PAMELA SCOTT JOHNSON Staff Writer
March 26, 2013
West Virginia Delegate (D-20)
As the halfway point of the 2013 Regular Session has come and gone, I thought this would be a good time to update my constituents on what the House and Senate have done so far.
As of this Monday, 1,158 bills have been introduced in the House, while 45 have passed, and 2 have passed both chambers. So far, none have been signed into law by the governor. The Senate has introduced 661 bills and has passed 54 of them.
As some of you may have heard, there have been many pieces of legislation that have gone through the House regarding the coal industry. House Bill 2579, which is one bill that is waiting on the Senate’s approval, would call for a study to examine the effect of selenium in the water supply. This bill would have the potential to save the coal industry thousands of dollars and could create a lot of jobs for the region.
The House has also passed legislation regarding the rights of gun owners. House Bill 2471, which passed the House and is now being considered in the Senate, would allow those who are lawfully allowed to carry firearms to carry them in a state of emergency. Also passed was House Bill 2760, which would create a uniform, statewide law regarding firearms. This bill, if passed by the Senate, would dissolve the current Charleston law that requires a three day waiting period after purchasing a firearm.
The end of this week featured much debate and finally the passage, of the education bill that passed out of the Senate on Monday. As you may have read, this bill has the potential to make huge changes to the state’s education system, including the school calendar and make changes to the hiring process for teachers. Both the American Federation of Teachers and the West Virginia Education Association back this bill.
On Thursday, members of the Republican leadership tried to make amendments to the bill, however all attempts were shut down. I made sure to stand up to one particular amendment that wanted to place a greater emphasis on student evaluations when it comes to teacher’s receiving pay raises. I stood up to fight this amendment because this system would give students the opportunity to sabotage teachers who have earned these pay bonuses.
If you should have any questions or comments regarding any issues or bills before the legislature please feel free to contact me. Both Delegate H.K. White and I will continue to fight for southern West Virginia and we look forward to hearing from you.
To write me, my address is Delegate Justin Marcum, State Capitol, Building 1, Room 224-E, Charleston, WV 25305. Or you may call me at (304) 340-3126. I encourage all my constituents to remain active and become part of the legislative process.