As the finish line of the 2010 regular session approaches quickly, the work will really intensify in the coming weeks. So far, 630 bills have been introduced in the Senate, with 21 passing our body and moving on to the House for consideration.
The Senate bills that have passed and now go on to the House for consideration are as follows:
Senate Bill 38 would make the federal Servicemembers Civic Relief Act a state law. The act is designed to relieve certain civil responsibilities from servicemembers entering active duty or being deployed.
Senate Bill 89 would allow elected police chiefs and deputy chiefs to be assigned to their previously held position within the force at the end of their term.
Senate Bill 218 would make certain inmates eligible for early parole, upon successful completion of a rehabilitation program. Inmates who had committed violent crimes or crimes against children would not be eligible for accelerated parole, as well as inmates who had level one or two disciplinary action 120 days prior to parole consideration.
Senate Bill 236 would create the Aquaculture Development Act in order to promote aquaculture in the state. Aquaculture is defined as the breeding, raising and/or use of aquatic species in controlled environments for commercial purposes including food production, recreation and research.
Senate Bill 350 would add recycled energy to the list of renewable energy resources. This includes exhaust heat from commercial or industrial processes, waste gas, mechanical energy resulting from pressure drops, and other forms of recycled energy.
Senate Bill 354 would update the terms and reporting procedures for traffic crashes. The word "accident" would be replaced with "crash," and the investigating law-enforcement officer would be required to submit a report electronically or in writing within 24 hours of the incident. If the officer could not complete the investigation within 10 days of the crash, a preliminary report would be required on the 10th day and a final report would be required within 24 hours of the completed investigation.
Senate Bill 382 would authorize the preparation and submission of geological reports incidental to oil and gas drilling. It would also require that logs and other valuable information be given to the state Geological and Economic Survey.
Senate Bill 391 would require that candidates for county boards be citizens of the county in which the board serves.
Senate Bill 397 would create a single dwelling residential housing index that would annually compile the costs of all single dwelling residential housing in the state. The index would be made available to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance as well as the public.
Senate Bill 436 would replace the Latin "haec verba, viz" with the English equivalent "these words verbatim" in the West Virginia code.
Feb. 22 marked the last day to introduce bills not originating in committee.
The West Virginia Legislature has both Facebook and Twitter accounts that are updated constantly throughout the legislative session. We work hard to find new and innovative ways to be transparent as we do our work. I hope that you will take advantage of these exciting new ways to follow our progress on a daily, hourly and sometimes minute to minute basis.
I encourage you to tell me what you think about this or any other issue affecting our state and our district. You can write to me at: Clark S. Barnes, State Senate, West Wing, Room 203, State Capitol Building, Charleston, W.Va. 25305. You can contact me by e-mail at: email@example.com. You can also call my Charleston office at 304-357-7973.
(Editor's note: Barnes is a state senator who represents the 15th District.)