Final Legislative Update - March 15, 2018 (PDF of WVEA Update)
Legislative Session Concludes
In a session that was dominated by employee walkouts and work stoppages, below is the list of bills that passed this legislative session. The actions taken by the governor on the bills – signs or vetoes – is underlined.
SB 62 – attendance directors. This bill would allow counties to hire persons with professional administrative certificates and five years’ experience as attendance directors. This bill has already been signed by the governor (2/21).
SB 244 – guns on school property. This bill would clarify that if a vehicle as a whole is locked, the gun could be stored in an unlocked “glove box or other interior compartment.” The bill also expands the definition of school-sponsored function to included specific areas that is owned, rented or leased by the WVDE, WVSSAC, county board or local public school for the actual period the function is occurring. This bill was signed by the governor on 3/27.
SB 267 – governor’s salary bill. This was the original salary bill passed by the Legislature. It gave a 2-1-1 percentage increase to teachers and a 1-1 to service professionals. This bill was signed by the governor on 2/21 and was eventually overridden by HB 4145 with the 5% salary increase.
SB 415 – sports wagering. This bill would allow sports wagering on our state’s casinos (dependent upon a US Supreme Court decision). The first $15 goes towards the state lottery and monies over $15 go toward funding PEIA. This bill became law without the Governor’s signature. (The governor did not sign the bill since it will impact the casino at the Greenbrier).
SB 465 – child abuse or neglect. This bill would require reporting be done within 24 hours and be made directly to police or DHHR rather than going through a supervisor. This bill was signed on 3/27 by the governor.
HB 3089 – instructional resources. The purpose of this bill is to transition to the county board of education the process for review and adoption of instructional resources. This bill was approved by the governor on 3/27.
HB 4006 – Education and the Arts. This bill would eliminate the Department of Education and the Arts and give some of its duties to the Department of Education. No action yet on this bill from the governor. The governor did replace department chair Gayle Manchin with Clayton Burch at the conclusion of the legislative session.
HB 4145 – pay raise bill. This gives a 5% pay raise to teachers, service professionals and all state employees. This bill was part of the work action agreement and has been signed by the governor on 3/6.
HB 4183 – carbon monoxide. This would require all school and day cares that use heating systems or other devices that emit carbon monoxide to install carbon monoxide detectors. The bill was signed by the governor on 3/22.
HB 4402 – sexual abuse education. The purpose of this bill is to mandate that children in grades K-12 receive sexual abuse education at least once during the academic year beginning July 1, 2019 with the preference being four times a year. The WVBE shall create rules for the training requirements. This bill was approved by the governor on 3/27.
HB 4478 – Shared Table program. This bill would authorize public schools to create a Shared Table program to allow for distribution of excess school food to students and others who have food insecurities. This bill was approved by the governor on 3/27.
HB 4619 – local share monies. This bill would direct 20% of the growth in local share money to be used to support the implementation of comprehensive systems for teacher and leader induction and professional growth. The governor signed this bill on 3/22.
Bills that failed to advance this session:
HJR 107 was introduced to allow for the election of State Board of Education members. It would have required a proposed amendment to the state constitution.
SJR 7 would have given lawmakers the power to amend and outright reject policies passed by the State Board of Education.
SB 6 would have allowed for Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). These school vouchers would drain funding from public schools resulting in less resources to provide services to students.
SB 124, SB304 and HB 2572 were all bills introduced to authorize charter schools in the state. These bills take money away from our public schools.
SB 252 would have required all public, private or parochial high schools to offer an elective social studies course on the Bible.
SB 284 was to make in-state community and technical colleges tuition free. The bill passed the Senate and was not taken up by the House.
SB 335 would have required union member to annually re-agree to have dues deducted from their paycheck. This bill passed the Senate and was not taken up by the House as part of the agreement with the Governor to end the work stoppage.
SB 494 would have prevented leaders of statewide associations (such as WVEA or AFT) from participation in the teachers’ retirement system for the years of service they spend as elected officers. This bill passed the Senate and was not taken up by the House.
SB 573 would have made the instruction term for students begin on the Tuesday after Labor Day and end the Friday before Memorial Day. The bill was amended to just deal with the use of additional instructional minutes. The Senate passed the bill and the House declined to take it up.
HB 4298 would have required public two-year and four-year colleges to allow people to carry concealed guns on their campuses including in the buildings if those individuals have permits.
HB 4007 known as the ‘Tim Tebow Act’ would have allowed homeschool students to participate in public school athletics. The bill failed to pass out of House Education.
HB 4407 would have lowered the requirements for alternative certification licensure by removing the requirement that a person have an academic major or occupational experience in the subject they seek to teach. This bill died on a tie vote in Senate Education.