State workers, including UE Local 170 members, should keep a wary eye on the West Virginia Senate on Wednesday, as several bills were heading toward Third Reading.

Wednesday is the last day in which bills must pass their house of origin. For instance, Senate Bill 616 must pass the Senate and go to the House; otherwise, it dies.

That wouldn’t be a bad fate, in regard to the rights of public workers. That bill, which slipped past a Senate committee late Friday, restricts the grievance process to our detriment.

Bills to watch for in the Senate:

  • SB 312, relating to the licensure of social workers.
  • SB 616, which detrimentally affects public workers’ rights in grievances. That bill’s contents have been updated in Monday’s Legislative post.
  • SB 820 stipulates that “The Department of Health and Human Resources is authorized to transfer ownership of any land and buildings which it has owned, constructed, maintained, and leased to any comprehensive regional mental health center or comprehensive intellectual disability facility operated by a local nonprofit organization … ” This stands to affect our state hospitals and their hundred of workers and union members!
  • Senate Joint Resolution 9, which would amend the constitution, was rejected on Third Reading. The amendment, which failed to get a two-thirds vote, would have allowed the property tax changes prescribed in SB 837, which passed the Senate on Monday.

If these bills pass the Senate, they go to the House. Today (Tuesday) is the 49th day of the 60-day session; the final day is March 7.

Again, this has been a difficult session and we appeal for your activism. Please contact a Senator or a Delegate about these worrisome bills.