From the Well | October 6, 2020
|Hanshaw hints how “pandemic” legislative session may look
West Virginia’s Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw spent some time Monday, Oct. 5, speaking with West Virginia MetroNews Talkline host Hoppy Kercheval. During the discussion, the two talked about planning for the upcoming 2021 legislative session.
As you may know, because the 2021 session follows an election year it will not commence until the second Wednesday of February in order to allow the Governor time to prepare his budget.
According to Speaker Hanshaw, there will be some semblance of a legislative session, it’s just a question of what else they do.
It’s important to remember that separate from the regular session that will run from February to April, a special extraordinary session of the legislature will need to take place in order to tackle redistricting that results from the 2020 United States Census.
Hanshaw admitted plans are somewhat up in the air due to the reality of that impending special session saying, “how much business we have to do during the regular session knowing there’s a special session is colored a bit.”
However, the Speaker did say preparations are underway, “The Clerk’s office and legislative staff have been looking at how legislators will vote, how bills will be considered, how the committee process will work, and considering committee meetings in the House Chamber.”
There’s a potential that bills considered important by leadership will be single referenced to ensure they complete the process. Leadership has looked at the possibility of a virtual or remote session. Hanshaw said there’s not a provision in the West Virginia Constitution to allow a remote session.
The Speaker alluded to the potential for the House to adopt rules allowing for remote committee meetings. Members would take part in extended floor sessions one or two days a week, during which they would cast votes in smaller, socially distanced groups throughout the day.
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