allow for the creation of neonatal abstinence centers in skilled nursing centers. It would exempt these facilities from Certificate of Need. It sets forth the type of services that may be offered by such facilities and requires the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources to develop licensing requirements. It grants rulemaking authority to the Secretary to carry out the provisions of the newly created section.

Insurance

Senate Bill 366 (WV Health Benefit Exchange) Requires the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) to post information regarding health care plans offered through the West Virginia Health Benefit Exchange on its website in a consumer friendly format. The Exchange will offer an online portal that will allow citizens to enroll in health insurance, and make information available that pertains to providers in the network, coinsurance, copayments, and cost sharing.

Senate Bill 373 (Proof of Insurance) Permits an image on a wireless communication device to be used as proof of insurance for a motor vehicle so long as the information on the image contains the same information on a certificate of insurance.

House Bill 2432 (Pharmacist Licensure Requirements) Relates to the licensure requirements to practice pharmacist care. The bill allows the Board of Pharmacy to evaluate applicants who are felons on a case by case basis. It also provides that applicants may apply no sooner than five years after a conviction. Felons involved in abuse or distribution of controlled substances may not be approved.

House Bill 2461 (Delinquency Proceeding) Clarifies that the commencement of a delinquency proceeding of an insurer-member does not operate as a stay of the exercise by a federal home loan bank of its rights regarding collateral pledged by the insurer-member to secure advances. The bill provides limitations on the voidance by the receiver of certain transfers made to a federal home loan bank. It also relates to injunctions or orders following commencement of a rehabilitation or liquidation proceeding of an insurer.

House Bill 2493 (Insurance Requirements) Relates to requirements for insurance policies and contracts. The bill intends to prohibit insurance policies and contracts providing accident and sickness insurance or direct health care services that cover anti-cancer medications from charging higher copayments, deductibles or coinsurance for orally administered anti-cancer medications that are required for anti-cancer medications administered by injection or intravenously. Certain acts to comply with the requirements are prohibited. The requirements apply to policies or contracts that are issued or renewed after January 1, 2016. The bill also allows for cost containment measures if the cost of compliance exceeds 2% of the total cost of coverage.

House Bill 2536 (Travel Insurance) Authorizes the Insurance Commissioner to issue a limited lines travel insurance producer license to a business entity. It will allow travel retailers and their employees to offer and disseminate travel insurance under the limited lines travel insurance business entity producer license. The bill also requires a licensee to maintain a register of travel retailers offering insurance on its behalf and designate a responsible individual producer.

House Bill 2811 (Physician’s Mutual Insurance Company) Deletes obsolete provisions in the West Virginia Code regarding the Physician's Mutual Insurance Company and provide that the company need not be organized as a nonprofit corporation provided that the company remain a domestic mutual insurance company owned by its policyholders.

Investments

House Bill 2201 (Net Metering) Amends and add language to West Virginia Code §24-2F-8. The language relates to providing a definition for net metering, requiring the Public Service Commission to adopt certain net metering and interconnection rules and standards, and striking deadlines for rule-making by the Public Service Commission. This is to replace a standard that was repealed in the Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act.

Labor

Senate Bill 12 (Outstanding Wages) Requires employers to pay the outstanding wages of separated employees who have either quit, resigned with notice, or were discharged by the next regular payday on which the wages would otherwise be due and payable to the employee.

Senate Bill 88 (WV Registry and Employment Screening Program) Creates the West Virginia Clearance for Access: Registry and Employment Screening program. The program will require background and fingerprint checks on individuals who are applicants for employment with direct access to patients. There is a procedure for appeal if the applicant feels the information obtained during the background check is incorrect and a provision for a 60 day conditional employment pending the results of the background check. The bill grants legislative rulemaking authority to effectuate the new article. Finally, there is a provision that will authorize the State Police and DHHR to impose fees on applicants or providers for conducting the background check, collecting and maintaining fingerprints, and for maintenance of the technology system.

Senate Bill 318 (Employee Wages) Amends the code to change the frequency with which employers must pay employees. The bill requires employers to pay employees twice every month. The current requirement is that employees be paid once in every two weeks. The bill would still permit payroll to be processed once in every two weeks but requires employees be paid at least twice every month.

Senate Bill 344 (Compensatory Damages) Establishes adequate and reasonable amounts of compensatory damages that may be awarded in statutory and common law wrongful or retaliatory discharge and other employment law claims or causes of action. This bill would affirm a duty to mitigate under all circumstances, even those in which malicious actions were taken by the employer. However, an employee under those circumstances would still be able to receive punitive, or exemplary, damages. The bill will also require a judge to make a determination on the appropriateness of reinstatement as a remedy, as opposed to front pay, prior to submission of the issue to the jury, and would thus preclude a court from leaving that issue to the jury’s determination.

Senate Bill 361 (Prevailing Wage) Requires that a prevailing hourly rate of wages as calculated by the Division of Labor be paid in construction of public improvements and requiring that the contracts let for construction of public improvement contain the prevailing wage. With respect to determination of the rate, the bill requires Workforce West Virginia, in coordination with the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research and the Center for Business and Economic Research at Marshall University, to investigate and determine the prevailing hourly rate of wages based upon the regions of this state using all appropriate economic data, including, but not limited to, the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Senate Bill 409 (“Fair and Open Competition in Governmental Construction Act) Creates the “Fair and Open Competition in Governmental Construction Act”, prohibiting project labor agreements from being apart of the competitive bid process on state and political subdivision construction projects. The bill also prohibits project labor agreements from being a circumstance for receiving a grant, tax abatement, or tax credit for construction projects.

Law Enforcement

Senate Bill 299 (State Police Retirement System) Amends current sections of the WV State Police Retirement System (Plan B) concerning disability retirements. Section 9 concerns duty disability and Section 10 concerns non-duty disability. For both types of disability, the retirement board will commence disability benefit payments starting the 1st day of the month following the Retirement Board’s approval of the disability and the trooper’s termination of employment.

Senate Bill 435 (WV Sheriff’s Bureau of Professional Standard) Creates the West Virginia Sheriff’s Bureau of Professional Standard, with membership including the Secretary of the Division of Military Affairs and Public Safety, the Executive Director of the West Virginia Sheriff’s Association and five county sheriffs. The Bureau is given the authority to appoint five sheriffs to serve, each for a two-year term, with the exception of three of the first five only serving one year. Of those members, a chair, vice chair, and secretary will be appointed. The bureau is given the authority to recommend appropriate policy and procedure, as well as propose legislative rules in regard to vehicle and uniform insignia. With this bill, sheriffs or deputies may be called upon by a sheriff of another jurisdiction for assistance if adequate resources are not present in the county of an incident. Mutual-aid agreements may be issued in a county and will remain in effect until the agreement is withdrawn in writing by the sheriff of that particular county.

Senate Bill 549 (Civilian Positions Classifications - VETOED) Creates classification for civilian positions within the West Virginia State Police forensic laboratory and authorizes the superintendent to appoint a director and manager. The bill establishes base salaries and requires a manual be provided to employees.

Liability

Senate Bill 6 (Division of Highways Audit) Requires the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to cause a performance and efficiency audit to be conducted of the Division of Highways by May 1, 2015. The audit shall cover the Division and each of its individual districts for the preceding three fiscal years. The parameters of the audit are to be set by the Post-Audit Division of the Legislative Auditor’s Office. The audit shall examine, define and determine: areas of inefficiency, better practices, better allocation of funds, savings methods and shall also examine define and determine the proper number of employees, identify unused funds, and the best use of taxpayer dollars. The bill provides that the “Principal Auditor” may not be currently auditing the Division of Highways of the State of West Virginia and may not have audited the Division of Highways for the five years preceding the submission of the bids. It also provides that the contract shall not exceed $500,000 and requires that the commission reimburse the Legislature for the cost of the audit. A final report of the audit shall be submitted to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance with a copy to the Governor on or before December 31, 2015.

Senate Bill 13 (“Open and Obvious” Doctrine) Restores the “open and obvious” doctrine abolished by the Hersh case. It establishes that a possessor of real property owes no duty of care to protect others against dangers that are open, obvious, reasonably apparent or as well known to the injured person as to the owner. The possessor of real property will not be held liable for injuries from open and obvious dangers.

Senate Bill 532 (Board of Risk and Insurance Management) Brings the clinical practice plans at the WVU, Marshall and WVSOM and the WVU Dental School under Board of Risk and Insurance Management. It provides immunity from civil liability for clinical practice plans and personnel associated with medical and dental schools at a level of coverage, which have been increased to address recognized concerns for the protection of injured parties.

House Bill 2002 (Liability Damages Standards) Changes the standards for liability damages to be based upon principles of comparative fault. The bill establishes the comparative fault standard and abolishes joint liability and implements several liability. It also establishes how to consider the fault of nonparties and how to consider the fault of settling parties. The bill provides for the use of special interrogatories as well as clarifies fault may be imputed to another person who was acting as an agent or servant of another. Additionally, the bill allows for an assessment of a percentage of fault for failing to take reasonable precautionary measures that were available. The bill precludes the allocation of fault to a person such as a seller, distributor or installer on a strict product liability theory where that person did not contribute to the alleged defect. The bill provides for the burden of proof and limitations.

House Bill 2726 (Products Liability Action) Clarifies choice of laws issues in product's liability actions. It changes the products from just being pharmaceutical drugs to being all products. The intent is to prevent nonresidents from using West Virginia court systems as a favorable system to issue liability law suits. It also expands its application to all products liability claims. The current code section states the public policy of the state to be that product liability claims brought by a nonresident against a manufacturer or distributor of a prescription drug for failure to warn shall be governed by the product liability law of the place of injury. This bill will expand that and would apply to all product liability claims.

Local Bills

House Bill 2099 (Local Levying Bodies) Extends the time of meetings for local levying bodies when meetings are delayed. This bill provides a mechanism for extending the times when circumstances are beyond the body’s control. The Secretary of State is authorized to extend the time of meetings of local levying bodies within sixty days of the original deadline and to adopt procedures and rules for approving extending time to meet as a levying body.

Military Affairs

House Bill 2098 (Federal Health Care Professionals) Authorizes health care professionals providing services to federal veteran’s affairs facilities in the state without having to obtain a license from the state licensing board. Those who already have the ability to practice in federal facilities would be able to practice at the state’s veteran’s affairs facilities without having to obtain a different license. The bill aims to allow swifter care and cut down bureaucracy.

House Bill 2224 (Military Reenactors) Ensures that military reenactors are not violating the provision of West Virginia Code that prohibits unlawful military organizations. The bill provides that groups and individuals who drill, perform, or parade at public ceremonies, including funerals, are not violating the provision prohibiting unlawful military organizations. This includes gatherings for historical, fictional, or artistic purposes.

Mines and Minerals

Senate Bill 357 (Coal Jobs and Safety Act of 2015) Provides civil penalties for violations of the Logging Sediment Control Act with the newly-revised section pertaining to both criminal and civil offenses and penalties for violations of the Logging Sediment Control Act. The bill makes it illegal for those undertaking timbering operations to "fail to reclaim the real property in accordance with the best management practices set forth by the Division of Forestry," and otherwise reduces civil penalties to $500 for this new offense and other related offenses already set forth in the same section. The legislation alters neither the misdemeanor status of criminal violations, nor the resulting criminal fines ranging from $250-$500.

House Bill 2627 (Property Crimes Protections - VETOED) Provides protection against property crimes committed against coal mines, utilities and other industrial facilities. The bill adds waste management facilities and timber operations to the protected facilities and provides for criminal penalties for the removal, destruction, or damage of real or personal property that impairs the normal operation any equipment or system used for the protection of health and safety of any person. These facilities that store electricity, natural gas, oil, coal, timber, timber processing, water, wastewater, storm water, telecommunications or cable service will now be protected. This will also increase fines and criminal penalties for those who knowingly and willfully damage certain personal property by creating 4 categories with certain specifications.

Municipalities

Senate Bill 323 (Municipal Home Rule Eligibility) Extends municipal home rule eligibility to all Class I, Class II and Class III municipalities. It allows for four Class IV municipalities to participate in the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program on July 1, 2015. All Class IV municipalities would be eligible to participate in the program as of July 1, 2017. It provides for the Pilot Program to continue until July 1, 2019. The Municipal Home Rule Board is continued for five years. The Board would be required to vote to approve the participation of Class IV municipalities. Any municipality that desires to participate in home rule must submit a written plan to the Municipal Home Rule Board detailing: the specific laws, acts, resolutions, policies, rules or regulations which prevent the municipality from carrying out its duties in the most cost-efficient, effective and timely manner; the problems created by the laws, acts, resolutions, policies, rules or regulations; the proposed solutions to the problems, including all proposed changes to ordinances, acts, resolutions, rules and regulations; and a written opinion, by an attorney licensed to practice in West Virginia, stating that the proposed written plan does not violate the provisions of this section. Prior to submitting a plan to the Board, municipalities must hold a public hearing on the plan and make a copy of the plan available for public inspection at least 30 days prior to the public hearing. Municipalities must follow the same procedure prior to enacting an ordinance, act, resolution, rule or regulation based on the municipality’s approved home rule plan. Municipalities would no longer be required to obtain the Board’s approval prior to enacting ordinances relating to previously approved plans.

Senate Bill 481 (Municipal Police and Firemen Pension Investment Authority) Amends current state code relating to investment authority of municipal policemen and firemen’s pension and relief funds. It authorizes the delegation of investment authority, as well as requires diversification of investments. The bill also provides requirements to follow for investments.

Senate Bill 483 (Municipal Police and Firemen Pension Trustees) Amends current state code relating to the election of trustees for the municipal policemen or firemen’s pension and relief fund boards. It would allow members of the board of trustees who retire during their term to continue to serve the remainder of their terms. It also allows the board to continue to elect its members until there are no more beneficiaries to be paid for funds that have closed. With this bill, trustees may be retirees, as well as members of the paid police or fire department.

Senate Bill 518 (County and Municipal Development Authority Investing) Allows counties and municipal development authorities to invest funds that they receive as a result of selling, leasing, or disposing of all or parts of its real or personal property. The manner in which funds are invested must be determined by the authority’s board of directors and what they think to be in the best interest of the authority.

Natural Resources

Senate Bill 261 (Dam Owners) Revises the definition of “owner” of a dam to exclude the owner of the land upon which a dam is maintained by a sponsoring agency from responsibility for repairs, maintenance or damage arising from regular operation of the dam, and further protecting the owner of the land on which a dam is located from liabilities for any of the deficiencies of the dam, as long as the owner of the dam does not intentionally damage or interfere with the regular operation of the same.

Senate Bill 423 (Aboveground Storage Tank Act) Amends the Aboveground Storage Tank Act to now focus on tanks with a capacity of 10,000 gallons or above within zones of critical concern of public water utilities. The owner or operation of a tank must certify that the tank is in compliance with an approved industry standard or program or that it meets the standards developed by the DEP. This bill also establishes spill prevention and response plans.

House Bill 2515 (Elk Restoration) The bill requires the Division of Natural Resources to take an active role in the reintroduction of the elk species to the state. The bill establishes a fine for the illegal taking of elk. The bill makes findings and provides for rule-making. The bill requires hunters to electronically register the taken wildlife in lieu of its delivery to an official checking station.

Parks and Recreation

Senate Bill 508 (Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority) Reorganizes the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority, structuring the authority as a multi-county joint development entity. It eliminates the existence of Authority rangers as a police force and authorizes the authority to contract the DNR to have natural resources police officers as law-enforcement. The bill removes all bonding provisions, removes legislative rule-making authority, and defines twelve misdemeanor offenses by users and participants. The bill amends code relating to liability. It provides methods for financial oversight of the Authority, establishes procedures for purchasing and bidding, prohibits conflicts of interest and self-dealing in contracting, and provides for civil remedies for violation of the purchasing and conflict of interest sections.

Professions and Occupations

Senate Bill 106 (Sanitary Boards) Provides that a sanitary board is not required to have a registered professional engineer serving on the board if the board is supervising construction of a project for which a registered professional engineer is under contract.

Senate Bill 378 (Electrician License Renewal) Allows electricians previously licensed by the State Fire Marshall that did not renew his or her electrician’s license to renew without retesting so long as the previous license had not been revoked and that the applicant pays double the current fee.

Senate Bill 389 (Board of Registration for Professional Engineers) Changes the time period of renewal from fiscal year to calendar year relating to the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers. It authorizes renewal notifications to be made by mail or electronically. It provides for the reinstatement of nonrenewal licenses and authorizes annual or biennial renewal periods.

House Bill 2702 (Service Personnel Class Titles) Redefines the service personnel class titles of early childhood classroom assistant teachers to smooth the transition of former early childhood aides to this new classification of school service personnel. The changes include protections from reduction in force or transfer for these aides eligible for full retirement benefits before July 1, 2020 to create vacancy for less senior early childhood classroom assistant teacher. It also requires an aide who becomes employed as early childhood classroom assistant teacher to hold certain multi-classification status and includes early childhood assistant classroom assistant teacher in same classification category as aides.

House Bill 2755 (Suicide Prevention Training) Requires various professionals who provide mental health-related services, including psychologists, licensed school psychologists, marriage and family therapists, professional clinical counselors and clinical social workers who begin graduate study on or after January 1, 2016 to complete a minimum number of fifteen contact hours of course work in suicide assessment, treatment and management before that person may be issued a license. The bill also requires a person licensed in these professions or an applicant for licensure who begins graduated study prior to January 1, 2016 to take a six hour continuing education course in suicide assessment, treatment and management in order to renew that person's license.

Property

Senate Bill 3 (Real Property Liability) Allows a possessor of real property, including an owner, lessee or other lawful occupant, to owe no duty of care to a trespasser except in those circumstances where a common-law right-of-action existed as of the effective date of this section, including the duty to refrain from willfully or wantonly causing the trespasser injury. A possessor of real property may use justifiable force to repel a criminal trespasser. This bill does not increase the liability of any possessor of real property and does not affect any immunities from or defenses to liability established by another section of this code or available at common law to which a possessor of real property may be entitled.

Senate Bill 418 (Trustee Sale of Real Property) Amends §38-1-7 to disallow, in the case of a trustee sale of real property, that the trustee’s sale failed to bring the fair market value to the property. This is action as a defense in actions to recover a deficiency judgment.

Senate Bill 489 (Real Property Civil Actions) extends certain existing limits on the filing of civil actions to those actions that arise from the actual surveying of real property.

Public Employee

Senate Bill 302(State Retirement Plans) Amends the provisions which disqualify a member for public retirement plan benefits. It adds the latest plan put under the administration of CPRB, the Municipal Police Officers and Firefighters Retirement System and clarifies that people who transferred from the Teachers' Deferred Compensation to the Teachers' Retirement System and whose benefits have been terminated for less than honorable service may not be refunded any transferred vested employer contributions.

Senate Bill 342(CPRB Error Corrections) Attempts to make consistent the provisions concerning errors made by employee, employer, retiree or the Board that reflect on a retirement. This bill addresses all plans administered by the Board.

Prescriptions and Medication

House Bill 2776 (Hydrocodone Combination Drugs Prescriptions - VETOED) Allows physician assistants, advance practice registered nurses and optometrists to prescribe hydrocodone combination drugs for a 72 hour period. The federal government moved hydrocodone combination drugs to Schedule II from Schedule III. As a result, these disciplines are now precluded from prescribing these drugs whereas they were permitted to do so prior to the schedule change.

Retirement

Senate Bill 514 (Municipal Police and Firemen’s Pension and Relief Funds) Amends current code relating to the investment of funds by municipal policemen and firemen’s pension and relief funds. It requires that the Municipal Pensions Oversight Board review the investment performance of each municipal fund. If the board fails for three consecutive years to comply with investment provisions established by code, the MPOB may require the board to invest its money with the Investment Management Board in order for the plan to receive its share in the additional premium tax on fire and casualty insurance policies.

Senate Bill 515 (Municipal Pensions Oversight Board) Amends current code relating to the Municipal Pensions Oversight Board. The bill allows the board to invest funds it maintains with the Board of Treasury Investments or the Investment Management Board.

Senate Bill 529 (PRS, SPRS, TRS Benefits and Costs) Relates to the benefits and costs for certain members of the West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System, State Police Retirement System, and Teachers Retirement System. It calculates the final average salary and service credit for certain public employees. The bill authorizes the purchase of military service for certain members of the West Virginia Employees Retirement System and Teachers Retirement System and provides military service credit for certain members of the system. It increases the contribution rate and years of contributing service required for certain public employees to qualify for certain annuities. Accrued annual sick leave of certain employees participating in the retirement systems may not be applied for retirement service credit. The bill also allows, for a limited time, certain members of the Teacher Retirement System who transferred from the Teachers’ Defined Contribution System to buy, with interest, their full service credit in the Teachers Retirement System.

>House Bill 2505 (DSRS, MPFRS, and EMSRS) Clarifies that members of DSRS, MPFRS and EMSRS first employed in covered employment shall participate in only one retirement system administered by CPRB in which the member has the earliest hire date. The bill specifies that members of PERS, State Police (Plan B) and TRS employed in an additional job in DSRS, MPFRS or EMSRS shall participate in and abide by the concurrent employment provisions of said system administered by CPRB.

House Bill 2507 (WV Municipal Police and Firefighters Retirement System) Provides definitions for municipal fire fighters and municipal police officers under the West Virginia Municipal Police and Firefighters Retirement System. It also provides that if members are eligible for retirement under the West Virginia Deputy Retirement System or the West Virginia Emergency Medical Services Retirement System that they must participate in only one system under the board. The retirement system for which the earliest date of hire will be the system that they retire under.

Roads

Senate Bill 407 (State Safety Oversight Agency) Creates a State Safety Oversight Agency to oversee the fixed guideway public transportation systems in West Virginia that are not regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration. The bill ensures compliance with 49 U.S.C. §5329 and designates the Division of Public Transit as the State Safety Oversight Agency. The bill clarifies that the agency should be financially and legally independent from any from any public transportation entity that the agency oversees.

Rules

Senate Bill 140 (Rule-Making, Legislative) Amends the state Administrative Procedures Act. The bill provides that an agency can make purely technical amendments by simply filing them with the Secretary of State. The bill also provides that an agency’s rules are void if the agency ceases to exist. The bill requires that an agency file all sections of the proposed rule when proposing amendments to an existing rule and requires that a strike through version be provided. The bill now requires an agency filing an emergency rule to include a listing of state agencies, professions, business and other identifiable interest groups who may be affected by the rule, but clarifies that a good faith failure to provide the list is not a basis for the Secretary of State to refuse to approve the emergency rule. This bill also makes rules effective from filing by removing the language stating that the rule is effective thirty days from filing the approved rule in the State Register.

Senate Bill 142 (Rule-Making, Department of Administration) Amends the code relating generally to promulgation of administrative rules by the Department of Administration; legislative mandate or authorization for promulgation of certain legislative rules by various executive or administrative agencies of the state; authorizing certain agencies to promulgate certain legislative rules in the form that the rules were filed in the State Register; authorizing certain agencies to promulgate certain legislative rules with various modifications presented to and recommended by the Legislative Rule-Making Review Committee; authorizing the Department of Administration to promulgate a legislative rule relating to Purchasing Division; authorizing the Department of Administration to promulgate a legislative rule relating to state-owned vehicles; authorizing the Department of Administration to promulgate a legislative rule relating to the state plan for the operation of the West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property; authorizing the Consolidated Public Retirement Board to promulgate a legislative rule relating to refund, reinstatement, retroactive service, loan and employer error interest factors; authorizing the Consolidated Public Retirement Board to promulgate a legislative rule relating to Deputy Sheriffs Retirement System; authorizing the Consolidated Public Retirement Board to promulgate a legislative rule relating to service credit for accrued and unused sick and annual leave; and authorizing the Office of Technology to promulgate a legislative rule relating to the procedures for sanitization, retirement and disposition of information technology equipment.

Senate Bill 170 (Rule-Making, Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training) Authorizes the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training to promulgate a new rule being proposed by the OMHST addressing safety at quarries. The OMHST does not currently have a rule related to quarries. The proposed rule sets forth standards for the supervision of inexperienced workers, including training and drug testing; regulates all aspects of the quarry, including all surface, underground mining, structures and other facilities at the quarry. It requires quarry maps be maintained and updated, provides for air quality testing, and addresses drilling, explosives and blasting and haulage materials. The rule further has extensive regulations pertaining to electrical work at quarries, the handling of compressed gases, welding and uses of all equipment at a quarry site. The rule contains regulations on required safety measures on equipment, personal protective equipment and clothing and first aid training. The rule requires all independent contractors to register with the OMHST and designate one supervisor on site. The rule further requires construction operations on quarry sites be OSHA compliant. Finally, the rule provides extensive requirements to be certified as a quarry supervisor.

Senate Bill 175 (Rule-Making, DHHR) Amends the code relating generally to the promulgation of administrative rules by the Department of Health and Human Resources. It will allow legislative mandate or authorization for the promulgation of certain legislative rules by various executive or administrative agencies of the state, authorize certain of the agencies to promulgate certain legislative rules in the form that the rules were filed in the State Register, authorize certain of the agencies to promulgate certain legislative rules with various modifications presented to and recommended by the Legislative Rule-Making Review Committee, authorize the Department of Health and Human Resources to promulgate a legislative rule relating to public water systems, and authorize the Department of Health and Human Resources to promulgate a legislative rule relating to chronic pain management clinic licensure. The bill will also authorize the Department of Health and Human Resources to promulgate a legislative rule relating to the Fatality and Mortality Review Team, authorize the Department of Health and Human Resources to promulgate a legislative rule relating to medication administration and performance of health maintenance tasks by approved medication assistive personnel, authorize the Department of Health and Human Resources to promulgate a legislative rule relating to the nurse aid abuse and neglect registry, authorize the Department of Health and Human Resources to promulgate a legislative rule relating to nursing home licensure, and authorize the Department of Health and Human Resources to promulgate a legislative rule relating to the statewide trauma/emergency care system.

Senate Bill 182 (Rule-Making, Military Affairs and Public Safety) Amends the code relating generally to the promulgation of administrative rules by the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. It will allow legislative mandate or authorization for the promulgation of certain legislative rules by various executive or administrative agencies of the state, authorize certain of the agencies to promulgate certain legislative rules as amended by the Legislature, authorize certain of the agencies to promulgate certain legislative rules in the form that the rules were filed in the State Register, and authorize certain of the agencies to promulgate certain legislative rules with various modifications presented to and recommended by the Legislative Rule-Making Review Committee. It will also authorize certain of the agencies to promulgate certain legislative rules with various modifications, authorize State Police to promulgate a legislative rule relating to the regulations and procedures pertaining to the West Virginia DNA databank, authorize the State Fire Commission to promulgate a legislative rule relating to volunteer firefighters’ training, equipment and operating standards and authorize the State Fire Marshal to promulgate a legislative rule relating to supervision of fire protection work.

Senate Bill 187 (Rule-Making, Department of Revenue) Amends the code relating generally to the promulgation of administrative rules by the Department of Revenue. It will allow legislative mandate or authorization for the promulgation of certain legislative rules by various executive or administrative agencies of the state, authorize certain of the agencies to promulgate certain legislative rules as amended by the Legislature, authorize certain of the agencies to promulgate certain legislative rules in the form that the rules were filed in the State Register, authorize certain of the agencies to promulgate certain legislative rules with various modifications presented to and recommended by the Legislative Rule-Making Review Committee, authorize the Racing Commission to promulgate a legislative rule relating to thoroughbred racing and authorize the State Tax Department to promulgate a legislative rule relating to appointment of special assessors by State Tax Commissioner. The bill will also authorize the Insurance Commissioner to promulgate a legislative rule relating to recognizing annuity mortality tables for use in determining reserve liabilities for annuities, authorize the Insurance Commissioner to promulgate a legislative rule relating to annuity disclosure, authorize the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission to promulgate a legislative rule relating to nonintoxicating beer licensing and operations procedures and authorize the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission to promulgate a legislative rule relating to private club licensing.

Senate Bill 192 (Rule-Making, DMV)Authorizes technical corrections and updates to driver’s license examinations and the issuance of driver’s licenses. Substantive changes include: permitting a valid U.S. Passport or a military identification card to be considered instead of a birth certificate and requiring completion of a Gender Designation Form as proscribed by the DMV Commissioner instead of a court order, in cases in which an applicant wants to change the gender on a driver’s license or identification card. It will require two documents verifying residency and require a minimum of 50 hours of behind the wheel instruction with a minimum of ten hours of nighttime driving, instead of only 30 hours of behind the wheel instruction. It also adds that an applicant may choose a driver’s license or identification card that is either for federal use or not for federal use. The bill directs the DMV to send an application for renewal to each licensee at least 90 days, instead of 30 days, via first class mail and permitting DMV to do so by electronic means instead of by regular mail. It eliminates the prohibition that the DMV may not issue a new driver’s license to the licensee out of state. The bill permits the DMV to issue a non-transferable, temporary driver’s license for 60 days, instead of 14 days and eliminates the requirement that a temporary driver’s license be marked not valid for transfer to another state or jurisdiction. The bill will give the DMV discretion to issue or renew a license online if the last license was obtained in person at a DMV office and the legal name and address remained unchanged. It will remove from the list of acceptable forms of proof of identity: driver’s licenses and identification cards and U.S. Uniform Service Identification and Privilege photo cards, but will add a valid military identification card with an expiration date issued by the United States Department of Defense for active duty, reserve or retired military personnel containing a digitized photo and the holder's full legal name. It will remove permission to use an expired passport as proof of legal presence in the U.S.; requiring, instead of just permitting, the DMV to require verification of any submitted documents and the applicant’s legal status by the United States Citizen and Immigration Service before a driver’s license or identification card is issued. For a motorcycle license, It will require 50 hours, instead of just 30 hours, of behind the wheel driving experience and that a commercial driver’s license application also include a Medical Examiners Certificate (Department of Transportation Medical Card) unless an exemption exists requiring, instead of just permitting, the DMV to cancel a commercial driver’s license if an expired Medical Card is not replaced with a current one within 30 days. The bill also states that a commercial driver’s license whose privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle has been downgraded to a Class E driver’s license due to an expired medical examination certificate has two years to acquire a valid medical examination certificate and upgrade back to a CDL without retesting and if a driver has been downgraded longer than two years, retesting is required for both the written and road skills in order to requalify for a CDL.

Senate Bill 195 (Rule-Making, Conservation) Authorizes the Conservation Committee to promulgate a legislative rule relating to financial assistance programs.

Senate Bill 199 (Rule-Making Professional Engineers) Modifies the current legislative rule that regulates Examination, Licensure and Practice of Professional Engineers. The modifications to the current rule series: amends the definition section to remove antiquated terms and add a definition for “Status”; professional engineer applications must be submitted 90 days prior to desired exam date; engineer intern applicants who graduated from a four-year engineering technology program may only be certified after presenting evidence of two years’ work experience; updates the Examinations section to comply with national requirements; temporary permits are no longer issued by the board; previously renewals received from July 1st through September 30th rendered the registration valid upon payment of a late fee. The deadline is now July 1st-July 31st. Any renewal postmarked or submitted online after August 1st will be rejected and the registration shall be re-designated as lapsed without further action by the Board; Renewals may now be mailed or submitted online. A new fee for “Paper Processing” of renewal applications is provided for, amount “as stated on renewal form”. A new fee for FOIA requests is created.

House Bill 2233 (Rule-Making, Legislative) Authorizes the Legislative Rule-Making Review Committee, with the assistance of the Legislative Auditor’s Office, to review any interpretive, procedural, and current legislative rule to determine if it is achieving its purpose. It also requires the Legislative Rule-Making Committee to make recommendations to the applicable agency or board and the Joint Committee on Government and Finance for amendment or repeal of the rule.

House Bill 2283 (Rule-Making, DEP) Authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection to promulgate legislative rules in regards to new stationary sources. These rules may address permits for construction and major modification of major stationary sources for the prevention of significant deterioration of air quality. The bill also allows the Department to promulgate rules for standards of performance for new stationary sources, for regulation of air pollution from hazardous waste facilities, for operating permits, and emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants. It also provides for the awarding of grants and promulgation of rules relation to waste management structure and facilities. House Bill 2892 (Rule-Making, Various Agencies) Authorizes the following legislative rules: Higher Education Policy Commission, Capital Project Management, Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship Program, Nursing Scholarship Program, and WV Council for Community and Technical College Education.

Taxation

Senate Bill 398 (Medicaid Upper Payment Limit) Modifies the expiration date of an upper payment limit in the state Medicaid program from June 30, 2015 to June 30, 2016. It also adjusts the tax rate from .62% to .72%.

Senate Bill 502 (Surface Mining Reclamation) Clarifies that reclamation of remediation of surface mining performed prior to July 13, 2013 will not be granted a tax credit unless a written application for the tax credit was submitted to the Tax Commissioner prior to September 1, 2014.

Senate Bill 583 (Health Care Provider Tax Rate) Changes the health care provider tax rate on the providers of certain nursing facility services. It changes the rate from 5.5% of gross receipts to 5.72%. The rate will be increased on October 1, 2015 and shall be decreased back to 5.5% on June 30, 2016.

House Bill 2462 (Tax Proceeds of Certain Deposits) The bill intends to reduce the amount of sales tax proceeds deposited into the School Major Improvement Fund and School Construction Fund. It seeks to reduce the amount to the School Improvement Fund by $2,000,004 for fiscal years 2016 through 2020. The School Construction Fund would be reduced by $6 million for fiscal years 2016 through 2020. The bill also makes small changes to language to make it consistent with modern bill drafting practices.

House Bill 2562 (Base Tax Revenue Amount)Authorizes recalculation of the base tax revenue amount, subject to specified limitations, for sales tax increment financing districts. It will also specify that, if sales tax increment financing district monthly revenue is insufficient to recover the base tax revenue amount attributable to that month, the deficit carries forward to subsequent months until paid, but will be discharged on the first day of the next fiscal year.

House Bill 2877 (Tax Liability Threshold) Raises the tax liability threshold at which taxpayers must file returns electronically or pay by electronic funds transfer to $25,000. The higher threshold will apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2016 and to returns filed on or after January 1, 2016.

House Bill 2968 (Nonprofit Youth Revenue Exemption) Implements the constitutional amendment entitled the Nonprofit Youth Organization Revenue Exemption approved by the voters in last year’s general election. The amendment authorized an exemption from property tax for property owned by a nonprofit organization with a primary purpose: the development of youth through adventure, educational or recreational activities for young people and others, which property contains facilities built at a cost of not less than $100 million and which is capable of supporting additional activities within the region and the state regardless of whether the property is being used for the nonprofit purpose. The legislature will adopt enabling legislation authorizing the exemption with limitations, conditions and requirements that protect local and regionally located businesses from unfair competition and unreasonable loss of revenue. This bill sets the following conditions and limitations requires that a fee of 1.25% of gross revenues from activities or uses of the property be paid to the Sheriff of the county where the property is located from activities outside of the nonprofit organization primary purpose, for profit, and which result in unrelated business taxable income and authorizes only certain activities or uses that are outside of the nonprofit organizations primary purpose to qualify for the exemption.

House Bill 3006 (Interest Rates Applicable to Overpayments and Deficiencies) Provides that for tax years beginning after December 31, 2016, the Tax Commissioner would fix the interest rate that is applicable to overpayments and deficiencies as the adjusted prime rate charged by banks. The rate would be set based upon the adjusted prime rate on November 1st of the preceding year and will be effective January 1st. Currently, the interest rate for underpayments and deficiencies is based upon the adjusted prime rate charged by banks with a floor of 8%.

Technology

Senate Bill 488 (Broadband Deployment Council) Reestablishes and modifies the Broadband Deployment Council. It establishes membership to thirteen members with nine members being public members. The Council is given the authority to explore ways to access broadband services, and is required to advise the Legislature on bringing different broadband services to unserved and underserved areas.

Senate Bill 576 (Internet Protocol-enabled Service and Voice over Internet Protocol-enabled Service) Prohibits the Public Service Commission’s jurisdiction of the Internet Protocol-enabled Service and Voice over Internet Protocol-enabled service. It provides that the Commission has no jurisdiction to review or approve any transaction involving a telephone company if all of the entities involved in the transaction are under common ownership.

House Bill 2878 (Electronic Business Portal) Requires the Secretary of State to create a single electronic business portal that individuals and businesses can use to complete and file forms, pay taxes and fees and learn about the requirements for doing business in West Virginia. It also requires the Secretary of State to develop a call center to answer questions. Provisions are made for electronic filings by city, county and other local governments.

Uniform Laws

Senate Bill 292 (Checks and Money Order Sales) Amends a current section involving checks and money order sales, money transmission services, transportation and currency exchange by establishing an expiration date of December 31 for all licenses issued under this article. The bill also adds a new requirement that licensees must give advance notice of at least 60 days to the Commissioner of any proposed changes in control or change in principals.

Senate Bill 360 (County Circuit Clerks) Repeals two outdated sections of code dealing with a county circuit clerk's responsibilities. It requires a county circuit clerk to keep indices to such book to reference orders, records or entries. Failure to do so is punished by forfeiture of $20 - $100. The bill also requires Clerk of the Circuit Court to report, at the end of every term of court, a list of all claims from the court entered against the State Treasury and to keep a record book thereof. Failure to do so is punished by a forfeiture of $20-$100.

Senate Bill 510 (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act) Amends current code for the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. It establishes procedures for processing international child support cases using language for the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. It establishes uniform enforcement of American child support orders to ensure that children will receive the financial support due from parents wherever the parents reside. The bill provides guidelines and procedure for registration, enforcement, and modification of foreign support orders from countries that are parties to the convention.

Utilities

Senate Bill 234 (Political Subdivisions Water and Sewer Utilities) Provides that in situations when a municipality owns a gas system, electrical system, waterworks system, a sewer system, or other public utility; sixty percent of the members of the governing body may sell or lease system, so long as publication of notice of hearing before the governing body of the municipality in a newspaper published and in general circulation in the municipality. If an offer to buy such utility has been made, it requires the approval by sixty percent of the members of that governing body. The bill will provide bondholders a recourse in the event of insufficiencies in bond revenue or bond reserve accounts. It amends the code by allowing the Public Service Commission to assist any public service board upon written request and allows public service districts with an annual gross revenue of three million dollars or more from its combined services to create and enforce all rules required in connection with the enactment or amendment of rates, fees, and charges of the district. It will also require adequate public notice of changes to rates, fees, and charges by publication and details what is required to be within said publication. The bill amends the code to provide that a public service district with an annual combined gross revenue of three million dollars or more may borrow money, enter into contracts for design, engineering or feasibility studies. It also provides that upon written request of the governing body of a political subdivision that operates a water, sewer, or storm water utility, the Public Service Commission will create a division which will provide legal, operation, engineering, financial and rate making advice to the political subdivision, adds language the expressly define the term “governing body” to mean the municipal body charged with the authority and responsibility of enacting ordinances of the municipality. Also, it provides that the jurisdiction of the commission over municipal water, sewer, or storm water utilities and public service districts providing a separate service or a combination of services have a combined gross revenue of three million dollars or more is limited to: general supervision of public utilities, regulation of measurements, practices and acts regulation of system of accounts, submission of information to the commission regarding rates, tolls, charges or practices, authority to subpoena witnesses, take testimony and administer oaths to witness in any proceeding before the commission, investigate and resolve disputes involving political subdivisions of the state regarding inter-utility agreements, and provides that customers of storm water utilities may bring complaints regarding the commission. The commission jurisdiction over municipal water, sewer, or storm water utilities and public service districts with combined gross revenues of three million dollars or more shall be limited to the above mentioned list. It amends the code to expressly state that the general powers of the commission under this section do not apply to municipal water, sewer, or storm water utilities and public service districts with a combined gross revenue of three million dollars or more. It amends the code to expressly state that the rate change rules in this section does not apply to those entitles that have an annual gross revenue of three million dollars or more. The bill amends the code to provide that all rates and charges shall be based upon cost or estimated cost of service and provides that the forty-five day waiting period may be waived by public vote of the governing body. The bill also expressly exempts a political subdivision of the state providing water, sewer or storm water services and public service districts with an annual revenue of less than three million dollars from this section. It requires that water, sewer or storm water utilities that are political subdivisions that wish to pursue construction projects not in the ordinary course of business provide notice to customers and affected citizens. The bill will provide requirements for providing adequate public notice and requirements to the contents of the notice and provides that all public utilities shall file with the commission.

Senate Bill 310 (Business and Occupation Tax Exemptions) Amends the provisions of the WV Code relating to exemptions to the state business and occupation tax. The bill would exempt nonprofit water and sewer companies governed by the Public Service Commission and organized and operated for the exclusive benefit of their members.

Senate Bill 390 (Public Service Commission Infrastructure Program) Allows natural gas utilities to apply to the Public Service Commission to implement an infrastructure program that would replace, upgrade, and expand. The bill would permit accelerated collection of rates in compensation for the completion of the projects, and would allow cost recovery to the entities involved without the necessity of waiting for a full base rate tariff filing. The bill also provides for an application process, a standard for decision by the Public Service Commission, and makes certain legislative findings.

Vehicles

Senate Bill 248 (Car Insurance) Requires a person involved in a car crash to provide certain insurance and car owner information. Under current law, the driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury, death or damage to any vehicle is required to give, to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with, certain information. This information includes his or her name, address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving. The driver is also required to exhibit his or her driver’s license to the persons involved in the accident. This bill will add a requirement to provide proof of insurance and the policy number for the vehicle, as well as the name and address of the owner of the vehicle, if such owner is different from the driver.

Senate Bill 403 (Vehicle Lien) Increases the period of time during which a lien noted on the face of a certificate of title to any vehicle is valid from its current ten to fifteen years. The bill allows for the lien to be valid for an additional period of five years from the date of each refilling in cases where the lienholder chooses to refile the lien or encumbrance. The bill also clarifies that the lienholder is not required have consent from the owner to refile.

Senate Bill 453 (Vehicle Dealers, Distributors, Wholesalers, and Manufacturers) Amends and reenacts sections of code relating to motor vehicle dealers, distributors, wholesalers, and manufacturers. It modifies the terms relating to the cancellation of dealer agreements and modifies the circumstances that do not constitute as being a good cause to end an agreement. It clarifies the standard of proof in termination cancellation and nonrenewal disputes. The bill modifies compensation terms for when contracts are discontinued and sets interest rates for when payments to dealers from the manufacturers or distributors are untimely. The number of days noticed that is afforded to dealers should a manufacturer or distributor not approve a successor dealer is increased to 180 days. Air miles shall be used to determine the distances between dealerships. This bill restricts manufacturers and distributors from using a dealership’s property and also adds conduct that is to be considered prohibited practice.

Senate Bill 486 (WV Wing of Civil Air Patrol) Removes the requirement for vehicles operated by the West Virginia Wing of Civil Air Patrol to display the “State Car” license plate. It permits the DMV Commissioner to design a special plate for the Civil Air Patrol. The DMV may charge $10 per plate to cover expenses.

House Bill 2148 (Open Alcoholic Beverage Container) Prohibits the consumption of an alcoholic beverage as well as the possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle. It provides definitions and clarifies what constitutes as an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. The bill also provides the penalties for breaking these provisions and the arrest procedures. It clarifies and provides exemptions to this law as well.

House Bill 2790 (Minimum Responsibility Limits of Car Insurance) Give effect to the explicit terms of a bargained-for motor vehicle liability policy where certain drivers are excluded from coverage. Specifically, this bill is intended to overturn Jones v. Motorists Mutual Insurance Company, 177 W. Va. 763 (1987) and that it requires insurers to nevertheless provide minimum financial responsibility limits coverage for drivers who are excluded from coverage under the terms of a motor vehicle liability policy. It will make certain changes with respect to the required proof of financial responsibility required for motor vehicles registered in this state. It also increases the minimum proof of financial responsibility to respond for liability for damages incurred in automobile accidents. It also provides that insurers are not required to offer new or additional uninsured and underinsured motor vehicle coverage’s when liability coverage on a policy is increased solely because of the new increased requirements of proof of financial responsibility.

Wrap-up, 2017 Edition:
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 7 (04/01/17) - Web Version
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 6 (03/27/17) - Web Version
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 5 (03/17/17) - Web Version
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 4 (03/10/17) - Web Version
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 3 (03/06/17) - Web Version
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 2 (02/24/17) - Web Version
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 1 (02/17/17) - Web Version

Wrap-up, 2016 Edition:
Vol. XXVII, Issue 6 (03/07/16) - Web Version
Vol. XXVII, Issue 5 (03/03/16) - Web Version
Vol. XXVII, Issue 4 (02/23/16) - Web Version
Vol. XXVII, Issue 3 (02/12/16) - Web Version
Vol. XXVII, Issue 2 (02/05/16) - Web Version
Vol. XXVII, Issue 1 (01/29/16) - Web Version

Wrap-up, 2015 Edition:
Vol. XXVI, Final Issue (June 2015) - Web Version
Vol. XXVI, Issue 6 (03/06/15) - Web Version
Vol. XXVI, Issue 5 (02/27/15) - Web Version
Vol. XXVI, Issue 4 (02/20/15) - Web Version
Vol. XXVI, Issue 3 (02/13/15) - Web Version
Vol. XXVI, Issue 2 (02/06/15) - Web Version
Vol. XXVI, Issue 1 (01/28/15) - Web Version

Wrap-up, 2014 Edition:
Vol. XXV, Issue 9 (03/19/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 8 (03/07/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 7 (02/28/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 6 (02/21/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 5 (02/14/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 4 (02/07/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 3 (01/31/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 2 (01/24/14) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXV, Issue 1 (01/17/14) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2013 Edition:
Vol. XXIV, Final Issue (07/25/13) - Download
Vol. XXIV, Issue 8 (04/19/13) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIV, Issue 7 (04/12/13) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIV, Issue 6 (04/05/13) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIV, Issue 5 (03/28/13) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIV, Issue 4 (03/22/13) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIV, Issue 3 (03/08/13) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIV, Issue 2 (03/01/13) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIV, Issue 1 (02/21/13) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2012 Edition:
Vol. XXIII, Final Issue (04/24/12) - Download
Vol. XXIII, Issue 8 (03/07/12) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIII, Issue 7 (02/29/12) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIII, Issue 6 (02/22/12) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIII, Issue 5 (02/15/12) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIII, Issue 4 (02/08/12) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIII, Issue 3 (02/01/12) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIII, Issue 2 (01/26/12) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXIII, Issue 1 (01/19/12) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2011 Edition:
Vol. XXII, Redistricting Issue (09/13/11) - Download
Vol. XXII, Final Issue (04/27/11) - Download
Vol. XXII, Issue 8 (03/09/11) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXII, Issue 7 (03/02/11) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXII, Issue 6 (02/23/11) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXII, Issue 5 (02/16/11) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXII, Issue 4 (02/09/11) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXII, Issue 3 (02/02/11) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXII, Issue 2 (01/26/11) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 (01/19/11) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2010 Edition:
Vol. XXI, Final Issue (04/07/10) - Download
Vol. XXI, Issue 8 (03/10/10) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXI, Issue 7 (03/03/10) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXI, Issue 6 (02/24/10) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXI, Issue 5 (02/17/10) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXI, Issue 4 (02/10/10) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXI, Issue 3 (02/03/10) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXI, Issue 2 (01/27/10) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XXI, Issue 1 (01/20/10) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2009 Editions:
Vol. XX, Final Issue Addendum (06/11/09) - Download
Vol. XX, Final Issue (05/18/09) - Download
Vol. XX, Issue 8 (04/08/09) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XX, Issue 7 (04/01/09) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XX, Issue 6 (03/25/09) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XX, Issue 5 (03/18/09) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XX, Issue 4 (03/11/09) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XX, Issue 3 (03/04/09) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XX, Issue 2 (02/25/09) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XX, Issue 1 (02/18/09) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2008 Editions:
Vol. XIX, Final Issue (04/14/08) - Download
Vol. XIX, Issue 8 (03/05/08) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XIX, Issue 7 (02/27/08) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XIX, Issue 6 (02/20/08) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XIX, Issue 5 (02/13/08) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XIX, Issue 4 (02/06/08) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XIX, Issue 3 (01/30/08) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XIX, Issue 2 (01/24/08) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XIX, Issue 1 (01/17/08) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2007 Editions:
Vol. XVIII, Final Issue (04/16/07) - Download
Vol. XVIII, Issue 8 (03/07/07) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVIII, Issue 7 (02/28/07) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVIII, Issue 6 (02/21/07) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVIII, Issue 5 (02/14/07) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVIII, Issue 4 (02/07/07) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVIII, Issue 3 (01/31/07) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVIII, Issue 2 (01/25/07) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVIII, Issue 1 (01/18/07) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2006 Editions:
Vol. XVII, Final Issue (05/18/06) - Download
Vol. XVII, Issue 8 (03/08/06) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVII, Issue 7 (03/01/06) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVII, Issue 6 (02/22/06) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVII, Issue 5 (02/15/06) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVII, Issue 4 (02/08/06) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVII, Issue 3 (02/01/06) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVII, Issue 2 (01/25/06) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVII, Issue 1 (01/18/06) - Download  |  Web Version

Wrap-up, 2005 Editions:
Vol. XVI, 4th Special (09/30/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Final (05/17/05) - Download
Vol. XVI, Issue 9 (04/21/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 8 (04/07/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 7 (03/31/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 6 (03/24/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 5 (03/17/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 4 (03/10/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 3 (03/03/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 2 (02/24/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Issue 1 (02/17/05) - Download  |  Web Version
Vol. XVI, Special (02/03/05) - Download

Download Wrap-up, 2004 Editions:
Vol. XV, Final - 05/04
Vol. XV, Issue 8 - 03/10/04
Vol. XV, Issue 7 - 03/03/04
Vol. XV, Issue 6 - 02/25/04
Vol. XV, Issue 5 - 02/18/04
Vol. XV, Issue 4 - 02/11/04
Vol. XV, Issue 3 - 02/04/04
Vol. XV, Issue 2 - 01/28/04
Vol. XV, Issue 1 - 01/21/04

Download Wrap-up, 2003 Editions:
Vol. XIV, Final - 03/17/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 8 - 03/05/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 7 - 02/26/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 6 - 02/19/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 5 - 02/12/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 4 - 02/05/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 3 - 01/29/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 2 - 01/22/03
Vol. XIV, Issue 1 - 01/16/03
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