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Lobby Line (Jan. 16 - 19)

Friday, January 19, 2024 Day 10

With the Governor declaring a state of emergency in all 55 counties, neither the House nor the Senate moved any bills during their floor sessions today. In the House, all bills on third, second and first reading were postponed for one day. In the Senate, President Blair declared the absence of a quorum. Both chambers are adjourned until 11:00 on Monday, January 22nd.

On Monday, Committee Substitute for HB 4302 will be on first reading in the House. This is a school counselor bill clarifying appropriate and inappropriate duties for school counselors while also providing the definition of a school counselor.

Be on the lookout this afternoon for WVEA’s first Legislative Update email, and stay safe!



Thursday, January 18, 2024 Day 9 

Senate

During the Senate’s first floor session today, the following bills were on first reading and were advanced to second reading:

Com. Sub for SB 152 displaying official US motto in public schools. 

Com. Sub for SB 280 allowing teachers to discuss scientific theories. The Com. Sub. changed the wording from “teach intelligent design” to “discuss scientific theories”.

Com. Sub. for SB 293 creating the Glucagon for Schools Act.

The Senate Education Committee met this morning and passed 2 out of 3 bills on their agenda, while holding the third bill over for a future meeting. SB 466 requiring development of safety while accessing technology (SWAT) education program will be addressed at a future meeting because the committee plans to incorporate other tech safety bills, creating a Committee Substitute. The two bills that passed are: 

SB 448 requiring age-appropriate instruction on Holocaust in public schools.

SB 259 requiring Higher Education Policy Commission to create and administer PROMISE Plus Program. The program would fund additional Promise Scholarship money to a select group of students meeting extra requirements in exchange for the student working in state equivalent to the number of years the scholarship was received. 

House

There are no education related bills to report on from the House today.

WVEA’s first Legislative Update for the 2024 session will be sent out tomorrow afternoon.



Wednesday, January 17, 2024 

House 

The following bills were reported today from the House Education Committee to the floor:

SB280 allowing teachers in public schools to teach intelligent design.

SB152 displaying official US motto in public schools.

SB253 establishing minimum student enrollment for school aid formula passed in House Education yesterday, and was referred to House Finance today.

During committee meetings today, House Education discussed the following bills:

HB 4202 raising the monthly salary for service personnel $670 per month. The motion to pass the bill to the full House but first be referred to the Committee on Finance was adopted.

HB 4763 raising the starting salary for teachers in WV to $44,000. This will also be an across the board raise of $5,005 and will put salaries in the 50th percentile of our surrounding states. The motion to pass the bill to the full House but first be referred to the Committee on Finance was adopted.

HB 4769 clarifying appropriate and inappropriate duties for a school counselor. An amendment was passed to clarify the language as is pertains to 504s. The motion to report the bill as amended to the full House was adopted.

HCR 24 requires the Joint Committee on Finance study the school aid formula and report their findings by the start of the 2025 Legislative Session. The Concurrent Resolution was adopted and will be reported to the full House.

Senate 

The Senate’s School Choice Committee met this afternoon and listened to a presentation by James Paul from the West Virginia Professional Charter School Board. Part of the presentation included a request for more state funding for both brick and mortar and virtual charter schools. Additional startup costs and increases in per student funding were requested.



Tuesday, January 16, 2024 

There were no education bills to report on from either floor session today. The Senate Education Committee adopted the following committee substitutes:

SB280 allowing teachers in public schools to teach intelligent design.

SB152 displaying official US motto in public schools.

SB253 establishing minimum student enrollment for school aid formula.

During the Senate’s Health and Human Resources Committee meeting, the committee substitute for SB 293 allowing trained school personnel to administer Glucagon was adopted. All four bills passed the Senate last session, but died in the House. The committee substitutes were not available when Lobbyline was posted.

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