As the legislative session chugs into the final week, here’s a quick recap.
These bills have passed their chamber of origin, and are now in committees in the opposite chamber.
So, if they pass these committees, they go to full floor vote. If/when the chambers pass the bill in the exact same wording, the bill then goes to the governor.
HB 4344 “Relating to Foster Care” allows for a possible 20% pay raise for CPS workers, but the wide-ranging bill has some other items, potentially good or bad. Passed the House of Delegates 99-1 and was heard in the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee Thursday afternoon. If it passes this committee, it would still need to pass Senate Finance Committee before coming to full Senate vote.
SB 250, Budget Bill: As MetroNews reported Thursday, the budget includes a 5% raise for state employees. It passed the Senate 32-0 today (Friday) and was ordered to the House. As MetroNews reported, the House has some different ideas on the budget, but both chambers seem to agree on pay raises.
Senate Bill 230 “Relating generally to public employees grievance system” which attacks state workers’ rights in the grievance process. Among other things, the bill would require statements to be notarized and opens up the possibility for workers to be charged for the state’s legal costs up to $1,000. Passed Senate 23-11 and has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. If it passes this committee, then it goes to full floor vote and to the governor.
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. Passed the House 94-3, and is in the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee.
And these bills are dead for the session:
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. Referred to House Finance, has not yet been taken up.
HB 4453 “Fair Advancements for State Employees” would have affected increment pay and salary increases for state workers. Merit-based or performance-based pay increases would be used instead of across-the-board equal increases for workers.
HB 3124, permitting collective bargaining for public employees.
HB 3123, the “Family Leave Program” Would have allowed 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.
SB 243, “Granting all public employees 10 percent per year permanent pay increase.,” In Senate Government Organization.
HB 2117, “Providing certain employees of the Highways increases in annual pay.”
HB 2142, “Establishing seniority rights for public employees.”
HB 3178, “Suspend state government pay if business is shut down due to a pandemic.”
The session ends a week from Saturday, March 12 at midnight.
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.