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May 23, 2024 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 a rundown of issues considered during the May Special Session.

SB 1007 and 1011

Earlier this month, Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for state colleges and universities, stemming from the federal government’s delayed and failed rollout of FAFSA. Following up on his efforts to assist State institutions with managing the FAFSA fallout, the Governor called the Legislature into special session on Sunday and proposed two bills to make it easier for State institutions to weather the storm and for students and their families to afford and access higher education.

Senate Bill 1007 establishes three new funds, totaling $83.2 million, in the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC). HEPC is directed to spend $32 million of the new, one-time funding to help State institutions with operational costs, which have been greatly affected by inflation, enrollment and ever-rising health insurance rates, like the recent increases to the Public Employees Insurance Program (PEIA).

HEPC is also directed to spend $40 million to enhance the Higher Education Grant Program and $11.2 million to create the College Access Grant, both of which will directly help students and their families.

The bill passed the Senate unanimously and passed the House 71-16.
Senate Bill 1011 moves $83.2 million in one-time funding currently sitting in the old, expired PEIA Rainy Day Fund to HEPC for these efforts. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and passed the House 51-35.

Last year, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed a bill to make major reforms to PEIA. These changes resulted in the Rainy Day Fund becoming dormant and unavailable for spending on PEIA.

Interim Meetings

The Legislature has announced that interim sessions will be held on the following dates:
•    August 11-13, 2024
•    September 8-10, 2024 (Parkersburg)
•    October 6-8, 2024
•    November 10-12, 2024
•    December 8-10, 2024

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, associate vice president for government relations and collaboration, at