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February 6, 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 major issues being debated by the Legislature.

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: .

Education Reform

SB 451 (Comprehensive Education Reform) was introduced on January 28. The bill raises teacher and school service personnel pay by 5%, allows for differential pay for critical need teachers (including STEM and special education), permits county school boards to raise levy rates, changes performance qualifications for retaining teachers, and permits the use of Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs) and the creation of charter schools.

In a historic move, the Senate convened as a Committee of the Whole to consider the bill. The Senate has only done this twice in the state’s history: in 1917 and 1961.

The bill passed the Senate 18-16 on Monday. It now goes to the House for consideration.

Revenue Collections

On Monday, Governor Justice announced that revenue collections for January are $3 million below estimates.

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
SB 314 – Relating to Cybersecurity of State Government
SB 365 – Redistributing Revenue-Generated Excise Tax on Soft Drinks to Four-Year Medical Schools
SB 454 – Providing Exemptions from Mandatory Immunizations
SB 479 – Requiring Each State Institution of Higher Education Adopt and Submit Written Sexual Assault Policy to WV HEPC
HB 2007 – Eliminating the Certificate of Need Program
HB 2363 and SB 151 – Relating to the Upper Kanawha Valley Resiliency and Revitalization Program
HB 2399 – Relating to Regulating Prior Authorizations
HB 2452 – Creating the West Virginia Cybersecurity Office
HB 2455 – Redirecting Excise Tax Revenue on Bottled Soft Drinks from WVU Schools to PEIA
HB 2467 – Relating to Permitting Nonresidents to Obtain State Licenses to Carry a Concealed Deadly Weapon
HB 2513, SB 441 – Relating to Campus Police Officers of State Institutions of Higher Education
HB 2519 – The Campus Self Defense Act
HB 2520, SB 440 – Relating to the Anti-hazing Law
HB 2574 – Repealing the Soft Drinks Tax
HB 2589 – Relating to Solar Energy on Formerly Mined Land
HB 2648 – Continuing Education for Registered Nurses and Advanced Nurse Practitioners
HB 2696 – Creating an Additional Index System for State-Owned Lands
HB 2760 – Relating to Performance Reviews of State Agencies and Regulatory Boards
HB 2828 – Relating to Promoting Investment in a Qualified Opportunity Zone

SB 440 and 441

The University has introduced two bills during the legislative session and is working to pass both in the upcoming weeks. SB 440 would change the anti-hazing statute and is supported by local prosecuting attorneys. SB 441 will allow the boards of governors to determine qualifications for campus police officers.

WV Forward

The WV Forward study revealed several areas of concern for our state’s workforce, educational attainment and economic development. A few of these issues are being considered this year by the Legislature.

Some of the bills are:
SB 1 – Increasing Access to Career Education and Workforce Training
SB 23 and SB 48 – Creating Five-Year Sunset of All State Tax Credits
SB 59 – Creating the Business PROMISE+ Scholarship
SB 421 – Relating to Annual Legislative Review of Economic Development Tax Credits
HB 2452 – Creating the West Virginia Cybersecurity Office
HB 2483 – Relating to Incentives for Mathematics Teachers
HB 2550 – Creating a Matching Program for the Small Business Innovation and Research Program and Small Business Technology Transfer Program
HB 2724 – Small Business Tax Credit
HB 2696 – Creating an Additional Index System for State-Owned Lands
HB 2828 – Relating to Promoting Investment in a Qualified Opportunity Zone

Legislative Calendar and Important Dates

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 .