- Hello brothers and sisters,As our third week of the Legislature nears an end, here’s a recap of some notable bills:New:
HB 4453 “Fair Advancements for State Employees” Bill affects increment pay and salary increases for state workers, probably in a negative way. Merit-based or performance-based pay increases would be used instead of across-the-board equal increases for workers – the interpretation of “merit” probably would be inconsistent and unfair. Referred to House Government Organization Committee, and then to House Finance Committee.
HB 4365 “Relating to discontinuing operation of certain state long-term care facilities” Seeks to close 3 long-term care facilities: Lakin, Withrow, and John Manchin. Workers will be offered the opportunity to transfer to another position in state government if they qualify for such job, or take a year in severance pay and benefits. Hopemont is not affected by the legislation at this time. Referred to the House Government Committee, then the Finance Committee.
HB 4252 “To reduce copay cap on insulin and devices” Reduces maximum copay on prescription insulin from $100 to $35, and sets a maximum copay for devices at $100 — great news for our members who are dealing with diabetes. This has passed the House, and is assigned to the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee.
HB 4310 “Specifying when a public employee’s spouse may be covered by PEIA” If your spouse has access to non-PEIA healthcare, it would cause you to pay the full spouse premium, instead of “your share” plus the employer’s share of the spouse’s premium. So, where applicable, this could make the part you pay go up, or make it unfeasible to cover your spouse through PEIA. In House Finance Committee.
SB 230 “Relating generally to public employees grievance procedure” The bill requires grievance forms to be notarized, and opens up the possibility for the grievant to be held responsible for the state’s legal fees in certain cases. In Senate Judiciary Committee.
Other bills of note:
- SB 243, “Granting all public employees 10 percent per year permanent pay increase,” that is in Senate Government Organization Committee. NOTE: The Governor is backing pay raises for this session.
- HB 3124, permitting collective bargaining for public employees. In House Government Organization Committee.
- HB 3123, the “Family Leave Program” would be as good as any. That would allow four weeks of paid employee leave in a 12-month period for reasons including: birth of a child; adoption of a child; care of a child, parent, spouse, or dependent with a serious health condition. In House Workforce Development Committee.
- HB 2117, “Providing certain employees of the Highways increases in annual pay,” House Finance.
- HB 2142, “Establishing seniority rights for public employees,” House Workforce Development.
- HB 3178, “Suspend state government pay if business is shut down due to a pandemic,” House Government Organization.
- HB 3186, “Relating to PEIA inpatient rates,” House Banking and Insurance.
- Several bills to improve pay and benefits for retirees. In committees.
Full text and status of all introduced bills can be found by searching here.
Many other questions can be answered at wvlegislature.gov, but we may be able to help you more quickly.
Please … if you want to know how a bill stands or who your senator or delegate is, please contact us at i[email protected] or (304) 347-4396.