BY TAYLOR BENNETT, POLICY COORDINATOR, THE HUB
This week we are tracking 35 new house bills and 10 new bills from the Senate. For more information about the legislative deadlines that are causing this wave of introductions, check out our explanation.
This week, to help us keep track of the highlights, I’m organizing our greatest hits into two sections: bills we’ve been tracking, and new ones we’ve picked up this week.
New Bills Before the Senate
SB 500 – Creating the Sewer and Water Infrastructure Replacement and Rehabilitation Act
- This bill would create a pot of money that would be generated from investment of surplus revenue and would be granted to government agencies to complete sewer and water infrastructure projects.
- The bill originated in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and was reported to the Senate on February 13.
SB 580 – Local Control and Accountability Act
- This bill allows Counties to create a 1% sales tax, provided that a sales tax is not imposed in municipalities in which a 1% sales tax already exists.
- It was introduced on February 12th and was referred to the Committee on Government Organization and then to the Committee on Finance.
New Bills Before the House
HB 2576 – Small business tax credit for new businesses that locate in the state
- This bill would establish a tax credit for small businesses that are located within WV and employ at least 15 full time employees who live in WV. The tax credit would be 10% of “taxpayer qualified investment,” but the bill doesn’t specify a particular dollar amount.
- It was introduced on January 22nd, and was referred to the Committee on Small Business, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development, where it is waiting to be put on the agenda. It has a second referral to the Finance Committee.
HB 2871 – Increasing the State Minimum Wage
- This bill would increase the state minimum wage incrementally over a period of 4 years. The first increment is an increase to $9.50 per hour during the year of 2019, with the final increment in 2022, bringing the minimum wage to $12.00 per hour.
- It was introduced on February 6th and has a rare triple committee reference. First Small Business, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development, then Industry and Labor, then Finance.
HB 3062 – Sale of delinquent tax liens
- When a person is trying to acquire real estate by purchasing delinquent tax liens and the original property owner doesn’t pay their debt to reclaim their property, the person who purchased the lien can file for a deed to the property. Usually, the original owner has a certain period of time after that to reclaim their property by paying the debt. This bill would make it so that the original property owner would not be able to pay the debt after the lien purchaser receives the deed.
- The bill was introduced on February 12th, and has been referred to the Judiciary Committee and then the the Finance Committee.
Bills We’ve been Tracking
SB 4 – Relating generally to Municipal Home Rule
- This bill passed the Senate and is still waiting to be put on the House Government Organization Committee agenda.
SB 117 – Incentives for Consolidating Local Governments
- This bill passed the Government Organization Committee on February 1st, was referred to the Committee on Finance and has yet to be put on the agenda.
SB 317 – Authorizing adjacent counties to form a multi-county trail network authority
- SB 317 was passed out of the Senate on February 11th and was introduced in the House the next day. It received a double reference, first to House Agriculture and Natural Resources and then to House Judiciary. It is still waiting to be reviewed.
HB 2157 – Right of first refusal for municipalities at the tax sale
- This bill has not moved since it was introduced on January 9th.
HB 2309 – Allowing municipalities to cancel elections when only one person is running
- This one passed House Political Subdivisions, but has yet to make it onto the House Judiciary agenda.
HB 2728 – Making the Home Rule Pilot Program permanent
- This bill was introduced on January 29th, was referred to Government Organization Committee, but hasn’t been put on the agenda.