House Legislation Feb. 1-7

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As of Friday, February 7, 2020, there have been 1,314 bills introduced in the House and 89 bills have been passed and now are before the Senate.

House Bill 2164 clarifies that appeals to the Supreme Court are a matter of right and that every party has an opportunity to be heard and to obtain a written decision on the merits of the appeal.

House Bill 2892 relates to searches and seizures of digital property. This bill defines the terms of “digital and virtual information.” This bill includes digital and virtual information in the definition of property that can be searched and seized under a warrant. If a warrant is issued for an electronic device, then the information that the item contains is also permitted to be searched.

House Bill 2967 phases in elimination of state excise tax on privilege of transferring property and replacing it with county excise tax on certain date.

House Bill 4012 transfers the West Virginia Contractor Act from administration and oversight by the Division of Labor to regulation under the provisions of professions and occupations in Chapter 30 of this code.

House Bill 4083 requires the West Virginia Parkways Authority to accept the use of credit and debit cards for paying tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike.

House Bill 4090 creates the Oil and Gas Abandoned Well Plugging Fund. This bill attempts to accomplish two goals. It would reduce the tax on oil and gas produced from low-producing wells to reduce cost of production, to keep these wells in service for longer. The bill will use the reduced amount of taxes to plug and reclaim orphaned oil and gas wells that are polluting the environment.

House Bill 4137 allows county voter registration records to be maintained and stored in a digital format.

House Bill 4161 make it illegal to scleral tattoo (tattoo on an eyeball) a person. The bill defines the term “scleral tattoo.” The bill reorders definitions so they will be in alphabetical order.

House Bill 4356 updates credentials for certified nurse anesthetists who cooperate with a physician or dentist. The administration of anesthesia may be provided by a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) in cooperation with an anesthesiologist. If no anesthesiologist is readily available, the administration of anesthesia may be provided by a certified registered nurse anesthetist, in cooperation with a physician or dentist.

House Bill 4412 relates to educational benefits for members of the U.S. National Guard. Under current law, West Virginia is responsible for paying tuition and fees for higher education for students who are members of the National Guard. This bill provides that the federal government will pay the tuition and fees first, rather than covering the remainder. This saves money from out-of-pocket costs for students that are members of the National Guard.

House Bill 4434 is to have a statewide study and report on the existing health care workforce, as well as the workforce needs of the next 15 years.

House Bill 4375 facilitates interstate practice of audiology and speech-language pathology with the goal of improving public access to audiology and speech-language pathology services.

House Bill 4378 relates to the revocation of teaching licenses and certificates. This provides minimum consequences for certain offenses and defines terms for grooming a student or minor.

House Bill 4395 removes the requirement that a veterinarian access and report to the controlled substance monitoring database.

House Bill 4410 permits directors and executive officers of a banking institution to borrow from a banking institution with which he or she is connected up to $25,000 or 5 percent of unaffected capital and surplus to a maximum combined amount of $500,000 without the prior approval of a majority of the board of directors or discount committee of the banking institution.

House Bill 4414 aims to develop a resource which families can use to monitor and track deaf and hard of hearing children’s early language acquisition and expression, and developmental stages toward English literacy. This resource is very important, because it will help children develop language skills by the appropriate age or will otherwise offer resources to ensure progress with expressive skills.

House Bill 4415 aims to improve the response to, protection and recovery of missing and endangered children in the state. This bill makes it easier for law enforcement to handle missing children’s cases. One part of this bill states the importance of interagency cooperation. This means that state agencies and schools must cooperate and assist with confidential information that will help law enforcement with each case. This bill also establishes a missing foster child locator unit program, which includes duties such as receiving reports of missing foster children, assisting law enforcement and completing screening once the child has been found.

House Bill 4438 provides a mechanism to allow licensing of advance deposit wagering.

House Bill 4559 extends the time limitation to 10 years for a plaintiff to bring a civil suit or personal action against a defendant who committed sexual assault or sexual abuse on the plaintiff when the plaintiff was a minor.

House Bill 4352 removes barriers to employment for individuals with criminal records who seek licensure or certification in an occupation governed by state laws, with certain exceptions and to reduce the number of hours of necessary experience to qualify for certain licenses.

House Bill 4380 updates the regulatory board review schedule.

House Bill 4444 establishes Medals of Valor for emergency medical service members, firefighters, and law-enforcement officers

House Bill 4453 expands the eligibility requirements for private investigator and security guard licensure, remove the increased application fee for a nonresident of West Virginia or a foreign corporation or entity, and limit the fee charged by the Secretary of State for renewal of licensure