Senate Legislation Feb. 22 -28

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As of Friday, February 28, 2020, 853 bills have been introduced to the Senate. Of those bills, 258 have passed and advanced to the House.

SB 38 allows county boards of education to offer high school students an elective social studies course on sacred texts or comparable world religions. The bill allows a student to use a translation of their choice.

SB 106 makes daylight savings time the official time year-round in the state. If the bill becomes law, it will only be made effective after federal congressional action to allow it.

SB 284 creates the West Virginia Health Care Continuity Act, which ensures that healthcare coverage plans meet certain standards while remaining affordable and are not denied to persons with preexisting conditions.

SB 472 creates an alternative sentencing program for work release for individuals convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. The bill allows such persons to work with the Division of Highways or the Division of Natural Resources on tasks such as cleaning up state parks or highways.

SB 511 regulates pawnbrokers to better prevent the selling of stolen property and assist in the recovery of stolen property by the police. The bill states that pawnbrokers cannot purchase from a minor or a person who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

SB 528 creates the Uniform Worker Classification Act. The purpose of the bill is to create a test to distinguish independent contractors from employees.

SB 578 recalculates the tax on producing, selling and generating solar electricity. The bill aligns the price with other energy taxes.

SB 579 authorizes enhanced emergency telephone systems to make changes for the collection, allocation, elimination or establishment of fees.

SB 648 provides dental coverage for adult Medicaid recipients. The bill describes the amount of coverage available and states the state departments responsible for this.

SB 653 increases the number of magistrates in Putnam, Monongalia, Berkeley and Jefferson Counties. The bill states that effective January 1, 2021, Berkeley County will have 6 magistrates, Jefferson County will have 4, Monongalia County will have 5 and Putnam County will have 4.

SB 661 changes the minimum minutes of intersectional time required per day in schools to an average of 5 hours per day throughout the instructional term. The bill prohibits the instructional term from commencing before September 1 and allows county boards of education to publish notice of public hearings for discussing school calendars on the board’s website.

SB 668 enacts the Uniform Trust Decanting Act, which allows a trustee to distribute assets of one trust into another trust.

SB 689 creates the Requiring Accountable Pharmaceutical Transparency, Oversight, and Reporting Act. This bill requires drug manufacturers and health benefit plan issuers in the state to provide cost information, changes in cost information and prescription drug statistics to the State Auditor.

SB 705 allows military veterans with certain training to qualify for licensure examinations for electricians and plumbers.

SB 723 requires the Department of Education to annually analyze data on school discipline and create a statewide plan addressing disciplinary actions taken by county boards.

SB 752 updates and improves the WV Medical Cannabis Act by increasing the locations of dispensaries and the acceptable forms of medical cannabis. The bill also clarifies that the Tax Division and the Bureau of Public Health are to monitor the price of medical cannabis.

SB 787 provides benefits to pharmacists for care given within the pharmacist’s scope of practice in a way that is equal to the benefits given to a health care provider giving the same care.

SB 838 directs the State Police to develop a referral program for substance abuse treatment, exempting persons seeking treatment from prosecution.

SB 850 clarifies that racial discrimination includes discrimination based on certain hair styles and textures. This includes but is not limited to hairstyles such as twists, braids or locks.