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January 23, 2019 Edition

In Review

Under the Dome delivers a review of the issues being considered by state government and the 84th West Virginia Legislature during its first regular session. It provides information on matters that affect WVU and higher education. This edition covers updates on the State of the State Address and the introduction of bills and major issues.

Campus Carry

House Bill 2519, the Campus Self Defense Act, was introduced on January 18. Sponsors include Delegates Jim Butler (R-Mason), Zack Maynard (R-Lincoln), Scott Cadle (R-Mason), Geoff Foster (R-Putnam), Caleb Hanna (R-Webster), Paul Espinosa (R-Jefferson), Joshua Higginbotham (R-Putnam), Pat McGeehan (R-Hancock), Eric Householder (R-Berkeley), Joe Canestraro (D-Marshall) and Randy Swartzmiller (D-Hancock).

The bill would prevent our Board of Governors, except in some sensitive areas, from prohibiting individuals with a concealed carry permit from carrying a concealed weapon on our campuses or in our buildings. WVU leadership is engaged with the Legislature on this issue and will continue to advocate for the best interests of our campus.
To read the full bill, please visit: .

State of the State

On January 9, Governor Justice delivered his third State of the State Address. In the speech, he focused on several key issue areas and proposals that his administration will be concentrating on this legislative session.

The governor proposed a program called Jim’s Dream (Jobs In Making You Succeed), which seeks to provide more drug treatment for those struggling with addiction and increased investment in workforce training to get those individuals back to work.

He also cited his support for eliminating the tax on Social Security income and business inventory, providing another 5% pay raise for teachers and public employees, creating an intermediate court of appeals, and improving the public education system by increasing math scores and teaching computer science in every high school classroom.

The governor is also requesting an additional $14 million for the Division of Tourism and an infusion of close to $150 million for PEIA.

Bill Tracking

SB 1 – Increasing Access to Career Education and Workforce Training
SB 15, SB 132
and HB 2484 – Establishing the Mountaineer Trail Network Recreation Authority
SB 59
– Creating Business PROMISE+ Scholarship
SB 266
– Creating Intermediate Court of Appeals
HB 2363
and SB 151 – Relating to the Upper Kanawha Valley Resiliency and Revitalization Program
HB 2513 – Relating to Campus Police Officers of State Institutions of Higher Education
HB 2519 – The Campus Self Defense Act
HB 2520 – Relating to the Antihazing Law

New Members and Appointments

More than 30 new members are serving in the 84th Legislature, following the outcome of the 2018 general election.
House Speaker Roger Hanshaw and Senate President Mitch Carmichael made several changes to their leadership team for the legislative session.

Delegate Amy Summers (R-Taylor), who represents part of Monongalia County, will serve as House Majority Leader. Delegate Eric Householder (R-Berkeley) will serve as Chair of the Finance Committee and Delegate Danny Hamrick (R-Harrison) will serve as Chair of the Education Committee.

Senator Tom Takubo (R-Kanawha) has been selected as Senate Majority Leader, while Senator Mike Maroney (R-Marshall), who also represents Monongalia County, will become Chair of the Health Committee. Senator Patricia Rucker (R-Jefferson) will become Chair of the Education Committee and Senator Greg Boso (R-Nicholas) will serve as Chair of the Government Organization Committee. Senator Charles Clements (R-Wetzel), who also represents Monongalia County, will serve as Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Senator Richard Ojeda announced his resignation from the State Senate to focus on his bid for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. Following his resignation, Governor Justice appointed Paul Hardesty to replace him.
Additionally, the governor appointed former Senator Ed Gaunch as Commerce Secretary and Judge John Hutchison to the Supreme Court, due to Allen Loughry’s resignation.

Revenue Collections

Governor Justice announced that West Virginia’s December General Revenue Fund collections came in almost $45 million over projections and pushed the fiscal year 2019 collections to almost $186 million above estimates.

Legislative Calendar and Important Dates

Monongalia County/Preston County Day at the Capitol       January 22, 2019
WVU and WVU Extension Day at the Capitol                        January 24, 2019
Higher Education Day at the Capitol                                     January 28, 2019
Last Day to Introduce Bills in the House                                February 12, 2019
Last Day to Introduce Bills in the Senate                               February 18, 2019
Bills Due Out of Committee in Chamber of Origin                 February 24, 2019
Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol                         February 26, 2019
Last Day to Consider a Bill on Third Reading                        February 27, 2019
Final Day of Session (Adjournment at Midnight)                    March 9, 2019

WVU at the State Capitol

Travis Mollohan and Rocco Fucillo, both from WVU’s State Government Relations team, represent WVU at the State Capitol during the legislative session. They can answer questions about any issues addressed by the legislature. You can contact them at: Travis Mollohan ( or Rocco Fucillo (

More Information

To learn more about the legislature, including district maps, bill tracking, committee assignments and a summary of legislative activities, please visit .

To learn more about WVU’s legislative and government relation initiatives, please visit .