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Legislature Updates/Alerts

Note that the following information was current on February 1st. It is not being updated daily.

Everything changes so rapidly at the legislature that we can only alert you to bills that have been introduced that you might want to monitor. To do so go here, where you can find tabs for members of the House of Delegates and Senate and their contact information, committee members and agendas, and a “bill status” tab. Under the “bill status” tab, you can track an individual bill or set up a “bill tracking” account for all the bills you are tracking. Committee chairs set the agendas for their committees, so it is important to contact them to try to get a bill on – or kept off – the agenda.

The legislative calendar is as follows:

Thirty-fifth Day - February 13, 2024: Last day to introduce bills in the House . House Rule 91a does not apply to originating or supplementary appropriation bills, and does not apply to Senate or House resolutions or concurrent resolutions.

Forty-first Day - February 19, 2024: Last day to introduce bills in the Senate . Senate Rule 14 does not apply to originating or supplementary appropriation bills, and does not apply to Senate or House resolutions or concurrent resolutions.

Forty-seventh Day - February 25, 2024: Bills due out of committees in house of origin to ensure three full days for readings.

Fiftieth Day - February 28, 2024: Last day to consider bill on third reading in house of origin . Does not include budget or supplementary appropriation bills.

Sixtieth Day - March 9, 2024: Adjournment at Midnight.

There are several bills that were presented for discussion at the West Virginia Coalition for Truth in History meeting on January 28th:

HB 4016: Prohibiting the delivery of unsolicited absentee ballot applications to any person who has not specifically requested one from the county clerk. This was referred to the House Judiciary Committee on the first day of the legislature, January 10th, and has not moved from that committee.

HB 4299: Permit teachers in K-12 schools be authorized to carry concealed firearms as a designated school protection officer. This bill has passed the House Education Committee and is in the House Judiciary Committee.

HB 4349 : Establishing the Anti-Stereotyping Act. This was introduced to the House Education Committee on January 10th and has not moved there.

HB 4387 : Relating to nondiscrimination at institutions of higher education. This was introduced to the House Education Committee on January 10th and has not moved there.

HB 4468: Establishing the Anti-Stereotyping Act. This was introduced to the House Education Committee on January 10th and has not moved there.

HB 4654: Removing bona fide schools, public libraries, and museums from the list of exemptions from criminal liability relating to distribution and display to minor of obscene matter. This was referred to the House Judiciary Committee on January 12th. There was a public hearing on the bill, but it has not been on the committee’s agenda. There is some consensus that it is on the back burner, but nothing is dead until the session ends.

HB 5036: Creating the Parents' Bill of Rights. This was introduced and referred to the Committee on Senior, Children, and Family Issues on January 23rd with a subsequent referral to the Judiciary Committee. The companion Parents’ Bill of Rights (SB 505 ) was introduced on January 22nd and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee but has not been on that committee’s agenda yet. There is another similar bill (HB 4313 ) called the Parents’ Bill of Rights that has also been passed by the House Committee on Senior, Children, and Family Issues but then was recommitted to that committee on January 26th with a subsequent referral to the Judiciary Committee.

HB 5227: Requiring age-appropriate instruction on the Holocaust. This was referred to the House Education Committee on January 26th with no further action to date. Delegate Evan Hansen is the lead sponsor on this bill. He worked with Senator Mike Oliverio, who introduced a companion bill – SB 448: Requiring age-appropriate instruction on Holocaust in public schools – in the Senate. That passed the first reading in the Senate Education Committee but was laid over and referred to the Senate Rules Committee on the second reading on January 25th.

SB 198: Prohibiting teaching of divisive acts and critical race theory in public schools. This was referred to the Senate Education Committee on January 10th and has not moved since then.

SB 273: Prohibiting certain divisive acts or concepts from schools, state agencies and any groups receiving state funding. This was referred to the senate Judiciary Committee on January 11th and has not moved since then.

SB 367 : Anti-Racism Act of 2024. This was referred to the senate Judiciary Committee on January 12th and has not moved since then.

The 2024 Anti-WV LGBTQ+ Bill Finder and Rep Finder is tracking the 36 bills introduced through January 30 and gives bill numbers, lead sponsors, summaries, and status of bills here.

West Virginia Coalition for Truth in History:

The West Virginia Coalition for Truth in History has created two documents and made them available. One is a focuses on frequently asked questions regarding divisive acts. It's title is "What's Underneath West Virginia's Proposed ‘Divisive Acts’ Bills?" A copy of this document can be read here. The second document concerns legislative bills that impact education and is entitled "Detailed look at certain legislative bills affecting education – for good or ill". This document is available here

West Virginia NOW’s Women’s Bill of Rights:

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The West Virginia NOW Facebook page, on January 30, noted that “Governor Justice and House Republicans are too busy fighting the culture war to care about the issues that really impact West Virginia's women and girls. To call House Bill 5243 a ‘Women's Bill of Rights’ is a joke. Here's what we need in a REAL Women's Bill of Rights, and the bills we support to get us there:

Protection from discrimination on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, age, ability, and income (SB495, SB496, HB4194, HB4485)

Bodily autonomy (HB4183)

Ending gender-based violence (SB576, HB4219)

High-quality and accessible child care (SB576, HB4219)

Equal pay for equal work (HB4272)

Paid family and medical leave (SB417, HB4489, HB4513, HB4613, HB4489, and HB5001)

Affordable Healthcare and safe childbirth (SB313, HB4874)”

HB 5243 was introduced on January 26th and referred to the House Judiciary Committee. The text says the bill may be cited as the " West Virginia Women’s Bill of Rights" or "The West Virginia Act to Define Sex-Based Terms Used in State Law, Help Protect Single Sex Spaces, and Ensure the Accuracy of Public Data Collection." “The purpose of the West Virginia Women’s Bill of Rights is to bring clarity, certainty, and uniformity to the laws of West Virginia regarding sex discrimination, equality of the sexes, and benefits or services specifically provided to males/men and to females/women. . . . The West Virginia Women’s Bill of Rights applies wherever West Virginia, or an instrumentality of the state, classifies people on the basis of sex or otherwise defines people as being female or male, women or men, girls or boys in State Statutes and Administrative Rules.” It then defines the words “woman,” “man,” “girl,” “boy,” “mother,” “father,” “female,” “male,” and “equal.” It says that there are only two biological sexes. “Individuals with "differences in sex development" (also known as ‘DSD’ or ‘intersex conditions’) are not a third sex. Individuals with a congenital and medically verifiable DSD diagnosis must be accommodated consistent with state and federal law.”

NOW also has a Weekly Legislative Breakdown that you can find on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestVirginiaNow:

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The 3rd Annual Black Policy Day is coming back to the Capitol on February 7, 2024.

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Black Policy Day was established in 2022 by Crystal Good (Black By God), Katonya Hart (Partnerships for the Arts & Education), and Dr. Shanequa Smith (WV Black Voter Impact Initiative) who shared a vision of creating space for historically oppressed and ignored groups to amplify their stories and participate in the policymaking process.

On Black Policy Day, we welcome all to visit the Capitol to engage with our state leaders, discuss the issues that are most impacting Black and minority communities, and learn how to take action to make impacts in our communities.

Join us for breakfast at the State Capitol starting at 8:30am to engage with our lawmakers, followed by information about current opportunities and resources. The afternoon will include a youth-centered lunch event with accompanying activities. Childcare is available all day.

Throughout the day, there will be opportunities to engage in meetings with lawmakers, space for vendors and tabling opportunities, youth activities, and much more. Some of the events that day will include an option for virtual participation via a live stream.

Go here for more information and to register and for more information.