From The Well

February 4, 2020

West Virginia Capitol Update

Day 28



Week four summary
The wheels of the legislative session are turning slowly. On Friday, at the conclusion of week four, 683 bills had been introduced to the Senate and 47 had passed to the House for further consideration. In the House, there had been 1,198 bills introduced and 53 passed to the Senate. Prior to Monday’s floor sessions, only four bills had been sent to the Governor and he had approved one – SB94, which provides people with physical disabilities the ability to vote by electronic absentee ballot.



Senate Finance passes incentives for counties and cities to consolidate
Senate Finance quickly passed SB 138, providing incentives for counties and municipalities to consolidate. It is similar to a bill that passed the Senate unanimously last year. Senator Palumbo spoke in favor of the bill, stating that since no municipality or county has taken advantage of the local government consolidation law that’s been on the books for over ten years, then “maybe just a little incentive would help.”



Senate Judiciary passes compromise on state of emergency bill


The Senate Judiciary committee met Monday to discuss SB 208, a bill aimed at protecting consumers from unfair pricing practices during states of emergency. The bill was reviewed by a subcommittee, which worked with representatives from the Governor’s office, the Attorney General’s office and various retailers to develop compromise wording.


The compromise decouples the state from the Presidential proclamations of states of emergency. If the Governor joins the president in issuing a sate of emergency, he is required to revisit the proclamation 15-days after it’s original issuance to determine if price controls are still necessary. The Governor also has the authority to extend the declaration if necessary. Senator Bob Beach D-Monongalia inquired as to whether it would be a good idea to add the word shall to the bill to require the governor to issue a reason at 15-days regarding his decision to release or extend pricing controls on consumer retailers.


The bill unanimously passed on a voice vote and will be reported to the full Senate.


The committee also discussed SB 678 which would allow the waiver of fines and fees for people who successfully complete the Getting Over Addicted Lifestyles Successfully Program in jail for the purpose of obtaining a driver’s license. Lead sponsor, Senator Clements, said that the inability to get a driver’s license until all fines and fees are paid keeps people from being able to get to work and make a living after they’ve completed their jail sentence. The amendments will be rolled into a Committee Substitute and reported to the floor.



CRNA independent practice set to pass House today


HB 4356, which removes from the law the requirement of direct physician supervision for certified registered nurse anesthetists, passed amendment stage  Monday in the House of Delegates with only a technical amendment added to the bill.


House Majority Leader Amy Summers, a registered nurse, wrote on social media this weekend, “To my CRNA friends…: We have a Bill this week HB 4356 that changes the current language that says anesthesia is administered in the presence of and under the supervision of a physician or dentist to in cooperation with. Seems to just make sense….


“Current law says [CRNA’s]  must be in their presence. We know that is not true practice as the docs would have a fit. Also surgeons are having to assume unnecessary liability…


“… What [HB 4356] would do is allow the surgeon and a CRNA to be practicing independently.”



Bill moving ODCP under DHHR secretary’s supervision passes Senate


HB 4103, which passed  the Senate 32-0, places the office of Drug Control Policy under the direction and supervision of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources with the assistance of the State Health Officer. Legislative action could be completed as early as tomorrow if the House concurs with a technical amendment  placed in the bill by the Senate.



House Finance hears about DHHR budget, while child welfare remains hot topic
West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Legislature Today covered the Department of Health and Human Resources budget hearing. The department’s budget is a whopping $6 billion, with $4 billion in federal funds.



Activity Calendar

The following organizations will have displays at the Capitol this week.


Tue. Feb. 4

·     Home School Day

·     Alzheimer’s Association

Wed. Feb. 5

·     Innovation and Entrepreneurship Day

Thur. Feb. 6

·     Veterans Visibility Day

·     VFW Auxiliary

·     WV Aviation Day

·     WV EMS Day

Fri. Feb. 7

·     West Virginia Undergraduate Research Day



WV Legislature
Legislature Live


Meeting Notices
Proposed Rules


Legislative Wrap-up
Some information in this update is collected from the WV Legislature’s Daily/Weekly Blogs.



Hartman Harman Cosco, Public Policy Strategists, LLC, (H2C) is a strategically assembled bipartisan lobbying firm comprised of legal, communications and policy professionals. H2C possesses the insight and intuition that only comes from decades of hands on experience leading community and statewide initiatives.


Scott Cosco

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