|The education special session of the West Virginia Legislature resumed Saturday morning with the Senate introducing four bills that included one added to the call yesterday by Governor Jim Justice. The Governor’s bill, SB 1041 creates the Business Ready Sites Program, which allows the Development Office to designate industrial sites for installation of utilities to make them more attractive for businesses to locate within West Virginia.
The main bill on the list for introduction was SB 1039 Establishing Student Success Act. This is the omnibus bill put forth by leadership containing language creating charter schools, a pay raise for teachers and school service personnel, as well as several other items. The Senate also introduced SB 1040 Education Savings Accounts, which was not included in SB 1039. The fourth bill introduced this morning was SB 1042, put forth by some democrat senators allowing for certain reforms to the special community development pilot program.
West Virginia teachers did show up for today’s session. The President’s Gallery was filled with teachers and chants could be heard from outside the senate while members spoke on the floor of the chamber.
At one point, Senator John Unger (D-Berkeley) questioned President Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson) as to why the Senate’s Education Committee wasn’t meeting today. That exchange led to a number of floor speeches by senators both touting the merits of SB 1039, as well as criticizing it. After the floor debate concluded the Senate adjourned until 2:00 pm tomorrow (Sunday) prompting boos from the gallery.
The House of Delegates is not meeting this weekend. That body is expected to resume it’s proceedings in the next couple of weeks at the call of the Speaker.