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WRAP-UP
The Newsletter of the West Virginia Legislature
Volume XXIX, Issue 4 - February 12, 2018


Senate Adopts “No Constitutional Right to Abortion” Amendment

West Virginia Voters May Have the Chance to Determine the Law for Themselves


Karenann Flouhouse
A constitutional amendment (SJR 12) saying that there is no constitutional right to an abortion was adopted by the Senate this week.

Senator Charles Trump IV, R - Morgan, said that the joint resolution is in response to a 1993 West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals decision, Women’s Health Center vs Panepinto (191 W. Va. 436). The case decided that state Medicaid funding could be used to fund abortions.

The resolution would reverse that decision and allow the state to take away money from the procedure and allocate it elsewhere.

“This amendment does not restrict or curtail any legal right that exists to have an abortion,” Trump said. “If this amendment is adopted and ratified it will make it so that some of them cannot be paid for by the state, with exceptions.”

Those exceptions are found and protected by WV Code §9-2-11. House Bill 2082 would add a new section of code, §16-2P-1, that would prohibit the spending of state funds on abortion. Democrat members of the Senate said they were worried the amendment would in fact terminate the choice of a woman in the state to pursue the option of the procedure.

“If this bill coming across from the House doesn’t end [state funding of abortions] for low income women it will be ended as soon as possible next year,” said Senator Mike Romano, D - Harrison.

The Senate voted down an amendment to the resolution by Senator Corey Palumbo, D - Kanawha, that would have guaranteed the funding by adding the statement “except in the case of rape, incest, or medical necessity.”

“If [the Senate] wanted to protect that right, we had the chance to do that yesterday,” Romano said. “We very easily could have fixed this amendment to protect the lives of mothers and in cases of rape and incest. To protect their right to do things that no one would ever want to make the decision to do.

Sill, other senators, such as Senator Gregory Boso, R - Nicholas, believe that the resolution should be placed on the ballot for the citizens of W. Va. to have the final decision.

“I think the wording of this particular constitutional amendment, the resolution before us today, ‘Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion’, is brief, it’s clear, but more importantly it gives the people of WV the opportunity to vote to establish what we the people believe in,” Boso said.

The resolution was adopted 25-9 and was sent to the house for further consideration. If the resolution is adopted by the House, with a two-thirds majority, it would be placed on the W. Va. 2018 General Election Ballot.

 


Bills Passed from the Senate

As of 4:00 p.m. Friday, February 9, 2018, the 31st day of the regular session of the 83rd legislature 406 bills have been introduced to the Senate. Of those bills, 76 have passed and have been sent on to the House for further consideration.

Senate Bill 78 would provide a personal income tax adjustment to the gross income of certain retirees receiving pensions from defined pension plans that terminated and are being paid a reduced maximum benefit guarantee.

Senate Bill 102 would create the WV Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act.

Senate Bill 141 directs the county assessor and his or her deputies of each county within the state to assess and collect a $1 assessment on all breeding-age cows if the owner decides to participate in the Coyote Control Program.

Senate Bill 181 is a rules bundle relating to the State Fire Commission, Fire Marshal and Governor’s Committee on Crime, Delinquency and Correction.

Senate Bill 230 is a rules bundle relating to the Department of Commerce.

Senate Bill 244 would specify conditions for unlawful possession of firearm at school-sponsored activities.

Senate Bill 271 would create a centralized Shared Services Section to provide accounting and financial reporting services to spending units.

Senate Bill 283 would modify the procurement by state agencies. The bill would increase certain cost limits from $50,000 to $1 million and increase certain contract limits from $100,000 to $1 million.

Senate Bill 322 would allow the Commissioner of Agriculture to hire general counsel and other support staff as needed.

Senate Bill 343 would limit expenses in preparing the list for a notice to redeem.

Senate Bill 346 would permit full-time nonresident students attending an in-state college or university to purchase lifetime resident statewide hunting, trapping, trout fishing, and fishing licenses.

Senate Bill 361 would relate to treatment supervision under Drug Offender Accountability and Treatment Act.

Senate Bill 364 allows the parent or legal guardian of a homeschooled child to provide a signed statement affirming the child is being educated according to the law and meets the conditions to be eligible to obtain a driver’s permit or license, instead of the driver eligibility certificate signed by a school attendance director or chief administrator.

Senate Bill 371 makes technical corrections to §27-5-2.

Senate Bill 379 is a supplemental appropriation for the State Excess Lottery Revenue Fund to DHHR.

Senate Bill 382 is a supplemental appropriation for the Lottery Net Profits to Bureau of Senior Services, Lottery Senior Citizens Fund.

Senate Bill 393 will add two new appointed positions to the WV Racing Commission, tourism and veterinary services. This will change the number of appointees on the commission from three to five. The current three members will retain their position and be named the representative of thoroughbred racing, greyhound racing, and casinos respectively based on their experience and training. It was passed unanimously with four members absent.

Senate Bill 395 would provide for judicial review of appealed decisions of Air Quality Review Board, Environmental Quality Board and Surface Mine Board.

Senate Bill 400would create a new section of code that would forbid a state licensing board from hiring or contracting with a lobbyist to perform lobbying function on behalf of the board.

Senate Bill 404 would make changes to sex offender registry information.

Senate Bill 425 would remove sunset dates which members of policemen's or firemen's pension fund elect to participate in deferred retirement option plan.

Senate Bill 462 would establish a contribution holiday for public pension plans funded at 130 percent or more.

Senate Bill 463 would establish a group to examine the benefits and need of transferring milk rules and regulations from DHHR to Agriculture.



Additional Senate Bills

Senate Bill 43 would authorize DOH or local authorities establish minimum speed limits in certain areas.

Senate Bill 86 would permit the sale of home-based, micro-processed foods at farmers markets.

Senate Bill 114 would relate to the posting of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline number.

Senate Bill 257 would create the WV Counseling Protection Act.

Senate Bill 319 would allow individuals who completed home schooling be eligible for PROMISE scholarship without equivalent diploma.

Senate Bill 337 would permit parents of newborns to decline administration of specific required medication at birth.

Senate Bill 366 would prohibit the State Board of Education from accepting federal education plans without approval of Legislature.

Senate Bill 416 would make fishing for catfish with bare hands lawful.

Senate Bill 426 would modernize certain alcohol laws.

Senate Bill 494 would consider members of State Teachers Retirement System absent while serving as officer with statewide professional association.




Bills Passed from the House

As of 4:00 p.m., Friday, February 9, 2018, the twenty-fourth day of the second regular session of the 83rd Legislature, 990 bills have been introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates. Of those bills, 57 have passed and have been sent to the Senate for further consideration. All of these bills have passed this week:

House Bill 2654 (expanding county commissions’ ability to dispose of county or district property) expands county commissions’ ability to dispose of county or district property; and to revise the requirement that property conveyed to volunteer fire department or volunteer ambulance service reverts back to county commission following termination of use.

House Bill 2655 (defining and establishing the crime of cyberbullying) defines and establishes the crime of cyberbullying, defines terms and establishes a criminal penalty.

House Bill 2662 (prohibiting the waste of game animals, game birds or game fish) prohibits the waste of game animals, game birds or game fish.

House Bill 2693 (relating to state ownership of wildlife) makes the definition of wildlife consistent with the existing definition of wildlife contained in WV Code §20-1-2.

House Bill 2696 (relating to crossbow hunting) clarifies that the use of a crossbow for hunting big game requires additional licenses, stamps or permits (with exception of buck firearms season) with a Class A hunting and trapping license. The bill permits crossbow hunting with Class RB, Class RRB, and Class UU licenses and with a Class BG stamp.

House Bill 3020 (relating to criminal penalties for the offenses of hunting, trapping or fishing on the lands of another person) creates a misdemeanor and criminal penalties for fishing within 200 feet of agency personnel while stocking fish into public waters and to provide that the penalty for hunting, trapping or fishing on the lands of another, entering upon posted lands, or destroying posted land signs shall be equivalent to the penalty for criminal trespass.

House Bill 4156 (establishing the qualifications of full and part time nursing school faculty members) establishes the qualifications of full and part time nursing school faculty members, grants exceptions and defines a term.

House Bill 4162 (granting authority to the State Conservation Committee to contract for flood response) grants the State Conservation Committee the authority to enter into contracts for flood response, recovery and streambank restoration work and to maximize federal dollars by collaborating with federal agencies responding to flood events.

House Bill 4175 (preventing requirement that an advanced practice registered nurse participate in a collaborative relationship to obtain payment) prevents entities providing insurance for requiring an advanced practice registered nurse to participate in a collaborative relationship to obtain payment for services.

House Bill 4178 (permitting certain portions of certified nurse aide training to be provided through distance learning technologies) allows certain portions of certified nurse aide training to be provided through distance learning technologies.

House Bill 4199 (permitting a nursing home to use trained individuals to administer medication) permits a nursing home to use trained individuals to administer medication under the direction of a registered professional nurse.

House Bill 4230 (relating to credit for reinsurance) ensures adequate regulation of insurers and reinsurers, and to provide sufficient protection for those to whom they owe obligations. The legislation amends current requirements concerning credit for reinsurance, which is a credit reflected on a ceding insurer’s annual statement showing reinsurance premiums ceded and losses recoverable from the reinsurer.

House Bill 4251 (permitting employees of baccalaureate institutions and universities outside of this state to be appointed to board of governors) permits employees of higher education institutions outside of this state to be appointed to a board of governors of a state institution of higher education.

House Bill 4275 (relating to the law-enforcement authority of the director and officers of the division of protective services) clarifies the law enforcement authority of the director and officers of the division of protective services, to exempt certain safety and security information from disclosure under the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act; and to clarify that agencies installing electronic security systems designed to connect with the division’s command center must be approved prior to installation.

House Bill 4332 (relating to home peritoneal renal dialysis) permits the sale or distribution of dialysate, drugs or devices necessary to perform home peritoneal renal dialysis to patients with end state renal disease.

House Bill 4350 (eliminating the regulation of upholstery) eliminates the regulation of upholstery, modifies and eliminates certain definitions.

House Bill 4359 (relating to the removal of animals left unattended in motor vehicles) permits removal of animals left unattended in motor vehicles and sets forth conditions to rescue and retrieve an animal in danger in an unattended vehicle.

House Bill 4023 (relating to the regulation of dialysis technicians) updates the regulation of dialysis technicians.

House Bill 4025 (permitting reciprocity for licensure as a pharmacy technician) permits the Board of Pharmacy to license individuals as a pharmacy technician if certain requirements are met.

House Bill 4186 (relating generally to guaranteed asset protection waivers) clarifies that guaranteed asset protection waivers are not insurance; specifies terms and conditions under which guaranteed asset protection waiver contracts may be solid in this state; and provides an exception for commercial transactions. The bill also provides that it will apply retroactively to guaranteed asset protection waivers in effect on the date of passage.

House Bill 4236 (requiring agencies to provide an annual inventory of real property holdings to the Real Estate Division) removes the exemption of reporting real property by certain agencies to the Real Estate Division, streamline the data reported by agencies, and allow for a report to the Governor and Legislature those agencies that fail to meet reporting requirements.

House Bill 4276 (allowing magistrates to grant work release privileges) allows magistrates to grant work release privileges.

House Bill 4410 (removing the requirement that the State Auditor receive copies of the Limited Video Lottery bids) removes the requirement that the State Auditor receive copies of the Limited Video Lottery bids.



Additional House Bills

House Bill 2841 would require board members to have attended a board meeting to be compensated for the meeting. This bill will be on third reading Monday.

House Bill 4142 would provide certain employees of the Division of Corrections, Division of Juvenile Services, and West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority a salary adjustment. This bill will be on third reading Monday.

House Bill 4320 would limit the ability of an agent under a power of attorney to take self-benefiting actions. This bill will be on third reading Monday.

House Bill 4380 would make a supplementary appropriation to the Department of Agriculture. This bill will be on third reading Monday.

House Bill 4381 would make a supplementary appropriation to the Department of Education. This bill will be on third reading Monday.

House Bill 4384 would make a supplementary appropriation to the Department of Transportation. This bill will be on third reading Monday.

House Bill 4386 would make a supplementary appropriation to the Department of Health and Human Resources, Division of Health - Community Mental Health Services. This bill will be on third reading Monday.

House Bill 4009 would establish State Settlement and Recovered Funds Accountability Act. This bill will be on second reading Monday.

House Bill 4407 relates to removing one of the requirements for eligibility for alternative program teacher certificate. This bill will be on second reading Monday.

House Bill 4428 would allow training hours earned through public school education or apprenticeship to count towards an applicant’s occupational certification.

2018 Chandelier
Rotunda Renovations
Workers remove the final crystal section of the chandelier in the Capitol Rotunda. The Rotunda will be going through some renovations as workers look to repair damage to the inner dome of the Capitol. The work should take several years.
PHOTO: Perry Bennett
Wrap-up, 2018 Edition:
Vol. XXIX, Issue 5 (02/20/18) - Web Version
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Wrap-up, 2017 Edition:
Vol. XXVIII, Issue 7 (04/01/17) - Web Version
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