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The 2017 Regular Session of the West Virginia Legislature adjourned sine die on Sunday, April 9th. There were 1,702 bills introduced this Session. 132 House bills passed this session and 130 Senate bills.

Both chambers of the Legislature passed a $4.1 billion budget bill. Highlights are:

  • Maintains its balance in part by using $90 million out of the Rainy Day Fund
  • $140 million cut to the medical services line in DHHR; the medical services line item is reduced from $490 million to $350 million.
  • Higher education is cut of just under $30 million. Most state colleges have a 4-percent across-the-board cut. West Virginia and Marshall universities have an 8.5 percent cut.
  • Public education is relatively unchanged from current funding. 
  • No money in this budget for the governor's Save Our State fund for infrastructure and economic development.
  • No money for a classroom teacher pay raises or for pay raises for any state employees.
  • No tax increases.  

The House passed the budget by a vote of 63-37 and the Senate by 22-12. 

Late Saturday night, the Governor held a press conference indicating that he and Senate President Mitch Carmichael were very close to a deal on the budget, but with only a few hours remaining in the session, language from their agreement did not pass. The House was not included in the negations of a deal. 

The 2nd session of the 82nd Legislature came to a close on Saturday the 12th. The Republican-led Legislature continued their work on legislation that would make our state friendlier to the business community by passing bills that attract new industry and promote growth. The two most significant pieces being the legislation to make West Virginia a Right-to-Work state (SB 1) and a bill repealing the Prevailing Wage (HB 4005). The Legislature also continued their work on improving the legal climate in our state and, as promised in the months leading up to the session, addressed much needed regulatory reform. 

Members of the Legislature knew the most significant challenge they would face during this session would be dealing with the state’s growing budget deficient for the remainder of the 2016 fiscal year and passing a budget that addressed those problems for 2017. The two chambers passed vastly different budget bills, with the Senate’s bill included revenue from the tobacco tax that they passed and the House’s budget bill dipping into the state’s Rainy Day Fund, cutting agency budgets by an additional 4.5 percent and sweeping large portions of the state’s reserve accounts. 

The Legislature concluded their business for the 60-day 2015 Regular Session at the stroke of midnight on Saturday, March 14th. The Legislature began their extended session to address the state’s budget on Monday, March 16th and concluded their work today.

For the record, 1,607 bills were introduced this session. Legislation was completed on a total of 261 bills (roughly 16% of the bills introduced) including - 135 Senate bills and 126 House bills. The Regular Session ended with 115 casualties that survived “crossover day” by passing the initial chamber in which they were introduced but ultimately did not pass both chambers. Ten percent of the completed legislation was either an appropriations or rules bill. For a complete listing of legislation passed this session, click here.


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