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Thursday, May 26, 2022

West Virginia Legislature Blog

House Passes “Anti-Racism Act of 2022” on Day 59

The House continued with its agenda this afternoon into the evening. Eighteen bills passed including Senate Bill 498, Senate Bill 463, Senate Bill 262, Senate Bill 246, and Senate Bill 268.

Senate Bill 498, “The Anti-Racism Act of 2022,” generated a two-hour discussion on the House floor this evening. The bill was amended in the House committees. The bill prohibits a student, teacher, administration, or other employees in the WV public school system from being required to affirm, adopt, or adhere to the following concepts: 1.) one race is inherently, morally, or intellectually superior, 2.) an individual, based on race, is inherently racist or oppressive, 3.) an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of their race, 4.) an individual’s moral character is determined by the individual’s race, and 5.) an individual is responsible for actions of other members of the same race.

The committee’s amendment stated that nothing prohibits the concepts being discussed the theory of an academic course or the discussion, examinations, or debate regarding race and its impact on historical or current events. The amended bill now goes back to the Senate.

Senate Bill 262 authorizes the State Treasurer to prepare, maintain, and publish a list of financial institutions engaged in boycotts of energy companies. It requires the Treasurer to post the list on the website and submit the list to the Governor, the Speaker of the House, and the Senate Present. The Treasure is required to provide written notice to the banking institution of being on said list and requires removal from the list if information is presented that the institution is not engaged in the boycott of energy companies.

Senate Bill 246 requires all newly constructed public schools and schools with major improvements to have water bottle filling stations installed.

Senate Bill 268 creates a new exemption from compulsory school attendance for a child who participates in a learning pod or micro-school. There are four ways a parent can obtain an academic assessment of the child: 1.) standardize achievement test, 2.) testing program at public school, 3.) portfolio of child’s work to be reviewed by a certified teacher, or 4.) alternative academic assessment of proficiency agreed upon by parents and county superintendent.

The House recessed until 8 p.m.

The Rules Committee will meet at 7:55 p.m.

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