During the evening floor session, the House receded from its position to pass Senate Bill 187 and Senate Bill 625.
Senate Bill 187 makes it a felony offense for a school employee or volunteer to engage in sexual contact with any student enrolled in a public or private elementary or secondary school regardless of age. The House’s version did have an amendment to include college students 18 to 20 years of age, but the Senate did not concur with that amendment, so the House receded. The bill has now completed legislative action.
Senate Bill 625 adds micro-school programs to the list of programs whose transcripts or other credentials must be accepted by a public school as a record of a student’s previous performances. The House had amended the bill to remove a reference to the House Scholarship consistent with the House’s passage of House Bill 3408. Since the Senate has not advanced House Bill 3408, the amendment is no longer needed.
The House refused to concur with Senate Bill 559 and Senate Bill 426.
Senate Bill 559 relates to spousal privilege. The Senate amendment adds another article stating that the testimony of a spouse in criminal cases shall be allowed to testify on each other’s behalf but neither shall be compelled without the consent of the other allowed to be called as a witness against the other except for cases where the offense is committed by one against the other, or against the child, father, mother, brother, or sister of the other or against any minor. The failure of a spouse to testify shall not create a presumption against the accused nor be subject to any comment before the court or jury.
Senate Bill 426 bans the use of certain products and platforms deemed unsafe or high risks on government systems. The Senate amended version removed language that clarifies the Constitutionally required separation of powers.
The House concurred to complete action on Senate Bill 577 and House Bill 3035.
Senate Bill 577 reduces the copay cape for insulin to $35 per month and the cap for devices and other equipment to $100 per month. The Senate’s amendment inserted definitions of the PEIA bill to resolve code conflict.
House Bill 3035 provides a statewide multi-tiered system of support and intervention of grade-level literacy and numeracy in grades K through 3. The Senate amended House Bill 3035 removes the provision for students to be at grade level in math by third grade. The amendment also removes the flexibility for counties to phase in the placement of assistant classroom teachers where needed. The Senate added language from House Bill 3293. The amendment also removed the establishment of a Grow Your Own West Virginia Pathway to Teaching Pilot Program, as it was not included in the budget.
The House is in Recess until 10:30 p.m.