The legislative pipeline is filling up quickly, with hundreds of bills having been introduced in just the first three days of the regular legislative session.
A total of 25 bills on behalf of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin were introduced Feb. 15, with 13 introduced during the Senate floor session and 12 bills introduced in the House of Delegates. All but one of the bills are similar proposals in both each house to give each committee a chance to amend the bills, with the understanding that the House and Senate will settle on one version to forward through the process.
Tomblin proposed 15 measures during the 2012 session.
Tomblin mentioned several of the proposals during his education-heavy, 44-minute State of the State address Wednesday evening. The bills introduced on behalf of the governor are traditionally introduced and debated early in the legislative session.
Tomblin’s education proposals mentioned during of the State of the State Address have yet to be introduced.
Among Tomblin’s measures is Senate Bill 181, which would clarify drugged driving in the state’s current DUI law. Anyone who drives within West Virginia is considered to have given his or her consent to a preliminary breath analysis and a secondary chemical test of either his or her blood, breath or urine to determine its alcohol content. This bill, as it was introduced, would add testing for controlled substances and drug contents to that section of the law if it’s passed.
Another of Tomblin’s bills would lower the available tax credit available for the film industry.
Tomblin said during his Wednesday speech that the December 11, 2012 Sissonville pipeline explosion highlighted the need for the state to get in line with federal guidelines. His proposal is a maximum penalty of $200,000 per violation per day for pipelines that aren’t up to safety measures. That measure is Senate Bill 192.
The Jobs Impact Statement Act, Senate Bill 187, would require the West Virginia Development Office to prepare a jobs impact statement for proposed legislation when one is requested by the governor or by the leader of either the House or the Senate. That bill, in its introduced form, includes the legislative finding that “to maintain and create an economic climate which will sustain and promote the creation and retention of jobs in the state of West Virginia and provide for employment opportunities for as many citizens as possible, it is important to understand the jobs impact of Acts of the Legislature.”
Another of Tomblin’s proposed measures, Senate Bill 185, would narrow the scope of the state’s alternative fuel motor vehicle credit, changing the term “alternative fuel” to natural gas. A note on the bill states that its purpose is to refine, revise and modernize the alternative fuel motor vehicle infrastructure credit and alternative fuel motor vehicle credit to align state code “with specific intended economic development goals and budgetary goals.”
Posted: Feb 15, 2013 1:11 PM ESTUpdated: Feb 15, 2013 1:17 PM EST