Friday, June 2, 2023

Day 60 Continues for the House of Delegates

During the evening floor session, the House continued to receive Senate messages.

A committee of conference was appointed for House Bill 3261, House Bill 3302, and Senate Bill 617.

House Bill 3261 allows for an extension for provisional social work licenses to complete requirements to become fully licensed if the individual loses their employment during a force reduction or is unable to work due to medical reasons.

The Senate amended bill adds a new section of code to allow the Bureau of Social Services to employ individuals who are not registered as social workers as CPS workers, youth services workers, case managers, and clerical staff in areas where social work vacancies have reached over 25% of the allocation. The requirements provided are: (1) Must be 18; (2) Must have an associates degree in social work or a related field or be a retired law enforcement officer; (3) have three letters of recommendation; (4) Not be an alcohol or drug abuser; and (5) Satisfy requirements in the WV Clearance for Access Registry and Employment Screening Act.
The Conferees from the House are Delegate Phillips, Delegate McGeehan, and Delegate Young. For the Senate, the conferees are Senator Trump, Senator Takubo, and Senator Plymale.

House Bill 3302 recognizes an embryo or fetus as a distinct unborn victim for the offenses of DUI causing death and DUI causing serious bodily injury.

The Senate amendment removed the recognition of an embryo or fetus as a distinct unborn victim of a crime of DUI causing serious bodily injury. The House Judiciary Committee had amended this into the bill before passage. Members felt strongly about having both causing death and causing serious bodily injury in the bill.
The Conferees from the House are Delegate Kelly, Delegate Garcia, and Delegate Ward. For the Senate, the conferees are Senator Deeds, Senator Hamilton, and Senator Woelfel.

Senate Bill 617 outlines data required for the Intellectual and Development Disabilities Waiver Program workforce study. The bill requires recommendations for hourly pay and an annual review. The Health and Human Resources Committee amendment adds language from a House Bill relating to the regulation of behavioral health centers.
The Conferees from the House are Delegate Summers, Delegate Williams, and Delegate Hardy. For the Senate, the conferees are Senator Maroney, Senator Barrett, and Senator Woelfel.

The House concurred with the Senate Amendments to House Bill 2820, House Bill 2482, and House Bill 3018.

House Bill 2820 adds participants in the Hope Scholarship Program, micro-schools, and learning parts to students eligible to participate in SSAC events or activities. The bill also added that private school students are not eligible to play on a public school team if the sport is offered at the private school. The Senate version of House Bill 2820 removed the requirement that a student be enrolled in one online course to participate. It also added language from Senate Bill 262, which requires the SSAC to allow students in grades 9 through 12 to transfer one time without losing athletic eligibility.

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.

The House version of House Bill 3018 established the age of consent to marry at 18 and removed the ability for an underage person to obtain consent to marry through parents, legal guardians, or the court. The Senate amended House Bill 3018 sets the minimum age that an individual can marry to 16 with the requirement of consent from a parent or guardian for those 16 or 17 years of age. The bill does state a 16-year-old or 17-year-old must acknowledge his or her consent to be married and state that he or she is not being coerced or under any duress to marry. A 16- or 17-year-old cannot marry anyone more than four years older than them. The bill also grants that annulment can be sought without consent until the age of 18.

The House concurred with additional amendments to House Bill 2008 and House Bill 3332.

House Bill 2008 clarifies federal immigration enforcement in West Virginia. The Senate amended bill removes the requirement of denying state funds for non-compliance and replaces it with a section stating a non-compliant elected official may be removed from office for neglect of duty and malfeasance in office. The bill also removes the civil cause of action for damages caused by a person unlawfully in the US if the non-compliance resulted in harm. The bill also removes the severability clause.

House Bill 3332 allocates circuit judges for the 2024 election. The Senate amended 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.

The House is in recess until 7:30 p.m.

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