Bills Voted on by the West Virginia House of Delegates during the 2021 Session

Guy WardNews, Quick Reads, Uncategorized

Last Updated: April 18, 2021

During the 2021 Legislative Session, I will update this post as often as I can. Hopefully, it will be updated daily. I will post the Bills and important Resolutions voted on by the West Virginia House of Delegates by date along with a description or explanation of the bill, whether or not they passed, vote count, my vote, and sometimes with my comments or an explanation of why I voted the way I voted if it’s a controversial bill.

The first number on the vote count are the Yeas, second number are the Nays, and third number are those who were  not in the Chambers at the time and did not vote.

To check the status of any bill by the bill number or get a more in depth look at the bill, go to this site: http://www.wvlegislature.gov/Bill_Status/bill_status.cf

To check for bills by topic: http://www.wvlegislature.gov/Bulletin_Board/topical.cfm?ses_year=2021&sessstype=RS&headtype=top&houseorig=h

To watch the sessions online, go to West Virginia House of Delegates Livestream.

February 15, 2021

HB2358: Updating meaning of federal adjusted gross income and certain other terms used in West Virginia Personal Income Tax Act. Passed 97-0-3. I voted Yes.

HB2359: Updating the meaning of federal taxable income and certain other terms used in the West Virginia Corporation Net Income Tax Act. Passed 97-0-3. I voted Yes.

February 16, 2021

HB2001: Relating generally to creating the West Virginia Jumpstart Savings Program. Passed 96-0-4. I voted Yes.

HB2005: Relating to health care costs. Passed 96-0-4. I voted Yes.

HB2006: The purpose of this bill is to transfer the West Virginia Contractor Licensing Act from administration and regulation by the Division of Labor to regulation under the provisions of professions and occupations in chapter 30 of this code. The bill retains the short title and declaration of policy with definitions of the existing act. It continues the West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board, composition, terms, qualifications, and appointment, together with administrative duties of board and legislative rules, without the Division of Labor. The bill does provide that the Division of Labor shall continue to perform inspections to ensure all applicable requirements are being met. The bill retains the necessity for contractor license and exemptions, procedure for licensing, expiration date, fees, and renewal of license. It continues procedure for revocation for unlawful use, assignment, or transfer of license. The bill continues the prerequisites to obtaining building permit and mandatory written contracts for certain work. The requirement of informational list for basic universal design features is retained, as is the provision for injunction and criminal penalties for violation of the article. Specific administrative duties of board and record keeping by the board are provided without the Division of Labor. The board is authorized to grant reciprocity and to provide training to students who desire to obtain a West Virginia contractor license. Misdemeanor criminal penalties for violations of article are retained. Finally, the bill restricts municipalities, local governments, and counties from requiring a license at their jurisdictional level to perform contracting work. Passed 68-29-3. I voted Yes.

HB2012: The purpose of this bill is to modify public charter schools generally; to provide for a liberal interpretation; to prohibit the conversion of private schools; to prohibit any sort of profit or monetary consideration by elected officials in relation to charter schools; to limit the authorization of public charter school; to create a process by which to appeal the authorizer’s decision to the West Virginia Board of Education; to create virtual public charter schools in West Virginia; to establish the West Virginia Professional Charter School Board; and to provide for members, appointments. Charter schools are tuition-free, publicly funded schools. Charter schools have greater accountability in exchange for greater autonomy.

Charter schools have unique freedom and flexibility not found in public school districts, and their freedom from the red tape of public education often allows them to dedicate increased resources and energy on supporting students in excelling academic standards. In addition to eliminating unnecessary politics and putting the focus back on education, this increased flexibility makes it possible for many charter schools to specialize in specific areas such as art, music, science, or technology.

About 3 million students attend charter schools across 45 states and the District of Columbia. The last four U.S. presidents (Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump) supported charter schools. Passed 66-32-2. I voted Yes.

HB2262: Relating to the controlled substance monitoring database. Passed 98-0-2. I voted Yes.

HB2264: Hospital exemptions from certificate of need. The purpose of this bill is to expand the definition of hospital services, and to exempt hospitals, as well as all health services provided from those hospitals, from certificate of need requirements. Passed 61-37-2. I voted Yes.

February 17, 2021

HB2011: Eliminating any time requirements for part time personnel to work during a working year. Passed 99-0-1. I voted Yes.

HB2019: Elevating Economic Development and Tourism Departments. This bill creates two new departments with two new cabinet secretaries. Passed 86-13-1. I voted No because I feel this bill, if becomes law, in the long run will create more government and I’m for less government as President Ronald Reagan advocated, “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”

HB2263: Update the regulation of pharmacy benefit managers. Passed 99-0-1. I voted Yes.

February 18, 2021

HB2007: Provide for occupational licenses or other authorization to practice by recognition for qualified applicants from other states. Passed 65-33-2. I voted No because I felt this bill went a little too far in their definition of qualified applicants.

HB2013: The purpose of this bill is to provide for occupational licenses or other authorization to practice by recognition for qualified applicants from other states. Passed 60-39-1. I voted Yes.

February 19, 2021

HB2003: Relating to the authority and obligations of the Governor and Legislature when in declared states of preparedness and emergency. Passed 97-0-3. I voted Yes.

HB2009: Relating to limitations on the use of wages and agency shop fees by employers and labor organizations for political activities. Passed 61-36-3. I voted No. This bill was an anti-union bill.

HB2014: Relating to role of the Legislature in appropriating federal funds  97-0-3 I voted Yes.

HB2325: Removing the requirement of continuing education for barbers and cosmetologists. Passed 84-13-3. I voted Yes. The purpose of this bill is to remove the requirement that barbers and cosmetologists must complete continuing education to renew their licenses.

HB2366: Requiring agencies who have approved a proposed rule that affects fees or other special revenues to provide to the committee a fiscal note. Passed 97-0-3.  I voted Yes.

February 22, 2021

HB2008: Amending requirements for licensure relating to elevator mechanics, crane operators, HVAC, electricians, and plumbers. Passed 61-37-2. I voted No. This bill  weakens all craft related licenses such as HVAC, Plumber, Crane Operator (removed by amendment), Electrician, and Elevator Mechanics.

HB2253: Relating to forgery and other crimes concerning lottery tickets. Passed 91-8-1. I voted Yes. This was a ridiculous bill in my opinion. It reduced the forgery of a lottery ticket from a felony down to a misdemeanor yet no one has ever been charged for this. We have more important things to pass.

February 23, 2021

HB2260: Relating to procurement of child placing services. Passed 98-0-2. I voted Yes.

HB2500: Create an act for Statewide Uniformity for Auxiliary Container Regulations. Passed 79-19-2. I voted Yes.

HJR1: The purpose of this resolution is to put a proposed amendment to the West Virginia Constitution on the ballot during the 2022 general elections.  The amendment would clarify that the general supervisory authority of the State Board of Education, including its rules, is subject to legislative enactments. Passed 95-2-0. I voted Yes.

February 24, 2021

HB2094: Relating to the juvenile restorative justice programs. Passed 99-0-1. I voted Yes.

HB2184: Increasing the penalties for exposure of governmental representatives to fentanyl or any other harmful drug. Passed 89-11-0. I voted Yes.

February 25, 2021

HB2372: Allow pre-candidacy papers to be filed the day after the general election. Passed 100-0-0. I voted Yes along with everyone else because it didn’t matter to me one way or the other but this one makes me scratch my head. We got more important bills to run, and leadership thinks it’s more important to shorten the time period of when you can file for reelection? Currently, you can file Precandidacy papers at the start of the next term of office, which is generally January 1 following the election. Why the extra time, which amounts to just under two months?

February 26, 2021

HB2265: Relating to collaborative pharmacy practice and updating rulemaking authority. Passed 93-0-7. I voted Yes. The small business owned pharmacies really liked this bill.

HB2290: Initiating a State Employment First Policy to facilitate integrated employment of disabled persons. Passed 93-1-6. I voted Yes. This is a very good bill to give an incentive to hire disabled individuals.

HB2529: Prohibiting West Virginia institutions of higher education from discriminating against graduates of private, nonpublic or home schools by requiring them to submit to alternative testing. Passed 94-1-5. I voted Yes.

March 1, 2021

HB 2267:    Establishing an optional bus operator in residence program for school districts. 93-0-7. I voted Yes. (Several Delegates missing because of flooding.)

HB 2616:    Amend the reporting to the Governor and the Legislature to have information continuously available on the Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification’s website. 93-0-7. I voted Yes. (Several Delegates were missing because of flooding.)

March 2, 2021

HJR2: The purpose of this resolution is to clarify that courts have no authority or jurisdiction to intercede or intervene in or interfere with impeachment proceedings of the House of Delegates or the Senate and that a judgment rendered by the Senate following an impeachment trial is not reviewable by any court of this state. Constitutional Amendment. To be approved on by the voters. 78-21-1. I voted Yes.

SB11: The purpose of this bill is to declare any work stoppage or strike by public employees to be unlawful; define when a county board of education employee is considered to be participating in a concerted work stoppage or strike; prohibit use of accrued and equivalent instructional time to cancel days lost due to a concerted work stoppage or strike; prohibit a waiver by the State Board for a county board of education’s noncompliance with the employment and instructional term requirements if the noncompliance is the result of a concerted work stoppage or strike; declare participation in a concerted work stoppage or strike to be grounds for termination; require, if the employee remains employed, county boards of education to withhold the prorated salary or hourly pay of each employee participating in the concerted work stoppage or strike for each day the employee participates; require the sums to be forfeited to the county board of education; prohibit participation in extracurricular activities when an originally scheduled instructional day or non-instructional day is canceled due to a concerted work stoppage or strike; and prohibit a superintendent from closing a school in anticipation of or to facilitate a concerted work stoppage or strike. Passed 55-44-1. I voted Yes because this bill is just codifying a State Supreme Court decision. I also believe that if public employees were allowed to unionize, which they’re not, things like strikes could be handled a different way. Why after over 80 years of Democrat control of this state, they were never allowed this privilege is beyond me. That’s why I question the Democrat party’s motives. They say they’re the party of the working class, yet they do things that contradict this. Recent example is when President Biden stopped construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline eliminating thousands of union jobs. Rank and file evidently thinks so too because in direct opposition with their union leaders’ endorsement over 40% of union workers voted for a Republican president in the last two elections. You won’t find this among members of such organizations like the NRA.

March 3, 2021

HB 2002: The purpose of this bill is to create the statutory framework to support, encourage, and expedite the expansion of broadband throughout the State of West Virginia. Passed 98-1-1. I voted Yes. With telemedicine and more virtual classrooms being held online this is much needed legislation. According to the FCC, nearly half of West Virginia residents don’t have access to broadband.

HB 2024: The purpose of this bill is to expand the use of telemedicine by allowing medical personnel to participate in telemedicine visits, to ensure parity between telemedicine and in-person visits, and to restrict the ability of medical professional boards to restrict telemedicine beyond what is in this section. Passed 98-0-2. I voted Yes. I think most individuals given the option would rather sit at home and wait for the physician to call than to sit in a waiting room.

HB 2025: The purpose of this bill is to provide liquor, wine, and beer licensees with some new concepts developed during the State of Emergency utilizing new technology to provide greater freedom to operate in a safe and responsible manner, and additionally to provide new licenses to reflect societal requests, by creating: (1) the ability to sell sealed liquor drinks in a craft cocktail, sealed wine, and sealed beer by a Class A licensee or a third party, who obtains a third party delivery license, with a food order utilizing telephone, mobile ordering app, or web based software; (2) a nonintoxicating beer or nonintoxicating beer retail transportation permit, a private wine delivery permit, and craft cocktail delivery permit to transport a food order and beer, wine, and liquor in a vehicle to a purchasing patron; (3) outdoor dining and outdoor street dining areas when authorized by a municipality for beer, wine, and liquor; (4) authorizing in-person or in-vehicle delivery while picking up food and sealed nonintoxicating beer, nonintoxicating craft beer, wine, or craft cocktail growler orders-to-go; (5) an unlicensed brewer or home brewer temporary license to attend a limited number of fairs and festivals in West Virginia and provide nonintoxicating beer to patrons; (6) permitting distilleries, mini-distilleries, micro-distilleries, wineries, and farm wineries to operate a private manufacturer club on their licensed premises which can include outdoor spaces; (7) permitting owners of distilleries, mini-distilleries, and micro-distilleries to operate wineries farm wineries, brewers, and resident brewers, and vice versa for wineries and farm wineries; (8) authorizing the direct shipping of liquor to adult West Virginia residents by distilleries, requirements, and license fee; (9) expanded definitions and requirements for pre-mixing alcoholic drinks not in the original container with public health and safety issues addressed; (10) a new license for a private caterer which is already licensed as a private club restaurant to caterer food and alcohol to unlicensed venues with limits; (11) a new license for a private club bar which only provides pre-packaged or basic food in a limited kitchen; (12) a new license for a private club restaurant which provides freshly prepared food in a restaurant style kitchen; (13) a new license for a private tennis club bar where the facility has tennis courts and other grounds which could encompass the licensed premises; (14) a new license for a private wedding venue or barn where food and alcohol are provided on limited basis and the licensee does not operate with daily bar hours; (15) a new license for a limited one-time, once a year license for a charity to conduct a liquor auction in conjunction with a private club and this is limited since the parties are not licensed for liquor sales like a retail liquor outlet; (16) a new license for a multi-vendor fair and festival license where multiple vendors may share liability and responsibility when conducting a joint alcohol event authorized by a municipality; (17) facilitating the economic development of hard cider in West Virginia by reclassifying hard cider in code, establishing a hard cider tax rate; tax collection; creating a new fund for the Agriculture Department to facilitate fruit production for use in hard cider, and additional hard cider requirements; (18) authorizing  the ability to sell sealed wine growlers from wineries, farm wineries, and various wine retailers; and (19) and an exemption from the unlawful admission dance hall prohibition for certain licensees utilizing an age verification system. Further, the bill provides for various requirements, licensee fees in certain situations and no additional license fees in certain situations, and penalties. Passed 80-18-2. I voted No. I wasn’t against everything in this bill, but I voted no, along with 17 other conservative Christian Delegates, because I felt it was going a little too far. After all, we lowered the drinking age to 18 once upon a time and then raised it back to 21 after it didn’t work. We need to learn from history. If we make alcohol too available, then minors get more access to it and driving accident deaths by DUI go up.

HB 2093: The purpose of this bill is to allow West Virginia veterans to utilize the services of medical foster homes approved by the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs, and to exempt medical foster home caregivers from duplicative background examination requirements of the WV CARES program. Passed 98-0-2. I voted Yes.

HB 2791: The purpose of this bill is to require county boards of education to permit students who are homeschooled or attend private schools to enroll and take classes at the county’s vocational school. Passed 96-2-2. I voted Yes. It’s a parent’s right to homeschool their children but not everything can be taught at home.

March 4, 2021

HB2013: The purpose of this bill is to establish the Hope Scholarship Program, which will provide for eligible recipients to receive funds for personal education savings accounts to be used for qualifying education expenses on behalf of the eligible recipient. Passed 57-42-1. I voted Yes. It’s all about expanding educational choice. Education savings accounts (ESAs) allow parents to withdraw their children from public district or charter schools and receive a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts with restricted, but multiple, uses. Those funds—often distributed to families via debit card—can cover private school tuition and fees, online learning programs, private tutoring, community college costs, higher education expenses and other approved customized learning services and materials. Some ESAs, but not all, even allow students to use their funds to pay for a combination of public-school courses and private services. Currently, there are five States that offer ESA’s. West Virginia will be the sixth. Seven other States have introduced ESAs in their legislatures since 2014. ESAs are considered better than the traditional school vouchers, which 18 other states offer.

March 5, 2021

HB 2257: Relating to extended supervision for certain drug offenders. The purpose of this bill is to require extended supervision for certain drug offenders. Passed 68-29-3. I voted No. I agree with the comments made by Rick Wilson in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, “For the past several years, there’s been a remarkable bipartisan consensus in the West Virginia Legislature about the need to reform the criminal legal system but that seems to have come to an end with this bill. Incredibly, the bill would allow for certain people convicted of certain drug felonies to be subjected to extended supervision for up to 10 years after they completed serving all their prison and parole time. That’s a basically endless round of surveillance and control that could result in many people being sent back to prison for noncriminal technical violations, which could include things as trivial as missing an unnecessary meeting or a curfew. It also could require people dealing with recovery and reentry issues, most of whom have severe money and job problems because of their convictions, to pay monthly fees for the privilege of additional humiliation, degradation and supervision for years after they served their time. Such extended punishment also would rack up heavy costs for taxpayers, who would have to pay for that regimen and the inevitable costs of re-incarceration, possibly for years, for no good reason.” (Comment slightly edited by me.)

HB 2507: The purpose of this bill is to remove the limitations on advertising and promotional activities by limited video lottery retailers. Passed 55-39-6. I voted No. I think we’re inviting trouble by removing these restrictions.

HB 2621: Mandating certification for certain members of fire departments, require certain types of training, allow specialized personnel who are not firefighters to be members of a department, and require the postings of fire department evaluations. Passed 94-0-6. I voted Yes for our first responders.

SB358: Removing prohibition on ATMs located in area where racetrack video lottery machines are located. Passed 73-25-2. I voted Yes but if I was to vote again on this bill, I might just vote no. We got too many other important matters confronting this state and we’re worried about ATMs at the racetracks. Also, some may think this is allowing more temptation for those who are addicted to gambling to be enticed to spending more. However, you can already get cash using a credit card at gambling casinos. You do so at the casino cashier’s cage.

March 8, 2021

SB. 280: The purpose of this bill is to require government entities in the state to accept all payments electronically. Passed 98-0-2. I voted Yes.

SB. 372: Providing greater discretion to WV Board of Medicine to approve graduate clinical training. Passed 98-0-2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2221: The purpose of this bill is to establish a process in which a person or entity may apply to the Insurance Commissioner for the introduction and utilization of an insurance innovation in this state that would otherwise be in conflict with West Virginia law. Passed 97-1-2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2335: The purpose of this bill is to increase the minimum, criminal penalty for a driver who, in an impaired state, causes the death of a minor. The penalty is a minimum of 5 years, with the addition that the driver must serve a minimum of five years before being eligible for parole. Passed 88-10-2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2363: The Best Interests of the Child Protection Act of 2021. The purpose of this bill is to establish that co-equal shared legal and physical custody of a child, and the maintaining of sibling, including half-sibling, relationships through co-equal shared legal and physical custody of children, in cases of divorce is presumed to be in the best interests of the child; that parental rights are protected constitutional rights of parents that may not be infringed upon by courts except after full adversarial judicial proceedings on the record and with no consideration of ex parte evidence of any kind by any court or judge against any parent; and also that certain parental rights are coordinate with and directly justify the granting shared legal and physical custody equally between parents of children and shall be so enforced by the courts of this state. Passed 68-31-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2701: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the Division of Rehabilitation Services to approve training programs acceptable for training low vision individuals to obtain a Class G driver’s license. Currently, only the Division of Rehabilitation Services is authorized to provide the training at its facility. Allowing other service providers to be utilized offers more availability for the training within local communities. Passed 99-0-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2709: The purpose of this bill is to provide that the aggregate liability of a surety on a consumer protection bond under the West Virginia Fintech Regulatory Sandbox Program does not exceed the principal sum of the bond. Passed 98-1-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2764: The purpose of this bill is to allow the Division of Financial Institutions to enter into reciprocity agreements with other jurisdictions that operate similar programs to the West Virginia Fintech Sandbox Program. Passed 97-2-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2765: The purpose of this bill is to allow emergency management and operations vehicles operated by airports to use red flashing warning lights. Passed 99-0-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2905: Relating to repealing the prohibition against the use of certain words. The purpose of this bill is to repeal the use of prefix “Doctor” or “Dr.” penalty. Passed 76-23-1. I reluctantly voted Yes. This was a dumb bill because someone used the prefix “Dr.” during the 2020 campaign and violated this law. This law had been in place for decades and only one individual was ever charged with violating it and that was in 2020. The charges were dropped.

March 9, 2021

HB. 270: The purpose of this bill is to provide for the collection of the hotel occupancy tax by marketplace facilitators. Passed 97-3-0. I voted Yes. When it becomes law, this will allow municipalities and counties to collect the tax from Airbnb’s.

HB. 2906: The purpose of this bill is to increase the discretion of School Building Authority to spend up to 10 percent of their annual construction and major improvements budget for projects at vocational programs throughout the state. The current limit is 3 percent. Passed 83-16-1. I voted Yes.

March 10, 2021

SB. 216: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the Department of Commerce to promulgate a legislative rule relating to tourism development districts. Passed 97-3-0. I voted Yes.

SB. 272: The purpose of this bill is to simplify criteria used to define independent contractors and to impose objective standards on the differentiation of independent contractors from employees. Passed 77-23-0. I voted Yes reluctantly. It means to clarify the laws between employees and independent contractor, which in legit cases that’s good, but it may protect the fake contractors, which there are some.

SB. 277: The purpose of this bill is to create the West Virginia COVID-19 Immunity Act. This is meant to protect businesses, non-profits, individuals, etc. from frivolous lawsuit due to someone contracting COVID. It doesn’t mean you can’t sue someone who deliberately causes you to contract this disease, but it prevents someone from suing by saying they contracted COVID in your establishment. Passed 76-24-0. I voted Yes but I voted for an amendment on Second Reading that failed that would’ve gave more protection to nursing home residents. AARP wasn’t happy that the amendment failed.

SB. 296: Relating generally to repealing certain rules that are outdated or not used anymore. Passed 100-0-0. I voted Yes.

SB. 338: The purpose of the bill is to create a Fire Service Equipment and Training Fund. Passed 99-1-0. I voted Yes.

HB. 2598: Altering the definition of an above ground storage tank. Very controversial bill and very misunderstood. This bill does not affect tanks such as the ones involved in the Elk River chemical spill occurred on January 9, 2014 when crude 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) was released from a Freedom Industries facility into the Elk River, a tributary of the Kanawha River, in Charleston, West Virginia. The tanks that this bill refers to are tanks associated with oil wells. In 2020, it was found that 2 of these tanks had a leak but neither one threatened the environment. The contents in these tanks mainly consists of brine, which is used by the WVDOH to treat roads in winter. Passed 74-26-0. I voted Yes.

HB. 2674: Relating to the administration of anesthetics. The purpose of this bill is to update the required credentials for a certified nurse anesthetist who cooperates with a physician or dentist. Passed 85-14-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2957: Relating to the repeal of outdated code sections. The purpose of this bill is to repeal outdated sections of code. Passed 99-0-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2958: Relating to repealing outdated sections of state code. The purpose of this bill is to repeal outdated sections of code. Passed 98-1-1. I voted Yes.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

30th Day

SB. 126: Authorizing Department of Administration to promulgate legislative rules. Passed 98-1-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2671: Relating to financial exploitation of elderly persons, protected persons or incapacitated adults. Passed 96-3-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2722: Prohibiting the use of class B fire-fighting foam for testing purposes if the foam contains a certain class of fluorinated organic chemicals. Passed 99-0-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2852: Relating to distribution of the allowance for increased enrollment. Passed 99-0-1. I voted Yes.

 

Friday, March 12, 2021

31st Day

SB. 89: Exempting certain kindergarten and preschool programs offered by private schools from registration requirements. Passed 96-0-4. I voted Yes.

SB. 295: Relating generally to economic development loans and loan insurance issued by state. Passed 97-0-3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2382: Authorizing the Department of Environmental Protection to promulgate a legislative rule relating to ambient air quality standards. Passed 73-24-3. Party line vote. I voted Yes. The purpose of this bill is to authorize the Department of Environmental Protection to promulgate a legislative rule relating to ambient air quality standards. It does not weaken water standards as opponents claim.

HB. 2682: Relating to the issuance of license suspensions to insurance producers and insurance adjusters who have failed to meet continuing education requirements. Passed 95-2-3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2758: Requiring the Insurance Commissioner to regulate professional bondsmen. Passed 93-4-3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2763: Creating WV Cyber Incident Reporting. Passed 95-2-3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2788: Expiring funds to the unappropriated surplus balance from State Excess Lottery Revenue Fund. Passed 95-1-4. I voted Yes.

HB. 2804: Expiring funds to the unappropriated surplus balance in the State Fund, General Revenue, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. Passed 96-0-4. I voted Yes.

HB. 2789: Supplementing and amending the appropriations to Public Defender Services. Passed 96-1-3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2802: Supplementing and amending the appropriations of public moneys out of the Treasury from the balance of moneys remaining as an unappropriated surplus balance in the State Fund, General Revenue, to the Department of Homeland Security, Division of Emergency Management. Passed 96-0-4. I voted Yes.

HB. 2803: Supplementing and amending the appropriations of public moneys out of the Treasury from the balance of moneys remaining as an unappropriated surplus balance in the State Fund, General Revenue, to the Department of Commerce, Division of Forestry. Passed 95-1-4. I voted Yes.

HB. 2916: Creating the Semi quincentennial Commission for the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States of America. Passed 95-1-4. I voted Yes.

HB. 2932: Protections for Charitable Organizations. Passed 85-12-3. I voted Yes.

Monday, March 15, 2021

34th Day

Resolutions

SC. R. 4: Recognizing June 19 as Juneteenth Day. Adopted 96-0-4. I voted Yes.

HC. R. 9: Urging Congress to call a convention of states to limit terms of office of the US House of Representatives. Adopted 76-20-4. I voted Yes. Very controversial Resolution where our State is calling for a Convention of States under Article V of the United States Constitution to amend our Constitution to impose term limits on Congress.

HC. R. 35: Requesting the Department of Health and Human Resources to continuously evaluate the child welfare system. Adopted by Voice Vote. I voted Yes.

HR. 14: Resolution on West Virginia’s Energy Future. Adopted by Voice Vote. I voted Yes.

Bills on Third Reading

HB. 2688: Allow county political parties to have building funds in a similar manner that state parties are allowed. Passed 95-2-3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2705: Authorizing the Department of Health and Human Resources to promulgate a legislative rule relating to food establishments. Passed 96-1-3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2797: Declaring certain claims to be moral obligations of the State. Passed 96-1-3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2834: Adding the Curator of the West Virginia Division of Arts, Culture and History as an ex officio voting member of the commission. Passed 93-4-3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2877: Expand direct health care agreements beyond primary care to include more medical care services. Passed 98-0-2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2891: Creating minimum statutory standards for law-enforcement officers. Passed 89-9-2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2969: To clarify the procedures for the sale and operation of a municipally owned toll bridge by a private toll transportation facility. Passed 91-7-2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2972: Allowing a person to manufacture a stated amount of alcoholic liquor for personal consumption. Passed 78-19-3. I voted No. I’m afraid this might open a can of worms. This makes moonshine legal for personal consumption but who’s going to keep track of how much shine a person will make. However, that’s not my biggest fear. Currently, we have illegal moonshiners, but they know what they’re doing. What this law might do is bring in amateur moonshiners who don’t know what they’re doing. Distilled beverages need to be left to the professionals. If not done right, it can lead to blindness and even death.

 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

35th Day

The following Resolutions were all adopted by Voice Vote. I voted Yes on all of them.

SC. R. 15: Extending certain leases between US Army Corps of Engineers and Nicholas County Airport Authority.

HC. R. 8: U.S. Army SFC Guy Hively Memorial Bridge.

HC. R. 13: TEC 5 U. S. Army Donald “Tiny” Lucas Memorial Bridge.

HC. R. 16: PFC Franklin D. Frazier Memorial Road.

HC. R. 32: To name Gatewood Road in Fayette County as the “Senator Shirley Love Memorial Road.”

Bills on Third Reading

HB. 2379: Make criminal invasion of privacy a felony. Passed 97-2-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2770: Including home confinement officers in definition of law-enforcement officers. Passed 93-6-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2776: Creating the Air Ambulance Patient Protection Act. Passed 85-14-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2888: Relating to when contentions can be revived based on forensic scientific evidence that was not available at time of conviction. Passed 99-0-1. I voted Yes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

36th Day

SB. 404: Modifying well work permits issued by DEP Office of Oil and Gas. Passed 77-22-1. Party line vote. I voted Yes.

HB. 2400: Authorizing the Department of Transportation to promulgate legislative rules. Passed 98-1-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2794: To extend the Neighborhood Investment Program Act to July 1, 2026. Passed 98-1-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2817: Donated Drug Repository Program. Passed 99-0-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 3078: Relating to powers and duties of the parole board. Passed 96-6-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 3081: Updating the West Virginia Business Corporations Act. Passed 98-1-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 3128: Relating to carrier fees on 911 fee revenues. Passed 99-0-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 3133: Relating to motor carrier rates. Passed 98-1-1. I voted Yes.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

37th Day

SB. 5: Relating to claims arising out of WV Consumer Credit and Protection Act. Passed 77-22-1. Party line vote. I voted Yes.

SB. 42: Creating Zombie Property Remediation Act of 2021. Passed 96-3-1. I voted Yes.

SB. 523: Correcting improper code references. Passed 98-0-2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2495: Relating to the filing of asbestos and silica claims. Passed 76-23-1. Party line vote. I voted Yes. The purpose of this bill is to further clarify procedures for the handling of asbestos and silica litigation and to enhance the ability of the judicial system to manage such litigation by requiring the filing of additional information to verify that there is a factual basis for each claim against each defendant; to ensure that defendants are not subject to liability for later-added asbestos-containing products manufactured or sold by third parties; and to allow for the consolidation of asbestos or silica actions at trial with the consent of all parties.

HB. 2830: Relating generally to sex trafficking. Passed 99-0-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2854: Relating to the West Virginia Municipal Police Officers and Firefighters Retirement System. Passed 99-0-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2855: Relating to the Natural Resources Police Officers Retirement System. Passed 99-0-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2896: Making a supplementary appropriation to the Department of Health and Human Resources, Division of Human Services. Passed 96-3-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2898: Making a supplementary appropriation to WorkForce West Virginia – WorkForce Investment Act. Passed 98-1-1. I voted Yes.

HB. 2901: Making a supplementary appropriation to the Department of Health and Human Resources, Division of Human Services. Passed 99-1-0. I voted Yes.

HB. 2903: Making a supplementary appropriation to the Department of Homeland Security, West Virginia State Police. Passed 99-1-0. I voted Yes.

HB. 2940: Making a supplementary appropriation to the Department of Education, State Board of Education – State Department of Education. Passed 95-5-0. I voted Yes.

Friday, March 19, 2021

38th Day

SB. 469: Permitting and establishing requirements for appearance by video for purpose of notarial acts. Passed 98-0-2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2174: West Virginia Monument and Memorial Protection Act of 2021. Passed 70-28-2. Mostly a party line vote. I voted Yes. This was another controversial vote, but it shouldn’t have been. Liberals across the aisle tried to make it a racist motivated bill. All the bill was doing was making a pathway to remove statues and monuments in a peaceful manner. Unlike what the public saw during the past year. This bill has overwhelming support across the State as some of the liberals probably now realize after remarks on their posts on Facebook went against them. The purpose of this bill is to prohibit the relocation, removal, alteration, renaming, rededication, or other disturbance of any statue, monument, memorial, nameplate, or plaque which is located on public property and has been erected for, or named, or dedicated in honor of certain historical military, civil rights, and Native American events, figures, and organizations; to prohibit any person from preventing the governmental entity having responsibility for maintaining the items, structures, or areas from taking proper measures to protect, preserve, care for, repair, or restore the items, structures, or areas; and to establish a process by which the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office may grant waivers under certain circumstances. After 2 hours of debate from the left, Delegate Brandon Steele closed the debate with a very emotional speech. You can view it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3HPhTZ_jGs

HB. 2496: Relating to assessments of real property. Passed 96-1-3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2499: Tax reduction for arms and ammo manufacturing. Passed 93-4-3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2633: Creating the 2021 Farm Bill. Passed 97-0-3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2742: Providing explicit authority to process an online driver’s license or identification renewal or reissuance when the applicant needs to update the address. Passed 88-9-3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2777: Repeal municipal amusement tax. Passed 88-9-3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2782: Repeal domestic animal tax. Passed 76-21-3. Party line vote. I voted Yes. The purpose of this bill is to repeal the section of code relating to domestic animal tax. Another bill mostly along party lines. For whatever reason befuddles me. This tax isn’t being used by municipalities. They’ve been piggybacking on a county tax that allows taxation on domestic animals.

HB. 2808: Remove salt from list and definition of “mineral” for severance tax purposes. Passed 94-2-4. I voted Yes.

HB. 2823: Exempting buildings or structures utilized exclusively for agricultural purposes from the provisions of the State Building Code. Passed 94-1-5. I voted Yes.

HB. 2914: To remove certain ex officio, voting members from the Archives and History Commission and update formatting. Passed 92-3-5. I voted Yes.

HB. 3130: Relating to elimination of sunset provisions concerning towing rates. Passed 57-39-4. I voted No. This bill will allow tow truck operators to hold onto all your possessions in your vehicle if you have a wreck until the towing fee is paid. That would include your wallet and personal items that might’ve been left in your vehicle while you were being transported to the hospital.

Monday, March 22, 2021

41st Day

SB. 156– Authorizing Department of Homeland Security to promulgate legislative rules. Passed 93 – 2 – 5. I voted Yes.

SB. 160– Authorizing Department of Revenue to promulgate legislative rules. Passed 92 – 5 – 3. I voted Yes.

SB. 182– Authorizing miscellaneous agencies and boards to promulgate legislative rules. Passed 97 – 1 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2026– Relating to the modernization of the collection of income taxes by adopting uniform provisions relating to the mobile workforce. Passed 95 – 2 – 3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2796– Expiring funds from the WV Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses and making a supplementary appropriation to the Department of Commerce, Development Office. Passed 97 – 1 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2829– Providing for the amortization of annual funding deficiencies for municipal police or firefighter pension and relief funds. Passed 98 – 0 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2897– Expiring funds to the balance of the Department of Commerce. Passed 97 – 1 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2899– Making a supplementary appropriation to the Department of Commerce. Passed 95 – 3 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2920– Making a supplementary appropriation to the Department of Health and Human Resources, Division of Health – Laboratory Services Fund. Passed 97 – 1 – 2. I voted Yes.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

42nd Day

SB. 9– Continuing Licensed Racetrack Modernization Fund. 63 – 34 – 3. I voted No. I didn’t like this bill as did other Republicans. It subsidizes the casinos. No other industry in West Virginia is subsidized as much as the casinos.

SB. 10– Modifying racetrack licensing due date. Passed 80 – 17 – 3. I voted Yes.

SB. 305– Providing exemption from consumers sales and service tax for certain aircraft maintenance. Passed 84 – 13 – 3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2195– Relating to motor vehicle crash reports. Passed 96 – 1 – 3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2368– Mylissa Smith’s Law, creating patient visitation privileges. Passed 98 – 0 -2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2630– Requiring DEP to reimburse fines paid by towns, villages and communities in certain instances. Passed 89 – 9 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2760– Relating to economic development incentive tax credits. Passed 98 – 0 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2785– Relating to public school enrollment for students from out of state. Passed 98 – 0 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2874– Extend the current veteran’s business fee waivers to active-duty military members, their spouses and immediate family members. Passed 98 – 0 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 3010– To extend the special valuation method for cellular towers to towers owned by persons not subject to regulation by the Board of Public Works. Passed 98 – 0 – 2. I voted Yes.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

43rd Day

SB. 517– Relating to sunset provisions of legislative rules. Passed 98 – 0 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2028– Exempting veterinarians from the requirements of controlled substance monitoring. Passed 97 – 1 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2029– Relating to teacher preparation clinical experience programs. 98 – 0 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2427– Authorizing the Department of Health and Human Resources to promulgate legislative rules. Passed 95 – 2 – 3. I voted Yes.

HB. 2874– Extend the current veteran’s business fee waivers to active-duty military members, their spouses and immediate family members. Passed 98 – 0 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 2982– Relating to the Second Chances at Life Act of 2021. Passed 83 – 15 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 3045– Relating to firefighter disability claims. Passed 97 – 1 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 3164– Relating generally to kidnapping. Passed 98 – 0 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 3177– Removing expired, outdated, inoperative and antiquated provisions and report requirements in education. Passed 98 – 0 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 3215– Amending the requirements to become an elected prosecutor. Passed 96 – 2 – 2. I voted Yes.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

44th Day

HB. 2702– To require all public high school students to complete and submit a free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) prior to graduation. Passed 42 – 56 – 2. WOW! We killed one on the floor. This hardly ever happens. This was a bad bill. It made it mandatory for students and parents to complete an application for federal aid. If a student didn’t, then he couldn’t graduate from high school. I can’t believe it made it to the floor. I voted NO.

HB. 2726– Allowing for the lease of air space above public roads for the safe operation of unmanned aircraft. Passed 93 – 3 – 4. I voted Yes.

HB. 2792– Relating to the expansion of direct access to natural gas service for new customers. Passed 94 – 2 – 4. I voted Yes.

HB. 2953– To clarify that counties can hire fire fighters as paid staff and to modify the existing procedures to include a procedure of public hearing to commission a vote. Passed 96 – 1 – 3. I voted Yes.

HB. 3107– Declaring that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosed by a licensed psychiatrist is a compensable occupational disease for first responders. Passed 96 – 2 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 3137– To accelerate the conversion of the transfer tax on the privilege of transferring real property from a state excise tax to a county excise tax. Passed 98 – 0 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 3191– Requiring employers to send certain notifications when retirants are hired as temporary, part-time employees. Passed 98 – 0 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 3231– Public Utilities not required to pay interest on security deposits. Passed 92 – 6 – 2. I voted Yes.

HB. 3293– Relating to single-sex participation in interscholastic athletic events. Passed 78 – 20 – 2. I voted Yes. Very controversial bill. The purpose of this bill is to require that a secondary student athlete’s participation in single-sex athletics be based upon the athlete’s biological sex, as indicated on the athlete’s original birth certificate issued at the time of birth. This has become a problem in other states. https://apnews.com/article/8fd300537131153cc44e0cf2ade3244b

HB. 3294– Relating to unemployment insurance. Passed 98 – 0 – 2. I voted Yes.

Friday, March 26, 2021

45th Day

SB. 67– Relating to authority of Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council. Passed 95 – 0 – 5. I voted Yes.

SB. 356– Allowing for written part of drivers’ exam given in high school drivers’ education course. Passed 95 – 0 – 5. I voted Yes.

SB. 390– Reorganizing Health Care Authority under DHHR and clarifying responsibilities for all-payer claims database. Passed 95 – 0 – 5. I voted Yes.

SB. 431– Relating to school attendance notification requirements to DMV. Passed 94 – 1 – 5. I voted Yes.

SB. 435– Requiring county superintendents to authorize certain school principals or administrators at nonpublic schools to issue work permits for enrolled students. Passed 75 – 21 – 4. I voted Yes. This vote was mostly across party lines. This bill just makes it easier for students attending private schools to get work permits.

HB. 2145– Relating to student aide class titles. Passed 93 – 2 – 5. I voted Yes.

HB. 2573– Relating generally to the transparency and accountability of state grants to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse. Passed 94 – 2 – 4. I voted Yes.

HB. 2694– Create the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act. Passed 74- 22 – 4. I voted Yes. Another bill mainly across party lines. This bill prevents police forces in West Virginia from enforcing any new federal antigun laws.

HB. 2726– Allowing for the lease of air space above public roads for the safe operation of unmanned aircraft. Passed 93 – 3 – 4. I voted Yes.

HB. 2842– Preventing cities from banning utility companies in city limits. Passed 91 – 5 – 4. I voted Yes.

HB. 2933– Anti-Discrimination Against Israel Act. Passed 94 – 2 – 4. I voted Yes.

HB. 2981– Providing veterans with suicide prevention assistance. Passed 96 – 0 – 4. I voted Yes.

HB. 3254– Authorizing members of development authorities to accept federally authorized reimbursement for services which the members rendered on a voluntary basis. Passed 95 – 1 – 4. I voted Yes.

HB. 3266– Providing for termination of extracurricular contact upon retirement. Passed 92 – 4 – 4. I voted Yes.

HB. 3299– Authorizing Higher Education Rules. Passed 93 – 3 – 4. I voted Yes.

HB. 3301– Relating generally to property tax increment financing districts. Passed 89 – 2 – 9. I voted Yes

March 29, 2021

HB2747: Transferring the Parole Board to the Office of Administrative Hearings. Passed 73-25-2. I voted Yes.

HB2773: Permitting DNR to issue up to 100 permits for boats greater than 10 horsepower on Upper Mud River Lake. Passed 98-0-2. I voted Yes.

HB2793: Permit out of state residents to obtain West Virginia concealed carry permits. Passed 98-0-2. I voted Yes.

HB2890: To clarify the regulatory authority of the Public Service Commission of West Virginia over luxury limousine services. Passed 75-24-1. I voted Yes.

HB 2962: Relating generally to dental practice. Passed 100-0-0. I voted Yes.

HB 3002: Update road abandonment process. Passed 100-0-0. I voted Yes.

HB 3300: Relating to reducing personal income tax rates generally. Passed 77-23-0. I voted Yes. Later I voted no after the Senate amended with a strike and insert amendment, which was similar to the Governor’s proposal.

HB 3303: Relating to clarifying the process of filling vacancies on ballots. Passed 98-0-2. I voted Yes.

HB 2263: Update the regulation of pharmacy benefit managers. Passed 100-0-0. I voted Yes.

March 30, 2021

HB 2290: Initiating a State Employment First Policy to facilitate integrated employment of disabled persons – Senate Amended House Bill. Passed 99-1-0. I voted Yes.

SB 275: Relating generally to WV Appellate Reorganization Act of 2021. Passed 56-44-0. I voted No because we really don’t need an extra court of appeals. This only helps the insurance companies and big businesses. Doesn’t help the average person because it will stretch out the process.

HB 2266: Relating to expanding certain insurance coverages for pregnant women. Passed 98-2-0. I voted Yes.

HB 2493: Providing valuation limitations for coal property taxation and clarifying the penalties for non-filers. Passed 64-34-2. I voted No. This bill may hurt the Counties’ budgets.

HB 2581: Providing for the valuation of natural resources property and an alternate method of appeal of proposed valuation of natural resources property. Passed 66-34-0. I voted No. This bill may hurt the Counties’ budgets.

HB 2667: To create a cost saving program for state buildings regarding energy efficiency. Passed 97-3-0. I voted Yes.

HB 2720: Creating a Merit-Based Personnel System within DOT. Passed 86-14-0. I voted Yes.

HB 2768: Supplementing, amending and increasing an existing item of appropriation from the State Road Fund, to the Department of Transportation, Division of Highways Supplemental Appropriation  Yeas: 99   Nays: 1   Absent: 0   Passed I voted Yes.

HB 2769: Supplementing, amending and increasing items of existing appropriation from the State Road Fund to the Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles Supplemental Appropriation.   Passed 90-10-0. I voted Yes.

HB 2790: Supplementing, amending, decreasing, and increasing items of existing appropriation to Division of Highways. Supplemental Appropriation. Passed 99-1-0. I voted Yes.

HB 2915: Relating to public records management and preservation. Passed 80-20-0. I voted Yes.

HB 3082: Stabilizing funding sources for the DEP Division of Air Quality. Passed 74-26-0. I voted No.

HB 3106: To change the hearing requirement for misdemeanors to 10 days. Passed 98-2-0. I voted Yes.

HB 3298: Making a supplemental appropriation to Dept. of Commerce, Dept. of Education, Senior Services and Civil Contingent Fund. Supplemental Appropriation. Passed 96-4-0. I voted Yes.

HB 3304: Authorizing the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation to establish Reentry and Transitional Housing Program. Passed 98-1-1. I voted Yes.

HB 2675: Relating to the interest rate for condemnation cases and creating conformity with statutory rates. Rejected 9-90-1. I voted No.