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March 7, 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. This edition includes highlights of bills that are being considered, such as Campus Carry, PEIA changes, Tax Reform and the Budget and activities happening in Charleston as the Senate and House of Delegates enter the final week of the first session of the 86th Legislature.

Campus Carry

After passing the Senate 29-4 on January 24, Senate Bill 10, the Campus Self Defense Act, was considered and passed by the House of Delegates 84-13 on February 21. The Governor signed the bill into law on March 1.
Following the Governor’s bill signing, President Gee sent the following letter to campus:

The Budget

The Senate and House of Delegates are moving competing budgets, which must be worked out during the last few days of the 2023 Legislative Session.

Senate Bill 150, the Senate’s FY24 Budget Bill, contains several improvements for WVU and WVU-related efforts:

•    $500,000 for the Northern Brownfields Center
•    $500,000 for the West Virginia Grants Resource Center with Marshall University
•    Approximately $3.7 million for pay raises
•    $50 million for National Cancer Institute designation
•    $282 million for deferred maintenance for higher education and corrections
•    $125 million to consolidate State laboratories

House Bill 2024, the House’s version of the Budget Bill, contains some improvements for WVU and WVU-related efforts:

•    $375,000 for WVU Potomac State College to participate in the Learn and Earn Program
•    $40 million to address deferred maintenance issues ($20 million for the Morgantown campus, $10 million
    for Beckley and $10 million for Keyser)

The House budget bill passed on Saturday 87-7. The House and Senate will have to resolve their differences before passing a final budget by Saturday night.


Senate Bill 268 would make significant changes to PEIA. It passed the Senate 29-4 on February 25 and passed the House 69-27 on Saturday. Yesterday, the Senate concurred with the House amendments and finalized the bill by a vote of 26-6, sending it to the Governor’s desk for his signature. The bill includes provisions to raise the hospital reimbursement rate to 110% of Medicare, establish cost-share of premiums between employers and employees be 80% and 20%, implement costs for spousal coverage if an employee’s spouse has health insurance coverage elsewhere, require fiduciary training and reporting of conflict-of-interest issues for members of the PEIA finance board and conduct an actuarial study of the program by July 1, 2024.


By a vote of 95-3, the House of Delegates passed House Bill 2006, which restructures DHHR into three separate departments – the Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Healthcare Facilities. The bill passed the Senate unanimously. Governor Justice signed the bill into law on March 4.

Tax Reform

The Senate has passed and the Governor has endorsed House Bill 2526, which contains the compromise tax reform package. The measure is estimated to cost $750 million and contains the following provisions:

•    A reduction of the personal income tax by 21.25%
•    A rebate for the car tax
•    A rebate for the equipment and inventory tax paid by certain employers
•    A rebate for the homestead real property tax for 90-100% service-disabled military veterans

Over the weekend, the House passed the package 89-4. It now goes to the Governor, who has publicly stated he will sign the measure into law.

Bills Introduced

More than 2,300 bills have been introduced since the start of session. 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 Teaching of Divisive Acts and Critical Race Theory in 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 224 – Establishing Revocation of Authority for Spending by Agency in Support of Challenge to West Virginia Law
SB 227 – Promise for Promise Act
SB 238 – Specifying When Public Employee’s Spouse May Be Covered by PEIA
SB 251 – Displaying Official Motto of United States in Public Schools and Higher Education Institutions.
SB 266 – Relating to Tobacco Usage Restrictions
SB 269 – Increasing Dental Coverage Limit for Medicaid Enrollees
SB 274 – Third Grade Success Act
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 Oversight Authority of State Vehicle Fleet
SB 438 – Return to West Virginia Tax Credit Act
SB 461 – Relating to West Virginia Public Employees Grievance Procedure
SB 481 – Extending Sunset Provision of Upper Kanawha Valley Resiliency and Revitalization Program
SB 488 – Aligning State and Federal Accreditation Rules
SB 526 – Including Early Detection and Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias in Public Health Programs and Services
SB 528 – Requiring Certificate of Need Be Subject to Legislative Rulemaking
SB 535 – Creating Religious and Philosophical Exemptions for School Vaccines
SB 543 – Authorizing Rule-Making Changes to Terms, Procedures and Reporting Duties in Higher Education
SB 551 – Creating Medicaid State Plan Amendment
SB 552 – Relating to Abortion
SB 553 – Allowing for Evaluation of Prequalified Bidders to Be Based on Best Value
SB 578 – Hunger Free Campus Act
SB 582 – Amending Provisions of West Virginia Public Employees Retirement Act
SB 584 – Removing Rape and Incest Exception to Obtain Abortion in West Virginia
SB 586 – Requiring Spending Units to Submit Software Procurement Requests to Enterprise Resource Planning Board
SB 588 – Increasing Tax Credit for Employers Providing Child Care for Employees
SB 593 – Mandating Cost of Living Salary Adjustment Policy for State Employees
SB 602 – Enabling West Virginia State University and Bluefield State University to Offer Associate Degrees
SB 612 – Eliminating Certain Centers from Certificate of Need Review
SB 613 – Exempting Hospitals from Certificate of Need Requirements
SB 632 – Prohibiting Mandatory COVID-19 or Other Experimental Vaccines for School Attendance
SB 664 – Dissolving PEIA and Converting to Employer-Owned Mutual Insurance Company
SB 686 – Youth Mental Health Protection Act
SB 713 – Increasing Number of Districts and Limit on Approved Costs under the BUILD West Virginia Act

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 for City to 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 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 West Virginia 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 – Grant Fleet Management Division Oversight Authority of State Vehicle Fleet
HB 2887 – Elimination of Helmet Requirement for Motorcycles
HB 2888 – Eliminating 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 2989 – Increasing the Number of Out-of-State Medical Students Receiving In-State Tuition Rates Who Agree to Practice for a Specific Time within West Virginia
HB 2993 – Relating to Rural Emergency Hospital Licensure
HB 2999 – 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
HB 3069 – Requiring All Injuries and Side Effects from Vaccines Be Reported by Medical Professionals to Bureau for Public Health
HB 3070 – Increasing Retirement Benefits for Public Employees
HB 3078 – Allow State Employees to Cash in on Certain Benefits
HB 3094 – Create the Remote Worker Home Development Act
HB 3097 – Banning Medicaid and CHIP from Paying for Transgender Surgeries
HB 3116 – Creating the No Patient Left Alone Act
HB 3143 – Allow for Religious Exemptions for Vaccines
HB 3144 – No Vaccine Mandates for Schools
HB 3166 – Permit a Hospital to Hold a Patient Experiencing a Psychiatric Emergency for Up to 72 Hours
HB 3174 – Relating Generally to Magistrate Courts
HB 3184 – West Virginia Medical Information Confidentiality and Anti-Discrimination Act
HB 3185 – Transparency in Government Act
HB 3218 – Requiring Suicide Prevention Resources Be Printed on Student Identification Cards at Any School which Issues Identification Cards for Students in Public School Grades 6-12 and at Private or Public Institutions of Higher Education
HB 3273 – Create State Tech Transfer Commission
HB 3294 – Ensuring Future Economic Development with Limitations, Excise Tax, and Registration Requirements of Carbon Offset Agreements
HB 3300 – To Provide for the Creation of an “EV Manufacturers Investment Credit”
HB 3303 – Clarifying and Expanding the Powers and Duties of the Director of the Coalfield Community Development Office
HB 3305 – Creating the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Act
HB 3347 – Relating to Upper Kanawha Valley Resiliency and Revitalization Program
HB 3353 – Relating to Limitations on the Financial Relationships with Foreign Entities That Have Values Antithetical to Those of the State of West Virginia
HB 3371 – Relating to Federal Funds for Land-Grant Institutions
HB 3374 – Relating Generally to Waivers from Tuition and Other Costs and Fees for Certain Resident Veterans and Their Resident Dependents
HB 3386 – To Provide All National Merit Scholars Free Tuition to Any West Virginia Higher Education Institution in Order to Keep These Scholars in State
HB 3399 – Increasing the Tax Credit for Employers Providing Child Care for Employees
HB 3403 – Providing a Tax Credit for Employers with Childcare Facilities
HB 3417 – Creating Pilot Program for WVU Potomac State to Participate in Learn and Earn Program
HB 3441 – Revising Training Requirements for Members of Higher Education Policy Commission, Council for Community and Technical College, and Institutional Boards
HB 3490 – Relating to Consolidation of Local Governments
HB 3503 – Relating to Nondiscrimination of Institutions of Higher Education

Legislative Calendar

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 .