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Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce Releases Midpoint Session Updates

Thursday, Feb. 8 marked the 30th day of the Legislative Session, otherwise known as the midpoint of the Session.

Tuesday, February 13 is the last day to introduce bills in the House of Delegates.

Monday, February 19 is the last day to introduce bills in the Senate.

This is a list of bills of interest, or “major” bills moving through the process. Inclusion in this list does not indicate support or opposition of the legislation from the Charleston Chamber of Commerce. This newsletter is to keep our members abreast of key issues and issues moving through the legislative process that might impact their business.  

Co-Tenancy legislation to receive public hearing Friday, February 9 at 8:30am in the House Chambers:

HB 4268 – also known as the Co-Tenancy Modernization and Majority Protection Act will have a public hearing in the House Chambers before being sent to the House Judiciary Committee. The bill would allow development of a mineral property if 75% of the owners consent, as opposed to current law which requires 100% of owners to consent. The bill allows for compensation of dissenting owners and establishes a fund to hold payments for mineral owners who cannot be found.

Several bills appear to be on a fast track, including: 

SB 98 – would create incentives for local governments (counties, municipalities, public school districts, library districts and fire districts) to consolidate or form metro governments. The bill has passed the Senate and now resides in the House Political Subdivisions Committee, with a second reference to Government Organization. The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce supports this effort.

SB 300 – would create a 5-year tax credit for businesses that locate on post-coal mine sites. The credit applies to capital expenditures at the post-mine site in the first five years the business operates on the site. The bill has passed the Senate and now resides in the House Energy Committee, with a second reference to Finance.

HB 4002 – would establish 100 election districts (“single member districts”) in the House of Delegates to be established following the 2020 US Census. The bill has passed the House and was single referenced to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

SB 284 – would increase access to career education and workforce training by offering two free years of tuition to community and technical colleges. The bill has passed the Senate and assigned to the House Education Committee with a second reference to Finance.

Some other bills of interest we are following, include:

HB 2843 – Permitting Class III and Class IV municipalities to be included in the WV Tax Increment Act. The bill passed out of House Political Subdivisions and is now in the House Finance Committee.

HB 4396/SB415 – Permitting wagering on the results of certain professional or collegiate sports or athletic events. Both the Senate bill and House bill passed out of their respective Judiciary Committees and have been sent to their respective Finance Committees.

HB 4187 - Creating the “Business Liability Protection Act”. The bill’s title is a bit misleading, the bill limits the right of a business to prohibit possession of firearms in locked vehicles on company property.

HB 4298 – Creating the “Campus Self Defense Act.” The bill prohibits institutions of higher education the authority to restrict or regulate the carrying of a concealed deadly weapon by a person who holds a current license to carry a concealed deadly weapon. It also provides exceptions as to when regulation may occur.

SB 341 - Creating new court of West Virginia Intermediate Court of Appeals. This bill passed out of Senate Judiciary and is currently being debated in the Senate Finance Committee. 

HB 4154/SB 269 - Establishing the 2018 Regulatory Reform Act. This bill is a Governor’s bill which establishes an application process with the State Development Office for a business to request a project be classified as a “project of critical economic concern” which, if approved, would trigger state agencies to provide for expeditious review of a license or permit. The House bill appears to be the vehicle for this issue as it has been passed by House Government Organization and sent to the House Judiciary Committee.

HB 2039 – Establishing a tax credit for new businesses that locate in WV.

HB 2331/SB13 – Raising the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21.

HB 2425 – Allowing those licensed to sell growlers to offer samples of beer.

HB 2508 – Creating tax credits for small businesses.

SB 105 – Establishing tax credit for certain college graduates who remain in state.

SB 119 – would create a tax credit for development within a low-income community.

HB 4452 - Creating newly-established small business tax credits.