BY TAYLOR BENNETT, POLICY COORDINATOR, THE HUB
This week, as our attention is – rightfully – drawn to the Omnibus Bill, it’s also important to ask which bills continue to move through the process and which ones have stalled out.
Bills Before the Senate
SB 4 – Relating to Municipal Home Rule
- Another bill that we’ve been following consistently, SB 4 would make the Home Rule Pilot Program permanent.
- It is on its 3rd reading on the Senate floor. It has been on 3rd reading on the Senate floor since Tuesday, but has been held over every day since then. Senators have reserved the right to amend this bill before voting on it. It will be on 3rd reading again on Friday.
SB 411 – Relating to selling vacated school buildings and other state owned buildings.
- This bill would allow the the Public Land Corporation to take possession of unused or underutilized school buildings and other buildings owned by the state. It would also set minimum standards for use of the building after its sale.
- This bill was introduced on January 24th and was referred to the Government Organization Committee and then to the Committee on Finance.
Bills before the House
SB 1 – Increasing Access to Career Education and Workforce Training
- We’ve been following this bill since its introduction. It’s the one that would make community and technical college free for qualified students.
- This week, the bill has made its way to the House and has been referred to the Committee on Education
HB 2724 – Establishing a Small Business Tax Credit
- This bill would provide a tax credit to small business owners of up to 50% of the amount spent marketing agricultural or manufactured products made in West Virginia.
- It was introduced on January 29th and has been referred to the Committee on Small Business, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development and to the Committee on Finance.
HB 2728 – Making the Municipal Home Rule Program Permanent
- Another bill that would make the Municipal Home Rule Program Permanent.
- This one was introduced on January 29th and was referred to the Government Organization Committee, where it was debated on January 30th. Delegates amended the bill to limit the types of ordinances that are not able to be passed through the Home Rule Program, but did not pass the bill out of committee.
HB 2753– Allowing “Stand In” Gubernatorial and Presidential Candidates
- This bill would allow candidates who are not affiliated with any political party to be nominated to run for Governor or President, provided that they get enough people to sign a petition. In this case, at least 1% of the number of people who voted in the last election.
- This bill was introduced on January 30th and was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
HB 2769 – Citizen and State Accountability Act
- This bill would require that any local government, government agency, or department applying for a major grant would have to send information regarding the amount and intended use of the grant to the Governor for approval.
- This bill was introduced on January 30th and was referred to the Committee on Political Subdivisions and then to the Finance Committee.
Bills that we’ve followed that haven’t moved this week include:
- SB 113 – Creating a 5 year Tax Credit for Businesses on Post Coal Mine Sites
- SB 317 – Authorizing three or more adjacent counties to form a multi-county trail network authority
- HB 2087 – Reallocating 3% of the oil and gas severance tax to the counties in which the oil and gas was produced
- HB 2309 – Allowing municipalities to cancel elections when only one person is running