Senate Bill 272, which would create more opportunities for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors, passed the House of Delegates in a party-line vote — all 77 Republicans for, all 23 Democrats against.

With minor amendments made, the West Virginia Employment Law Worker Classification Act goes back to the Senate for concurrence. If it passes there as expected, it goes to the desk of Gov. Jim Justice, who proposed the legislation.

The bill was reported on in depth last week by Mountain State Spotlight.

Another very negative bill, House Bill 2626, is in the House Finance Committee. That would close Lakin, Withrow, and Hopemont hospitals, plus the Manchin Senior Care Center.

One delegate, Danielle Walker, a Democrat from Morgantown, called the UE Local 170 office to say she will vote against the bill.

The bill that would essentially privatize the Department of Highways, HB 2720, is in the Workforce Development Committee.

Other bills we are watching:

  • SB 7: Limits political activity by public employees. That passed the Senate 34-0, and is in the House Judiciary Committee.
  • SB 11: Declaring work stoppage or strike by public employees to be lawful. That has passed both houses and is going to the governor.
  • SB 39: Prohibiting insurers (including PEIA) to require preauthorization for tests to stage cancer, effective July 1, 2022. The bill passed the Senate 33-0, and is in the House Health and Human Resources Committee.
  • SB 245: Providing 11-month window to allow PERS members to purchase service credit. That bill is in committee and has not been taken up.
  • House Bill 2117: Provides certain employees in the DOH increases in annual pay. That bill is in committee and has not been taken up.
  • HB 2142: Establishing seniority rights for public employees. That bill is in committee and has not been taken up.

We need your help in lobbying for helpful bills and against negative bills. Here is the House roster and the Senate rosters. You may e-mail Gov. Justice or call (304) 558-2000.

If you have questions or want us to track a certain bill, e-mail to info@uelocal170.org.