|Senate sends 14 Bills to Governor
The Senate had an extended floor session that sent 14 bills to the Governor for signature. Among them were:
· House Bill 2538, the bill that provides banking services under the WV Medical Cannabis Act. The proposed legislation is believed to be the final step into implementing medical cannabis into West Virginia Healthcare.
· Senate Bill 3, the broadband bill, which establishes a process for small wireless facilities to be deployed, as well as provisions from the House bill that were amended into the bill by the House. The Senate concurred with the changes which include:
· Providing for mandated salvage valuation for property tax purposes of tangible personal property directly used in certain wireless technology businesses.
· Would allow for West Virginia to take charge of the regulation of pole attachment.
· Would empower the conduct of a feasibility study by electrical power providers to determine the likelihood and effectiveness of the installation of broadband fiber within the “hot zone” of the electrical provider.
· Senate Bill 72 would create the Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights. Rights provided in the proposed legislation include the following:
· The right to a personal representative, of the victim’s choosing, to attend police interviews, medical treatment, court proceedings, etc.
· The right to receive a forensic medical examination
· The right to have a sexual assault evidence collection kit tested and preserved.
· The right to be informed of the results of a forensic medical examination, unless such disclosure would compromise or impede an ongoing investigation.
· The right to receive notification of the evidence no fewer than 60 days prior to the intended destruction of the evidence.
· The right to have said evidence preserved for an additional period not to exceed 10 years after a written request.
Other bills that completed legislation include:
· Senate Bill 393: Protecting right to farm
· Senate Bill 520: Requiring entities report drug overdoses
· Senate Bill 668: Relating to physician assistants collaborating with physicians in hospitals
· House Bill 2359: Relating to exemptions to the commercial driver’s license requirements
· House Bill 2439: Relating to fire service equipment and training funds for volunteer and part-volunteer fire companies
· House Bill 2547: Relating to the election prohibition zone
· House Bill 2734: Relating to reduced rates for low-income residential customers of privately owned sewer and combined water and sewer utilities
· House Bill 3007: Authorizing the Commissioner of Agriculture to require background checks
· House Bill 3021: Relating to the disposition of permit fees, registration fees and civil penalties imposed against thoroughbred horse racing licensees
· House Bill 3045: Exempting certain complimentary hotel rooms from hotel occupancy tax
· House Bill 3095: Establishing a minimum monthly retirement annuity for certain retirants
Governor Justice vetoed Senate Bill 61, which added certain crimes for which prosecutor may apply for wiretap, because the title of the proposed legislation didn’t relate to the contents of the bill. The Senate quickly amended the title, and passed it once again to fix the Governor’s concerns.
The Senate also passed several bills that were on third reading, and will be reported to the House for concurrence. Those bills include:
· House Bill 2311: Exempting short-term license holders to submit information to the State Tax Commission once the term of the permit has expired
· House Bill 2405: Imposing a healthcare related provider tax on certain health care organizations
· House Bill 2509: Clarifying that theft of a controlled substance is a felony
· House Bill 2525: Tobacco Cessation Therapy Access Act
· House Bill 2600: Relating to publication of sample ballots
· House Bill 2958: Authorizing the State Auditor to conduct regular financial examinations or audits of all volunteer fire companies