BY TAYLOR BENNETT, POLICY COORDINATOR, THE HUB
This week saw lots of action at the Capitol – during floor sessions, in committee meetings, and in the galleries and halls. An incredible volume of bills have been moved through the system, including some that had previously appeared to have stalled out. Crossover Day looms next week- Here are some of the bills we’re watching.
Bills Before the Senate
SB 383 – Creating WV Healthy Food Crop Block Grant Program
- This bill would provide financial incentives for WV farmers who choose to grow fruits and vegetables that serve community health programs.
- It passed a reference to the Agricultural and Rural Development Committee and the Finance Committee. It’s now up for a first reading on the Senate floor. If it passes, it will be on its way to the House for further consideration.
SB 580 – Allowing a County to create a 1% sales tax
- This would allow a County to create a 1% sales tax, but would prohibit that tax from being imposed upon gas and motor vehicles. The bill also says that the County sales tax can’t be imposed on a municipality that has already imposed a 1% sales tax.
- The bill passed out of the Senate Government Organization Committee on February 15th and is waiting to be put on the agenda of Senate Finance.
Bills Before the House
SB 1 – Increasing access to career education and workforce training
- This is the bill that would make community and technical college free
- This bill passed out of the Senate, was communicated to the House, and referred to the House Education Committee. It’s been put on the agenda in that committee on February 20th and 21st for discussion.
SB 29– Creating a 10 year tax credit on post coal mine sites
- This bill would create a 10 year tax credit for new businesses choosing to locate their facilities on post coal mine sites. A similar version of the bill was introduced last year. Check out our description of it.
- The bill didn’t move for most of the session, but it passed out of the Senate on February 19th and was communicated to the House, where it received a double committee reference to the House Small Business, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development Committee– where it’s waiting to be put on the agenda- and then to the Finance Committee.
SB 117 – Incentives for consolidating local governments
- We’ve tracked this one before- it gives preference on highway projects, access to sales tax, etc. to both municipalities and county governments which consolidate.
- This bill was passed out of the Senate and was communicated to the House, where it has received a double committee reference to Government Organization– where it is waiting to be put on the agenda- and then to Finance.
HB 3024 – Creating business ready sites
- This bill establishes a program which would get potential industrial sites ready for construction by running certain infrastructure, like water, sewer, and electricity to those sites. The theory is that industrial companies may be more likely to invest if the site is ready for construction.
The bill was reviewed by the Government Organization Committee on February 20th, where a committee substitute was offered. Interestingly, this bill only received a single committee reference. It passed and the bill is now on the House floor for a first reading February 21st.