Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

House Refuses to Concur on Senate Bill 219

Today, the Delegates in the House passed 12 bills, eight of which completed legislative action. Additionally, the House concurred to complete action on four bills and recede from position to complete another. The House refused to concur with the Senate on Senate Bill 219.

Senate Bill 219 clarifies the elements of a crime by providing definitions for individuals engaged in the illegal use of controlled substances and seeking medical assistance. If a person is in the physical presence of another engaged in illegal drug use where the other suffers an overdose and the person fails to seek medical attention by contacting 911 or any first responder, then that person is guilty of a felony and shall be imprisoned for one to five years. The bill’s purpose is to encourage the reporting of overdoses by protecting those who report the overdose. The House-amended bill strikes “or knowingly facilitating illegal drug abuse by the other person so engaged” from the definition of “engaged in the illegal use of a controlled substance with another person.” Both bodies have refused to concur and a conferee meeting has been assigned. 

Senate Bill 146 requires the State Superintendent to create an Adult Education Task Force. The task force is to include: the State Superintendent, the head of adult education learning centers, and geographically diverse representatives from the community, including but not limited to, representation from business and the community college system. The bill also requires that the task force be created and begin its meetings on or before July 1, 2024. It must submit a report of recommendations to the Legislature by December 1, 2024. The bill advances to the Senate.

Senate Bill 147 removes the requirement of providing a social security number for the application of a license to carry weapons. The bill also defines “ammunition” to be used when completing training courses to carry. The bill advances to the Senate.

Senate Bill 148 establishes an auto-renewal program for wildlife licenses, permits, and stamps issued by the Division of Natural Resources. The bill removes the electronic issuance fee from the auto-renew program. The bill has completed legislative action.

Senate Bill 844 changes the name of the Educational Broadcasting Authority to the Educational Broadcasting Commission. A director for the commission would be appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Arts, Culture, and History. The number of members is reduced from eleven to nine. The bill advances to the Senate.

Senate Bill 865 increases the number of sections within the Department of Arts, Culture, and History from seven to eight to include the Educational Broadcasting Commission. The bill also changes references from curator to secretary. The bill has completed legislative action.

House Bill 4845 creates a misdemeanor offense of swatting. Swatting is reporting by telecommunications false or misleading information to a law enforcement agency and/or emergency services knowing the information to be false or misleading. For second and subsequent offenses OR if a violation causes bodily harm to another, the offending individual is guilty of a felony. If convicted, the individual shall be fined between $5,000 and $10,000 and/or imprisoned in a state facility for one to five years. The bill has completed legislative action.

House Bill 4940 clarifies that squatting is trespassing. The bill states squatters can be removed from property and charged with a criminal misdemeanor. The bill has completed legislative action.

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.

The House receded from its position on Senate Bill 451. The bill requires all appointed, elected, or newly hired prosecutors, and assistant prosecutors, to complete training prior to performing duties. The bill has completed legislative action.

Action was postponed on Senate bills 160 and 173.

The House is in recess until 5 p.m.

Committee Meetings today, March 6
The Finance Committee will meet at 1:45 p.m. in Room 460. 
The Education Committee will meet at 2:30 p.m. in Room 434.

The House reconvened at 5 p.m. to complete today’s agenda. Additional Senate Messages and Committee Reports were received.

The House is adjourned until tomorrow, March 7, 2024, at 9:30 a.m.

Committee Meetings tomorrow, March 7
The Rules Committee will meet at 9:15 a.m. behind the House Chamber.

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