Friday, June 2, 2023

In Case You Missed It… Completed Legislation Part Three

During the first session of the 86th Legislature, 333 bills completed the legislative process. Of the 333 bills, 203 were House Bills and 130 were Senate Bills. Thus far, the Governor has signed 109 bills and 2 became law without signature. For a PDF list of completed legislation, please see Completed Legislation of the 2023 Regular Session.

Here are 65 House Bills, which completed the legislative process:

House Bill 3306 places the Office of Drug Control Policy administratively within the Department of Human Services but the director shall be appointed by and report to the Governor. The bill also creates the sober living/recovery residence taskforce. The task force will review existing law regarding sober living homes/recovery residences in WV, other states, and existing case law and make recommendations to the LOCHHRA no later than December 15, 2023. A representative of the task force will provide an update regarding the status with preliminary findings by July 1, 2023.

House Bill 3307 establishes the West Virginia – Ireland Trade Commission. The Commission is tasked with advancing bilateral trade and investment between WV and Ireland; initiating joint action on policy issues of mutual interest; promoting business and academic exchange between the two; and encouraging mutual economic support and investment in infrastructure.

House Bill 3308 authorizes the PSC to approve the issuance of consumer rate relief bonds for eligible costs related to environmental control costs, expanded net energy costs, storm recovery costs, and underappreciated generation utility plant balances.  

House Bill 3311 increases the alcohol content of table wine to between 0.5% and 15.5% and dessert wine to 15.6%.

House Bill 3315 creates readiness enhancement and enlistment bonuses and updates commissioning bonuses which may be awarded by the Adjutant General at his or her discretion for individuals with expertise, qualifications, or potential for service of particular importance. The bill establishes criteria for receipt of a bonus which include: (1) Joining the National Guard as an enlisted member, (2) Serves satisfactorily and completing initial entry training, and (3) Having expertise, qualification, or potential for military service deemed by the Adjutant General as sufficiently as important to the National Guard.  

House Bill 3317 removes specific continuing education requirements relating to license renewal of certain chapter 30 boards.

House Bill 3328 authorizes the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority to contract their trail building and trail maintenance capabilities for the construction and maintenance of trails on private property, with the consent of the private property owner.

House Bill 3332 allocates circuit judges for the 2024 election. The bill combined language relating to magistrates’ allocation in House Bill 2938 and House Bill 3174, language relating to family court allocation in House Bill 3330, language regarding both magistrates and family courts staffing in House Bill 3331, and language relating to circuit court allocations in one bill. The bill changes the allocation of circuit judges and creates a circuit with one judge. The bill provides for run-off elections to be held in the November General election.

House Bill 3337 prohibits substance abuse treatment beds to be added in any county which already has greater than 250 licensed substance abuse treatment beds.

House Bill 3340 revises the WV Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Act. The bill authorizes the county commission to expand the TIF for up to 15 years due to the impact of the recession and COVID-19 for bonds issued before December 31, 2020.

House Bill 3344 directs payment of moral obligations of state agencies, approved by the West Virginia Legislative Claims Commission, for claims against the State, totaling $1,606,204.42.

House Bill 3354 authorizes municipalities to combine operations with other municipalities and counties to provide governmental services.

House Bill 3360 creates an Office of Inspector General within the Department of Homeland Security. The bill sets qualifications and states the IG is to be appointed to the Governor. The Governor may set the salary, which is capped at $95,000.

House Bill 3364 requires a municipality currently funding its pension and relief funds using the alternative method of funding to close its fund to new hires as a condition of being authorized to issue pension funding revenue bonds.

House Bill 3369 requires the Division of Protective Services Director to establish a school safety unit, used primarily to make school safety inspections and recommendations to the appropriate county school personnel or other school administrators. Officers will have the authority to respond to and investigate all school safety matters, and they will have statewide law-enforcement authority.

House Bill 3370 creates the State Parks Enhancement Loan Insurance Program to guarantee payment of loans from lending institutions to private entities that want to develop a project in state parks and resorts operated on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property. The program will attract and increase recreational opportunities, tourism, and economic development in the state.

House Bill 3371 requires through a separate line-item appropriation in the state budget that the two institutions maximize federal matching requirements. The bill also corrects the code to reflect West Virginia State is now a university.

House Bill 3387 extends the moratorium on the authorization of new convention and visitors bureaus for an additional two years to June 30, 2026 and clarifies when and how a new convention and visitors bureau can qualify for distribution of the hotel occupancy tax proceeds.

House Bill 3391 changes how appeals for assessment of property or the tax classification are handled. It assigns appeals for such to the Intermediate Court of Appeals. The bill requires the appeal of final decisions or orders of the Office of Tax Appeals to the Intermediate Court of Appeals within 30 days of entry of the final decision or order. The new filing deadline with the Office of Tax Appeals is March 31 of the property tax year. If it’s not received by that date, then it will be dismissed. For appeals on taxability or classification of property by the Tax Commissioner, a petition of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the written notice from the Commissioner. A hearing is required within 90 days.

House Bill 3396, a supplementary appropriation, allocates funding from the State Road Fund to the Division of Highways with $70 million for Interstate Construction, $40 million for other federal aid programs, and $80 million for Appalachian Programs.

House Bill 3398 establishes the West Virginia Memorial to Fallen Heroes of the Global War on Terrorism. The bill creates a monument construction commission and directs the Division of Labor to allocate funding.

House Bill 3428 makes the West Virginia Business Ready Sites Program permanent. The program promotes economic development in the state by facilitating the construction of utility infrastructure to make sites in the state attractive for industrial development.

House Bill 3432 updates and clarifies code relating to statutory construction.

House Bill 3439 requires every child-placing agency to obtain an insurance policy in an amount of not less than $1 million per incident against liability for damages arising from any error or omission in providing child placement services. The agency must file proof of insurance with the Department of Health and Human Resources annually by January 1.

House Bill 3441 revises the training requirements for members of the Higher Education Policy Commission, the Council for Community and Technical College Education, and the institutional governing boards. The bill requires that orientation and training offered to new members of the governing bodies comprise 6 hours of instruction time which can be broken up over the member’s first year of service. After the first year, each individual is required to complete at least 4 hours of training and development each year related to duties.

House Bill 3443 mandates that any improvement on land, including any disturbance in a right-of-way, construction project, or infrastructure project that is subject to review by the State Historic Preservation Office must be conducted expediently.

House Bill 3444 adds the Cabinet Secretary of Economic Development or a designee to the semi-quincentennial commission as ex-officio voting members.

House Bill 3448 allows the Supreme Court Division of Probation Services to conduct field training for probation officers and grants a field training officer the same powers as a probation officer while performing his or her duties.

House Bill 3450 allows licensed racetracks with three or more years in services to receive $1 in recoupment from their facility modernization account for every $2 that they expend on facility modernization improvements or capital improvements at facilities located in the state that are on or contiguous to the premise of the licensed racetrack. The bill allows counties to receive one percent of net terminal income and for municipalities to receive an equal distribution of one percent of net terminal income from racetracks.

House Bill 3451 establishes different criteria for preference points and entitles veterans to those preference points based on the established criteria. Based on the qualifications, those points are added to passing employment scores for veterans and offer additional benefits in state hiring for qualifying veterans.

House Bill 3473 creates a workgroup to review and report to the Legislature on how best to create a clearinghouse that can make available information needed for the deployment of underground infrastructure in public rights-of-way in this state. The task force members include the Commissioner of the Division of Highways and representatives of the Division of Environmental Protection (DEP), the historic preservation section of the Department of Arts, Culture, and History, and any designees as may be selected by the Legislative Oversight Commission on Department of Transportation Accountability.

House Bill 3479 imposes restrictions on the operation of drones over “targeted facilities” such as chemical plants, steel mills, railyards, oil or gas refineries and pipelines, military installations, dams, water treatment facilities, wireless/radio transmission towers, and commercial airports. The bill also clarifies that restrictions on drone use do not constrain law enforcement agencies. Landowners are not limited to flying drones over their property.

House Bill 3482 creates the Coal Fired Grid Stabilization and Security Act of 2023. The Senate amendment revises the article numbering to ensure it does not conflict with any provisions within recently passed Senate Bill 188.

House Bill 3499 amends the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act by clarifying what happens when a designated beneficiary of a transfer on a death deed predeceases the transferor. If the sole beneficiary of the deed predeceases the transferor, the transfer on the death deed lapses. The bill allows for transfer on death deeds to account for the right of survivorship.

House Bill 3500 amends the WV Consumer Credit and Protection Act by adding a section that allows the employees of a licensee to conduct the business of the regulated consumer lender licensee at home.

House Bill 3509, a supplementary appropriation, increases the spending authority of the Public Service Commission by $170,000 – $20,000 for personal services and employee benefits and $150,000 for current expenses.

House Bill 3510, a supplementary appropriation, increases the special revenue spending authority for the Office of Technology by $2 million for current expenses.

House Bill 3511, a supplementary appropriation, allocates $743,436 for the School Lunch Program to the State Board of Education.

House Bill HB 3512, a supplementary appropriation, increases the spending authority of Federal funds by the Division of Human Services for Medical Services ($212,000,000) and Medical Services Administrative costs ($57,142,618).

House Bill 3513, a supplementary appropriation, decreases the Debt Service of the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority by $7,100,000.

House Bill 3514, a supplementary appropriation, increases the WV Birth-to-Three Fund for Current Expenses to $3,238,284.

House Bill 3515, a supplementary appropriation, increases the spending authority for the Veterans’ Facilities Support Fund by $1,500,000. 

House Bill 3516, a supplementary appropriation, increases the WV Safe Drinking Water Treatment funding to $64,753,300.

House Bill 3517, a supplementary appropriation, increases the current expenses funding for Child Care and Development to $7,566,541.

House Bill 3518, a supplementary appropriation, increases the federal spending authority for the Department of Agriculture by $3,622,591.

House Bill 3519, a supplementary appropriation, increases the spending authority for the DMV by $100,000.

House Bill 3520, supplementary appropriation, increases funding to for the current expenses of the Vocational Division of the State Board of Education to $3 million.

House Bill 3521, a supplementary appropriation, increases the spending authority for Maternal and Child Health by $1 million

House Bill 3522, a supplementary appropriation, increases the spending authority for the DNR- Wildlife Resources by $200,000. 

House Bill 3523, a supplementary appropriation, allocates $5,000,000 to the Economic Development Authority.

House Bill 3524, a supplementary appropriation, increases the spending authority for the Department of Agriculture- WV Spay Neuter Assistance Fund by $400,000.

House Bill 3526, a supplementary appropriation, increases the spending authority for the Public Service Commission by $3,048,780 – $248780 for repairs and alterations and $2.8 million for Debt payment/capital outlay.

House Bill 3527, a supplementary appropriation, allocates $15 million of the State Excess Lottery Revenue Fund to the Department of Education for equipment. The bill also allocates $25 million to the School Building Authority.

House Bill 3528, a supplementary appropriation, increases the spending authority of the Hospital Services Revenue Account by $29,877,096.

House Bill 3529, a supplementary appropriation, increases the spending authority of the Division of Rehabilitation Services by $34 million for current expenses.

House Bill 3542, a supplementary appropriation, expires $50 million from the Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund to the Public Entity Insurance Trust Fund.

House Bill 3547 increases the number of personal leave days that county board of education employees may use without regard to the cause for the absence from four to five. The bill removes the requirement that a teacher finds their own substitute for those days.

House Bill 3552 permits counties to seek reimbursement from municipalities for one day of per diem jail fees when (1) the incarceration was made by municipal police, (2) the incarceration was not a municipal violation, (3) when municipal police are from class I, II, or III municipality-with population greater than 4,000, or (4) reimbursement is sought pursuant to a memorandum of understanding.

House Bill 3553, a supplementary appropriation, allocates $250,000 to the Chief Medical Examiner.

House Bill 3555 allows institutions to work with booksellers, publishers, or other third parties to offer a courseware and book fee at a lump sum or per credit hour amount if an opt-out option is offered to students in advance of the start of each academic term.

House Bill 3557, a supplementary appropriation, increases the spending authority of the Department of Veterans’ Assistance by $750,000 for buildings.

House Bill 3559 defines a newborn safety device as a device that permits a person to anonymously place a child within 30 days of the child’s birth in the device with the intent to leave the child and for a licensed emergency medical services provider to remove the child from the device and take custody of the child. The bill grants anonymity and freedom from pursuit to any person who relinquishes a child in a newborn safety device, unless in cases where evidence of child abuse or neglect is present.

House Bill 3560 adds rock climbing, bouldering, caving, rappelling, and slacklining to the list of recreational activities.

House Bill 3563, a supplementary appropriation, increases the spending authority of the Division of Human Services’ current expenses by $65,750,000 and the federal coronavirus pandemic by $68,579,000.

House Bill 3564, a supplementary appropriation, transfers $20 million within the Divisions of Human Services- Energy Assistance from the federal coronavirus pandemic to current expenses.

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