W.Va. Legislature approaches final days of regular session

The West Virginia Legislature has been extending their work hours to discuss legislation as the end of session approaches.

The Senate reached their last day to introduce bills March 20. As for the House of Delegates, they reached a landmark day on the 47th day Sunday.

According to the West Virginia Legislature website, the 47th day marks when “bills [are] due out of committees to ensure three full days for readings.” Reaching landmark dates and nearing the end of regular session, West Virginia lawmakers have been debating over the budget proposal by Gov. Jim Justice and the recent proposal from the Legislature.

After much back and forth between the governor and majority party leaders, Justice released a statement on Twitter recently regarding session.

“I believe we are moving in right direction and we can get a deal done by the end of session,” Justice posted on his Twitter Monday.

The budget has not been the only topic of discussion by the lawmakers. The Senate reconvened Saturday and discussed another bill proposed by the governor.

Senate Bill 477 was read on third reading in the Senate and is summarized on the West Virginia Legislature website as “Increasing State Road Fund by raising DMV fees and motor fuel excise taxes.”

According to the official West Virginia Senate Roll Call, SB 477 passed through the Senate with a 27-6 vote with one being absent. The bill has since been sent to the House for consideration.

Another bill was discussed in regards to broadband access in the state of West Virginia, which has been a common topic of debate in the legislature.

House Bill 3093 is summarized on the West Virginia Legislature website as “Establishing Broadband Enhancement and Expansion Policies.”

The bill was passed in the House on Friday, March 25 and has since been sent to the Senate for further discussion.

“The bill is intended to promote competition, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s a bill intended to do so in places where no competition exists,” Delegate Roger Hanshaw said in a press release.

The West Virginia Legislature website provides the details of HB 3093, where the sponsors can also be found showing the bipartisan effort of this bill.

The West Virginia Legislature website also displays on their legislative calendar how Wednesday will indicate what is known as “crossover day.”

Crossover day is the final day to “consider bill on third reading in house of origin,” according to the West Virginia Legislature website.

The final day of regular session is nearing as the West Virginia Legislative calendar shows adjournment at midnight on the sixtieth day, Saturday, April 8.

Kylee Hurley can be contacted at [email protected]