2017-2018 Legislative Scorecard

The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present its Legislative Scorecard for 2017-2018. The bills used to determine legislators' scores covered a wide variety of issues that are pertinent to the state's business community.

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Below are short descriptions of the bills that comprise the West Virginia Chamber’s 83rd Legislature Scorecard. All of the bills listed below were supported by the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, with the exception of HB 4187, which was strongly opposed by the Chamber and its membership. Additionally, the vote recorded that was used to calculate a legislator’s score was the final vote taken on that piece of legislation. Some bills were double-weighted due to being complex or controversial issues, and those bills have been noted as such. We hope this scorecard helps develop an understanding of how members of the West Virginia Legislature vote on issues that promote job creation and economic development.

 

HB 4001 (2018) – This bill requires that able-bodied adults between the ages of 18-49, who do not care for dependents, are required to spend at least twenty hours per week at work, volunteering, performing community service, or actively seeking employment in order to qualify for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. This bill follows requirements set forth by federal law.


HB 4002 (2018) – Requires the West Virginia House of Delegates to contain 100 single-member districts following the 2020 census. The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce has long-championed this law as it ensures “one person one vote.”


HB 4009 (2018) – This bill would have required that settlement funds secured by the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office be appropriated by the West Virginia Legislature. This bill was vetoed by the Governor.


HB 4013 (2018) – Prohibits out-of-state plaintiffs from filing a lawsuit in West Virginia unless the lawsuit cannot be filed anywhere else.


HB 4022 (2018) – Exempts the repair, remodeling and maintenance of certain aircraft from the Consumer Sales and Service Tax and Use Tax.


HB 4187 (2018) – This bill prevents a business from prohibiting firearms in locked vehicles on company property. The West Virginia Chamber strongly opposed this legislation as it infringes upon private property rights of employers and creates a new cause of action against businesses in the state. This bill was double-weighted.


HB 4187 Floor Amendment – This amendment would have exempted businesses that handle hazardous materials from HB 4187. The West Virginia Chamber supported this amendment. This vote was only taken by the House of Delegates.


HB 4268 (2018) – The Co-Tenancy Modernization and Majority Protection Act provides much-needed updates to West Virginia’s oil and gas co-tenancy laws. This bill will allow development of a piece of property if 75% of the property’s ownership consents. It also ensured proper compensation to owners who objected or could not be located. This bill was double-weighted.


HB 4628 – This bill terminates the 9% surcharge on workers’ compensation insurance premiums which are directed towards the Workers’ Compensation Old Fund Debt, which was created in 2005 when the state’s workers’ compensation system was privatized. The Old Fund is now actuarily funded to pay all future claims.


SB 290 (2018) – This bill addresses the “netting” provisions for discharge permit limits for process and storm water.


SB 335 (2018) – This bill was the 2018 Paycheck Protection Act. It would have required employees to provide yearly written consent for items such as contributions to political action committees and union dues to be automatically deducted from paychecks. SB 335 passed the Senate but was not taken up in the House.


SB 341 (2018) – Would have established an intermediate appellate court in West Virginia. The West Virginia Chamber has long-supported the creation of this court, as it would add stability and predictability to the rule of law in the state. SB 341 passed the State Senate but was not taken up in the House of Delegates. This bill was double-weighted.


SB 474 (2018) – This bill would have protected payroll records with employees’ personal information from public disclosure for those who have been contracted to perform public construction projects. The bill passed the Senate but did not receive a vote in the House.


SB 222 (2018) – Clarifies that those who have gone on strike are ineligible to file for unemployment compensation benefits.


SB 224 (2017) – This bill repealed the requirement to maintain a wage bond of four weeks’ payroll plus fifteen percent for companies filing with the West Virginia Division of Labor. This requirement had been a barrier for smaller companies seeking to grow their business.


SB 239 (2017) - The 2017 Paycheck Protection Act. It would have required employees to provide yearly written consent for items such as contributions to political action committees and union dues to be automatically deducted from paychecks. SB 239 passed the Legislature but was vetoed by the Governor.


SB 330 (2017) – This bill made technical corrections to the Workplace Freedom Act (Right-to-Work) that was passed in 2016.


SB 330 Veto Override (2017) – Vote to override the Governor’s veto of SB 330.


SB 338 (2017) – Revisions to the Medical Professional Liability Act (MPLA), clarifying definition of “occurrence,” and addressing proper venue for lawsuits against nursing homes.


SB 441 (2017) – Would have made the Home Rule Pilot Program for local governments permanent. The bill was vetoed by the Governor.


SJR 6 – The Roads to Prosperity Amendment of 2017. This resolution allowed the state’s voters to consider whether or not to permit the state to sell $1.6 billion in bonds for critical infrastructure projects. The voters overwhelmingly approved this amendment.


HB 2506 (2017) – This bill allows for the Harmonic Mean Flow Standard to be used in determining water quality standards. This is the standard that is recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


HB 2678 (2017) – This bill changed the pre- and post-judgment interest rates in West Virginia to better reflect current economic conditions. Interest rates will now be 2% above the Fifth Federal Reserve District, with the provision that it may not be less than 4% nor higher than 9%.


HB 2857 (2017) – The West Virginia Safer Workplaces Act, which allows employers to perform random drug screening of non-safety sensitive positions. This bill was double-weighted.


HB 3093 (2017) – Broadband enhancement and expansion policies.