Sunday, June 16, 2024
Sunday, June 16, 2024

In Case You Missed It… 2024 Completed Legislation, Part 4

(2575 Introduced Bills; 1698 were introduced in the House; 279 Completed; 123 House Bills)

House Bill 5349 creates the West Virginia Truth in Food Labeling Act. The bill requires certain labeling to be present on food items such as “meatless,” “plant-based,” “cell-cultured,” and “lab-grown.”

House Bill 5395 repeals the code requiring the Board of Review to be a party to all judicial actions involving its decisions. The bill also provides that appeals of unemployment benefits shall be to the Intermediate Court of Appeals rather than the Circuit Court of Kanawha County. Additionally, the bill makes the commissioner’s participation in an appeal discretionary, as opposed to required.

House Bill 5405 allows the DOE to use the funding it already has for professional development to train less than certified FTEs. The $15 million, which is already in the DOE’s budget, will be used to train the 1700 noncertified FTEs, new teachers, and certified teachers looking to expand their experience.

House Bill 5430 authorizes the Supreme Court of Appeals to pay newly appointed or elected circuit judges, family court judges, and magistrates per diem compensation and expenses for attending training and education sessions prior to taking the oath of office and beginning their term.

House Bill 5432 moves the functions of the outdated Information Services and Communications Division into the Office of Technology. The bill authorizes the Office of Technology to assist the Executive Branch in developing agency data retention policies and directives. The bill has completed legislative action.

House Bill 5435 creates a comprehensive registered apprenticeship to associate of applied science degree program to be known as the Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Nontraditional Degree (or STAND) program to provide apprentices or journey workers with the opportunity to obtain associate degrees in applied science while gaining practical skills and on-the-job training through federally recognized apprenticeship programs. The program will allow the eligible student to earn at least 15 credit hours of general education courses toward an associate of applied science degree.

House Bill 5510 provides penalties for criminal offenses of intimidation or retaliation against public officers and employees, jurors, and witnesses.

House Bill 5514 enhances training requirements for county board of education members by increasing the number of hours required for training. The bill increases the compensation rate for meeting attendance and decreases the number of meetings members may be compensated.

House Bill 5520 amends the code to reduce the age of presumptive incompetency from age 13 to age 12. The bill also clarifies that a juvenile presumed incompetent or where competency has yet to be determined is still subject to pre-adjudicatory procedures but cannot be adjudicated until judicially determined to be competent.

House Bill 5528 increases the allowed megawatts of generated capacity by regulated utilities to 100 megawatts.

House Bill 5540, Laken’s Law, requires public schools to provide fentanyl prevention and awareness education. Students shall be instructed on how to use FDA-approved opioid reversal agents and how to prevent the abuse and addiction to fentanyl.

House Bill 5549 authorizes the DMV to secure license plates from an alternative source if the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation is unable to provide a six-month supply due to shortages of resources or labor.

House Bill 5561 updates the WV Uniform Trust Code to allow for e-signatures on trust documents.

House Bill 5569 prohibits the requirement that appraisers pay for background checks.

House Bill 5582 clarifies a licensing requirement exemption for evaluations of real estate that serve as collateral for a loan from a financial institution insured by FDIC. The bill adds requirements intended to make it clear to borrowers that the evaluation was not performed by a licensed real estate appraiser. The bill also allows the appraiser board to issue an appraiser licensee a copy of his or her license via an electronic format.

House Bill 5583 adds that the Commissioner of Highways may issue a special permit to operate or move a vehicle or combination of vehicles of a size or weight of vehicles or non-divisible load exceeding the maximum specified in state law over routes designated by the Commissioner of Highways at night, and during holidays, holiday weekends, Saturdays, and Sundays. The special permit applies to all interstate highways, United States highways with four or more travel lanes, and divided highways within the state with four or more travel lanes.

House Bill 5594 exempts contracts and MOUs with spending units in state government and WVU and Marshall University.

House Bill 5604 adds to the purchasing division section of the code. The bill gives spending units an exemption for technological infrastructure under $250,000. The bill also creates IT marketplace portals to facilitate purchases.

House Bill 5617 was requested by the Public Service Commission. The bill allows the PSC to create rules for the inspection, flow testing, flushing, and marking of fire hydrants. The bill requires all public water utilities to comply with the PSC rules.

House Bill 5632 amends the obligations of nonresident brokers under the West Virginia Real Estate License Act by removing the requirement that every broker have an active place of business within WV.

House Bill 5650 prohibits suspended school employees from being barred from attending public events on school property while suspended. The employee shall be allowed to exercise rights as a parent or guardian while suspended.

House Bill 5662 adds “person in a position of trust in relation to a child” into the code for child abuse and neglect.

House Bill 5668 creates the Responsible Gaming and Research Act. The bill provides for data collection on gaming operations within the state to ensure the integrity of gaming and to understand responsible gambling and problem gambling. The data can be shared for scholarly purposes. The bill requires an annual report on the impact of casinos, iGaming, racing, iLottery, and sports wagering, and on problem gamblers and gambling addiction in WV to the Joint Committee on Government Finance.

House Bill 5690 creates the WV Trask Force on Artificial Intelligence to be organized within the Governor’s Office. The appointed members are tasked with defining AI, determining which agencies should be tasked with overseeing artificial intelligence policy, determining best practices for the public sector, and recommending legislation. The bill requires the task force to meet 120 after the bill takes effect and requires a report by July 1, 2025.

House Bill 5696 assigns Wood County as the lead member county of the Upper Ohio Valley Trail Network Recreation Authority.

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