BY TAYLOR BENNETT, POLICY COORDINATOR, THE HUB
Since last week, some bills on our tracker have been flying through committees and readings on the floor, while others have been stuck in bill limbo, waiting to be put on a committee agenda. We’ll continue to highlight the bills that we think will impact West Virginia communities and community members as more are introduced.
Bills before the House:
SB 1 – Access to career and workforce education
- This bill establishes a grant fund that would cover tuition costs for students at community and technical colleges. Since last week, this bill has made it through three readings on the Senate floor, passed, has been introduced in the House and was referred to the Committee on Education.
SB 3 – WV Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act
- This bill would allow wireless companies to install “small wireless facilities,” – essentially booster-boxes for wireless signal- to be installed on telephone poles. Wireless companies would be required to pay a fee to use poles owned by municipalities and would be accountable to keep their equipment safe and reasonably unobtrusive.
- The bill passed through the Senate, was communicated to the House, and has been referred to the Committee on Technology and Infrastructure.
HB 2139 – Quarterly payment of real and personal property taxes
- We highlighted this bill last week. It’s still waiting to be put on the agenda of the House Judiciary Committee.
HB 2157- Right of municipalities and counties to buy real estate for delinquent taxes
- Another one of last week’s bills, this one is waiting to be put on the agenda of the Political Subdivisions Committee.
HB 2211– Budget and Spending Transparency Act
- This bill would create a database that taxpayers could access to see how the WV State Government is spending Taxpayer dollars.
- The bill was introduced on January 10th, was referred to the Committee on Government Organization– where it’s waiting to be put on the agenda.
HB 2309– Allowing municipalities to cancel elections when only one person is running
- We took a deeper look at this bill in one of this week’s articles. It was taken up and passed by the House Political Subdivisions Committee. It’s now on its way to the Committee on the Judiciary.
HB 2342– Taxation with Representation Act
- As discussed last week, this bill would allow anyone who pays is employed and pays user fees in a municipality to vote in that municipality’s elections.
- The bill was discussed this week by the House Political Subdivisions Committee, and garnered many questions from delegates. It was held over for further discussion.
HB 2572– Making the written plan of municipalities that have been approved by the Municipal Home Rule Board permanent
- This bill was introduced on January 21st and would make any written plan that has already been approved by the Municipal Home Rule Board permanent, regardless of whether or not the Home Rule Pilot Program sunsets.
- After being introduced, it was referred to the Committee on Political Subdivisions and then to the Committee on Government Organization.
Bills before the Senate:
SB 29– Creating a five-year tax credit for businesses on post-coal mine sites
- A bill similar to this one was proposed last year. It would allow for businesses located on post coal mine sites to take a tax credit in the amount of taxes they would have paid to the state of WV each year for the first 5 years of operation.
- This bill passed through the Economic Development Committee on the 17th and is waiting to be put on the agenda of the Committee on Finance.
SB 317- Authorizing three of more adjacent counties to form multicounty trail network authorities
- Since being introduced, this bill has been passed through the Natural Resources Committee, who created a Committee Substitute for the bill. This means that amendments were added during the committee discussion.
The Committee Substitute is headed to the Judiciary Committee.