Today, the House of Delegates passed seven bills including:
House Bill 5161 creates a digital wallet to collect and organize learning and employment records, certifications, and licensures on the Secretary of State’s one-stop business portal. The bill requires the digital wallet to be available by January 1, 2025The digital wallet will serve as a repository of documents, and safeguards should be in place to protect information within the digital wallet.
House Bill 5252 requires that anyone employed for the first time as a director, assistant director, or coordinator of transportation for county school boards to have at least five years of working experience in the transportation department of a county board or meet/obtain the qualification as a school bus operator within one year of employment.
Proponents felt this bill is necessary to allow for those managing the positions within the transportation department to understand how buses and routes operate. They also stated that in an emergency the individual could fill in as a driver. This also allows for a path of advancement for bus drivers who have served for several years. Proponents also pointed out that the bill does not affect those currently serving in these roles, as they would be grandfathered in.
Opponents felt this requirement isn’t necessary for directors and coordinators, as their role is an administrative position. They stated that the administrative positions are to manage people and systems, not to drive the buses. They stated people can do this role without a comprehensive understanding of how buses operate.
The bill passed with 51 in favor and 47 opposed.
House Bill 5286 removes a loophole in the code. The bill clarifies that a subcontractor cannot use the contracting company’s certificate of need when providing personal care services. They must obtain their own certificate of need.
House Bill 5287 adds a new section of code for maintenance vehicles, which are vehicles used by any company performing public service of maintaining public buildings, highways, and bridges. The bill states that maintenance vehicles and disabled vehicles are to be treated the same as emergency vehicles. Drivers should slow down and move over to provide space between them and the vehicle.
Several bills were amended, including:
Senate Bill 354 creates the WV Advanced Energy and Economic Corridor Authority. The bill lays out the membership, duties, and requirements of the authority. An amendment from Delegate Rohrbach was adopted. The amendment adds Wyoming County to the list of counties represented on the authority. Others represented are McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, and Wayne Counties. The amendment also increases the number of private sector representatives to four to add a representative from the aviation, aerospace, or advanced air mobility sector.
Another Amendment was offered by Delegate Dillon. However, the amendment was rejected. The amendment was a strike and insert, which changed the name of the authority to the King Coal Highway Advisory Board. This amendment stated the Advisory Board would be made up of the county commissions for McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, and Wayne Counties. An additional six members would be added to the original 12 members. Opponents of this amendment felt the requirements of representatives were too limiting.
House Bill 5295 authorizes private outdoor designated areas (PODAs) to host multiple qualified permit holders. The bill was amended to add to the definition of qualified permit holder to include Class A, B, or S2 license holders that have elected to operate in a PODA and have been issued a Class S4 license.
House Rules met this morning, advancing House Resolution 6, House Concurrent Resolution 24, House Concurrent Resolution 71, and House Joint Resolution 28 to the floor. The Committee also moved House Bills 5243, 5263, 5269, and 5270 from the (active) Special Calendar to the (inactive) House Calendar.
The House is adjourned until tomorrow, February 13, 2023, at 11 a.m.
Committee Meetings, today Feb. 12
The Committee on Government Organization will meet at 1:30 p.m. in Room 215E.
The Finance Committee will meet at 1:40 p.m. in Room 460 for Budget Hearings, a meeting to follow. Feb.
The Judiciary Committee will meet at 2:30 p.m. in Room 410.
The Education Committee will meet at 2:45 p.m. in Room 434.
Committee Meetings, tomorrow Feb. 13
The Committee on Pensions and Retirement will meet at 9 a.m. in Room 460.
The Committee on Banking and Insurance will meet at 9 a.m. in Room 410.
The Committee on Political Subdivisions will meet at 10 a.m. in Room 434.
The Rules Committee will meet at 10:45 a.m. behind the House Chamber.
The Committee on Energy and Manufacturing will meet at 1 p.m. in Room 460.
The Committee on Technology and Infrastructure will meet at 1 p.m. in Room 434.
The Committee on Health and Human Resources will meet at 3 p.m. in Room 215E.
The Committee on Economic Development and Tourism will meet at 3 p.m. in Room 410.
The Committee on Finance will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, February 14, 2023, at 8:45 a.m. in the House Chamber for House Bill 4850 – Removing the sunset clause from Oil and Gas Personal Property Tax.