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January 30, 2023 Edition

In Review

Under the Dome delivers a review of issues being considered by the West Virginia Legislature. It provides information on matters that affect WVU and higher education, as well as other hot topics being addressed that impact the Mountain State and its citizens. The edition includes highlights from the first three weeks of session, campus carry, tax reform and a rundown of bills introduced and passed during the 86th Legislature of West Virginia.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 10, the Campus Self Defense Act, has passed the Senate 29-4. The Senate’s three Democrats were joined by one Republican. It would permit campus carry on campus, in classrooms and in certain buildings and spaces. The bill is very similar to House Bill 2519, which passed the House in 2019 but failed in the Senate.

WVU does not support statewide campus carry. We support local control and believe our Board of Governors is best suited to decide whether guns should be permitted on campus. However, there is widespread support in the Legislature for campus carry. We have asked legislators to make sure certain safeguards and best practices from other states remain in the bill.

The bill now goes to the House of Delegates where it will be considered by the House Judiciary Committee. The committee could take up the bill as early as this week.

To read a copy of the latest letter from President E. Gordon Gee and Marshall University President Brad Smith, please visit

Deferred Maintenance

In his introduced budget, Governor Justice committed $75 million to deferred maintenance issues for West Virginia’s public colleges and universities, an issue he talked about in his State of the State address. Last week, HEPC Chancellor Sarah Tucker asked the Legislature to consider appropriating $100 million in one-time surplus funding to assist college and universities in addressing these critical infrastructure improvements.

Huggins Honored

Men’s Head Basketball Coach Bob Huggins was honored by the Legislature last week for his induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Coach Huggins, along with Athletic Director Wren Baker, received a citation from House Speaker Roger Hanshaw and the Monongalia County Delegation. In the Senate, Coach Huggins was honored in a floor speech by Senator Mike Oliverio, and the full Senate presented a copy of the resolution to Coach Huggins.

After spending time with the Legislature, Coach Huggins was honored by Governor Jim Justice, who presented a copy of the proclamation proclaiming September 10th as Bob Huggins Day in West Virginia.

Tax Reform

Governor Justice has proposed a 50% reduction in the personal income tax across all tax brackets. His proposal, which was introduced to the Legislature in House Bill 2526, would reduce the tax 30% the first year and 10% each of the following two years.

The bill quickly passed the House Finance Committee and passed the full House of Delegates by a vote of 95–2. The bill has moved to the Senate for consideration, but the Senate Finance Committee has yet to take up the bill. That could change this week, as the Senate might be prepared to unveil their version of tax reform.


House Bill 2006 would split the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources into three separate departments: the Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Health Care Facilities. The bill passed the House Health Committee and awaits action by the House Finance Committee.

A similar bill, Senate Bill 126, passed the Senate on the first day of session and could be considered by the House of Delegates very soon.

Public Health

A number of bills have been introduced affecting public health policy. In the House, House Bills 2558, 2559 and 2590 were introduced recently, which would impact childhood immunizations and vaccinations, mask mandates and the state’s helmet law. House Bill 2558 would provide a religious exemption for compulsory immunizations. House Bill 2559 would prohibit mask mandates in West Virginia. Finally, House Bill 2590 would repeal the state’s motorcycle helmet law. Our legislative team and public health team are monitoring the bills.

Bills Introduced

More than 1,600 bills have been introduced. Several bills are being followed by the WVU Government Relations Team and are of interest to the University and our community. A rundown of high-profile bills includes:

SB 1 – Requiring HEPC to create the Promise Plus Scholarship Program
SB 9 – West Virginia Monument and Memorial Protection Act
SB 10 – The Campus Self Defense Act
SB 11 – Prohibiting Excessive Government Limitations on Exercise of Religion
SB 19 – Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act
SB 23 – Fetal Heartbeat Act
SB 85 – Establishing Tax Credit for Certain Physicians Who Locate to Practice in West Virginia
SB 93 – Prohibiting the Teaching of Divisive Acts and Critical Race Theory in Public Schools
SB 103 – Prohibiting Certain Funding and Attendance of Minors to Drag Shows
SB 121 – Creating Student Journalist Press Freedom Protection Act
SB 125 – Safeguarding Concealed Carry Permit Holder’s Information
SB 126 – Reorganizing DHHR
SB 127 – Relating to Reimbursement of Hospital Inpatient Rates for PEIA
SB 130 – Anti-Racism Act of 2023
SB 150 – Budget Bill
SB 153 – West Virginia Chemical Abortion Prohibition Act
SB 188 – Creating Grid Stabilization and Security Act of 2023
SB 215 – Creating No TikTok on Government Devices Act
SB 227 – Promise for Promise Act
SB 238 – Specifying When Public Employee’s Spouse May Be Covered by PEIA
SB 266 – Relating to Tobacco Usage Restrictions
SB 269 – Increasing Dental Coverage Limit for Medicaid Enrollees
SB 288 – Relating to Sexual Assault Examination Network
SB 289 – Establishing Minority Health Advisory Team
SB 291 – Eliminating Restriction to Carry Firearm on State Capitol Complex Grounds
SB 304 – Increasing Criminal Penalty for Fentanyl
SB 306 – Establishing Summer Feeding for All Program
SB 423 – Increasing Salary for Certain State Employees
SB 426 – Banning Use of Certain Products and Platforms Deemed Unsafe or High Risk on Government Systems
SB 432 – Granting Fleet Management Division Oversight Authority of State Vehicle Fleet
SB 438 – Return to West Virginia Tax Credit Act
SB 481 – Extending Sunset Provision of Upper Kanawha Valley Resiliency and Revitalization Program
SB 488 – Aligning State and Federal Accreditation Rules

HB 2001 – Reduce Personal Income Tax Rates by 10% for All
HB 2003 – Providing Early Childhood Assistant Teachers and Systems of Support to Help Students Achieve     Grade Level Literacy and Numeracy by End of Third Grade
HB 2005 – Establishing Dual Enrollment Pilot Program to Be Administered by HEPC and CTC in Conjunction with State Board of Education
HB 2006 – Reorganizing DHHR
HB 2007 – Prohibiting Certain Medical Practices
HB 2009 – Authority and Obligations of the Governor and Legislature When in Declared States of         Preparedness and Emergency
HB 2024 – Budget Bill
HB 2244 – Providing a Process by which a City May Hold an Election to Recall an Ordinance
HB 2249 – Specifying when a Public Employee’s Spouse May Be Covered by PEIA
HB 2254 – Natural Gas Electric Generation Development Act
HB 2264 – Establishing the Minority Health Advisory Team
HB 2386 – Ban Sanctuary Cities in West Virginia
HB 2421 – The Campus Self Defense Act
HB 2474/3042 – The West Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act
HB 2497 – Prohibiting Requiring COVID-19 Vaccine or Booster to Attend in Person Classes at Colleges     and Universities
HB 2502 – Repeal Law Requiring Motorcycle Riders to Wear a Helmet
HB 2504 – Relating to PROMISE Scholarship Program Requirements
HB 2510 – Establishing Rare Earth Element and Critical Mineral Investment Tax Credit Act
HB 2526 – Reducing the Personal Income Tax
HB 2536 – Permitting Physicians to Provide Exemption Certificates Relating to Required Immunizations
HB 2542 – Make It Illegal for Any State Employee to Access TikTok through a Government Device
HB 2558 – Providing a Religious Exemption for Compulsory Immunizations
HB 2559 – Prohibiting Mask Mandates in the State of West Virginia
HB 2590 – Repealing the State Helmet Law
HB 2633 – Campus Self Defense Act
HB 2637 – Creating a State Central Legal Advertising Website
HB 2757 – Amending Eligibility of WV Invests Program by Providing That a Not–For–Profit Hospital Based     Allied Health Program Is Eligible
HB 2759 – Updating the Health Care Provider Tax
HB 2603 – Vaccination and Mask Requirements
HB 2768 – Require All State Entities and Chapter 30 Boards Use “.gov” Domains and Email Addresses
HB 2774 – Veterans Welcome Home Grant Program
HB 2775 – Raise Pay for Certain Employees
HB 2786 – Objective Reality in Government Act
HB 2789 – Relating to Certificate of Need
HB 2800 – Authorizing Higher Education Rules
HB 2824 – Campus Carry
HB 2825 – Prohibiting Mask Mandates
HB 2833 – Establishing Behavioral Health Workforce Education Initiative at HEPC
HB 2878 – To Grant Fleet Management Division Oversight Authority of State Vehicle Fleet
HB 2887 – Elimination of Helmet Requirement for Motorcycles
HB 2888 – Elimination of Statewide Contracts That Are Awarded to Out of State Vendors
HB 2896 – Relating to Making West Virginia an Agreement State with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
HB 2898 – Banning High Risk Technologies from Government Systems
HB 2938 – To Modify the Number of Magistrates per County
HB 2972 – Prohibit Public University Names for Gender Affirming Care
HB 2999 – To Choose to Not Vaccinate Children Does Not Amount to Abuse and Neglect
HB 3000 – Universities Must Accept Religious, Medical, or Right of Conscience Exemptions to Taking Vaccinations
HB 3002 – To Create a Crime to Send Someone Abortion Pills through the Mail
HB 3003 – Stop Practice of Medicine by Telehealth for Abortion Prescriptions
HB 3006 – West Virginia Critical Infrastructure Protection Act
HB 3012 – Encouraging Economic Development of Rare Earth Elements and Critical Minerals by Providing Temporary Severance Tax Relief
HB 3024 – Hunger Free Campus Act
HB 3049 – Creating the American Campuses Act

Legislative Calendar

Tuesday, January 31               WVU and WVU Extension Day at the Capitol
Thursday, February 2              Monongalia/Preston County Day at the Legislature
Friday, February 10                 Undergraduate Research Day
Tuesday, February 14             Last Day to Introduce Bills in the House
Monday, February 20             Last Day to Introduce Bills in the Senate
Sunday, February 26              Bills Due Out of Committee in Chamber of Origin
Wednesday, March 1             Last Day to Consider Bills on Third Reading (Crossover Day)
Saturday, March 11               Last Day of Session (Adjournment at Midnight)

More Information

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

To learn more about WVU’s government relations and legislative initiatives, please visit or contact Travis Mollohan, director of government relations, at