BY KATELYN CAMPBELL, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT POLICY VISTA, THE HUB
Yesterday morning, 34 Senators and 100 Delegates took their seats and convened West Virginia’s 2018 Legislative Session.
It’s a lot of work to get a new law on the books – after each bill is introduced, it must travel through a long, deliberative process before reaching the Governor’s desk.
With only 60 days of session to deliberate over thousands of agenda items, very few bills make it all the way through. Of the 1802 bills introduced during the 2017 session, only 262 made it across the finish line.
Here at The Hub, we’re committed to making sure that community members like you understand the processes used to create our laws so you can make your voice heard at the Legislature. Over the next 60 days, we’ll be documenting how a bill really becomes a law in real time through the story of one bill — Senate Bill 59.
Step One: Getting the bill introduced on the Floor
SB59 arose from a widespread challenge for local governments in West Virginia — when a neglected property that does not have sufficient fire insurance burns down, municipalities and counties are often left to foot the cleanup bill.
Sponsors Romano, Ojeda, and Beach hope to amend the state code to create a fund that would relieve municipalities and counties of certain fire-related cleanup and demolition expenses. The fund would be generated from a surcharge added to each property owner’s fire insurance policy.
SB59 was introduced on the floor of the Senate yesterday morning, and was referred to two committees: the Committee on Government Organization (often referred to as just Gov Org) and the Committee on Finance.
In order to move forward, SB59 will have to make its way onto Gov Org’s agenda for consideration. We’ll be following this bill closely, and will keep you posted on its progress.
Tune in next week to learn what happens next to SB59 on its race to the finish line.