Monday, January 27, 2014
Eastern Panhandle Legislative News Update #2
Participating in the January 27th Monday morning meeting of West Virginia Eastern Panhandle legislators were Delegates Larry D. Kump, Paul Espinosa, Eric Householder, Larry Faircloth, Ruth Rowan, John Overington, and Daryl Cowles plus Senators Craig Blair and Don Cookman. Morgan County Commissioner Stacy Dugan also was in attendance.
Delegate Kump further discussed HB 4007, his proposal to protect the property rights of those Mountaineers who have residential septic systems and wells. It still is waiting for a hearing before the Political Subdivisions Committee. He also discussed his proposal, HJR 101 (Judiciary Committee), to allow the Legislature to increase the "Homestead Act" tax exemptions for senior citizens as well as his concerns regarding those who want the Legislature to increase the salaries of county elected officials by 12%. As an alternative, he has proposed HJR 102 (Judiciary Committee), which instead would allow local county commissions or councils to determine the salaries of local elected officials, BUT ONLY if their proposed changes in local elected officials' salaries are approved by the county voters in the next General election.
Delegate Faircloth discussed his HB 4295 (Judiciary Committee), which would require uniform enforcement standards on environmental issues and HB 4334 (Small Business & Economic Development Committee), which would give small businesses tax credits for hiring additional employees.
Senator Cookman discussed his concerns about the funding requirements for local counties to finance regional jails.
Senator Blair spoke about efforts to eliminate "zone pricing" and other factors which contribute to high retail gasoline prices in West Virginia. He and Senator Cookman also are sponsoring legislation, SB 382 (Military Committee), which would exempt veterans and fraternal organizatins from non-smoking regulations.
Delegate Householder spoke about his pending legislation to nullify the "Affordable Care Act". A bill number and committee assignment still are pending on this legislation.
Delegate Rowan gave an update on efforts to help the School for the Deaf and the School for the Blind in Romney, West Virginia.
Delegate Overington reported that his HB 2477, to allow auxiliary safety lighting on motorcycles, has passed the House of Delegates and is pending further consideration by the Senate.
Delegate Cowles reviewed the Supplemental Budget Appropriation, which would provide funding for medical services and help volunteer firefighters.
Morgan County Commissioner Dugan expressed concern about the need to approve funding for Cacapon State Park improvements.