With the midnight Saturday deadline just days away, dozens of bills are flying through the Legislature. That includes legislation of varying consequence being monitored by UE Local 170.

Wednesday afternoon, the Senate moved House Bill 4581 to Third Reading for Thursday. That bill includes DHHR employees in the West Virginia Clearance for Access: Registry and Employment Screening process.

A bill we are helping lobby for, HB 4543, which would cap the co-pay on insulin for diabetes patients, has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee, was the first bill on the agenda for a 2:30 p.m. meeting. The cap was raised from $25 in the House-passed bill to $100.

Other than that, the focus is on the House of Delegates, where several Senate bills preside. It will be a long day and evening in the House chamber, made longer by a morning false fire alarm that cleared out the Capitol for about an hour. Debate on budget amendments have been going on for hours as of this afternoon.

The Senate-passed bills in the House, with status:

  • SB 616: Puts restrictions on representation in the public employee grievance process. It still has to clear the House Government Organization and Judiciary committees, and the first such committee has not yet posted its next meeting.
  • SB 820: Stipulates that  It 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, if all the following conditions are satisfied.” Has passed House Health and Human Resources Committee; pending in House Finance.
  • SB 312: Relating to provisional licensure of social workers. It is up for Second Reading later today (Wednesday), with floor amendments pending.
  • SB 217: Requiring DHHR collaborate with Workforce Development Board and WV Division of Personnel for job placement. Passed Senate; in House Health and Human Resources Committee.
  • SB 291: Requiring PEIA and health insurance providers provide mental health parity. On First Reading today (Wednesday).
  • SB 339: Wide-ranging DHHR rules package that includes a section on social workers licensing. Passed Senate and House, back to House to concur on Senate amendment.
  • HB 2497: Strengthening protections to whistleblowers, and those workers who are members of employee organizations. Signed into law.