CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – One of four bills considered by the House of Delegates on Tuesday was sent back to the Senate following the adoption of two amendments.
The bill, SB128, clarifies the authority of the state Governor and Legislature to proclaim and declare state of emergency and preparedness. Delegate Smith is the lead sponsor on the bill, which was first introduced earlier in the month on Wednesday, January 11, 2023.
Dozens of actions have been taken on the amendment since its initial introduction, including advancement to the House with the right to amend. The Government Organization Committee’s amendment of SB128 was the first to be considered Tuesday, and proposed limits on the duration of a Governor-declared state of preparedness or state of emergency to 60 days.
Additionally, the amendment proposed that to extend beyond those 60 days, the Legislature would pass a resolution declaring such. The Legislature may also condition, limit, terminate, or expand any action or directive made by the proclamation of the Governor relating to a state of preparedness or state of emergency.
Four amendments were offered Tuesday to the amendment itself, two of which were adopted. These were offered by Delegate Capito and Delegate Phillips, respectively.
The amendment proposed by Delegate Capito alters the language in the bill to clarify that if disasters strike the same location on two different occasions, then the Governor can react as needed to the separate disasters.
The amendment proposed by Delegate Phillips preserves the Governor’s power for suspending the provisions of any regulatory statute for the conduct of state business or rules/orders of state agencies if compliance with such would prevent, hinder or delay action to cope with the present emergency, as long as the Governor is not granted the power to suspend any provisions defined in Section 6 of the code.
The three other bills presented also passed on the third reading. These included the following:
House Bill 2310 which allows the DMV to issue an “Antique Fleet” single registration plate for use on fleets of five or more antique vehicles
House Bill 2564 repeals obsolete language relating to administrative hearing procedures for DUI offenses
House Bill 2602 adds in classifications of service personnel of the state minimum pay scale, which were inadvertently omitted with the passage of House Bill 4829 in 2022
Four bills also advanced from second reading, and three from first reading.
The House is adjourned until 11 a.m. tomorrow, January 25, 2023.