Legislature in WV The Voice of Agriculture in the Mountain State

Today in the Legislature

Legislative Action Report

Today in the Legislature is a daily synopsis of legislative activities maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office

Senate President Craig Blair and Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw have made the following committee leadership assignments:

West Virginia Senate

Senate Majority Leader: Tom Takubo (R-Kanawha Co., District 17)

President Pro Tempore: Donna Boley (R-Pleasants Co., District 3)

Finance Chair: Eric Tarr (R-Putnam Co., District 4)

Judiciary Chair: Charles Trump IV (R-Morgan Co., District 15)

Education Chair: Amy Grady (R-Mason Co., District 4)

Health & Human Resources Chair: Mike Maroney (R-Marshall Co., District 2)

Energy, Industry, & Mining Chair: Randy Smith (R-Tucker Co., District 14)

Government Organization Chair: Jack Woodrum (R-Summers Co., District 10)

Economic Development Chair: Chandler Swope (R-Mercer Co., District 6)

Confirmation Chair: Donna Boley (R-Pleasants Co., District 3)

Banking & Insurance Chair: Mike Azinger (R-Wood Co., District 3)

Outdoor Recreation Chair: Mark Maynard (R-Wayne Co., District 6)

School Choice Chair: Patricia Rucker (R-Jefferson Co., District 16) 

Military Chair: Ryan Weld (R-Brooke Co., District 1)

Agriculture & Natural Resources Chair: Bill Hamilton (R-Upshur Co., District 11)

Transportation & Infrastructure Chair: Charles Clements (R-Wetzel Co., District 2)

West Virginia House of Delegates

House Majority Leader: Eric Householder (R-Berkeley Co., District 096)

Majority Whip: Marty Gearheart (R-Mercer Co., District 037)

Speaker Pro Tempore: Paul Espinosa (R-Jefferson Co., District 098)

Finance Chair: Vernon Criss (R-Wood Co., District 012)

Judiciary Chair: Moore Capito (R-Kanawha Co., District 055)

Education Chair: Joe Ellington (R-Mercer Co., District 038)

Government Organization Chair: Chris Phillips (R-Barbour Co., District 068)

Health & Human Resources Chair: Amy Summers (R-Taylor Co., District 073)

Agriculture & Natural Resources: Agriculture Chair: Ty Nestor (R-Randolph Co., District 066)

Natural Resources Chair: Chuck Horst (R-Berkeley Co., District 095)

Energy & Manufacturing Chair: Bill Anderson (R-Wood Co., District 010)

Technology & Infrastructure Chair: Daniel Linville (R-Cabell Co., District 022)

All committee assignments and legislator contact information are available at

January 20, 2023
The 2023 West Virginia Legislative Session began on January 11. During his state-of-the-state address, Governor Jim Justice called for nearly a flat budget of $4.88 billion. He proposed a 5 percent pay raise for state employees and a 50 percent reduction in personal income tax over the next three years.

The West Virginia Senate, under the direction of Senate President Craig Blair, began the first session of the 86th Legislature by suspending constitutional rules and passing 23 bills. Most of the bills were approved by the Senate last year but failed to receive House approval in 2022. SB 126 would divide DHHR into three agencies.

The House of Delegates convened and elected Roger Hanshaw of Clay County for a third term as Speaker. House Resolutions 1, 2, and 3 were adopted to approve rules of operation for this session.

All bills that did not pass one house as per legislative calendar have been deleted. Updates in bold.

The following bills were introduced during Week 1 (January 11-13) of the 60-day session. Those of interest to agricultural producers and rural West Virginia include:

SB 12 By Senator Karnes. Bill raises the limit on tax credit from $2,500 to $5,000 for farmers who make donations of edible agricultural products to nonprofit food programs. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. WVFB supports.

SB 15 By Senator Woodrum. Bill allows county commissions to impose up to 1 percent county-wide sales tax after public hearings. Sent to Government Organization. WVFB opposes.

SB 35 By Senator Karnes. Amends Chapter 22 of the West Virginia Code by DEP employees entry onto private lands to require probable cause, warrant, or expressed permission of property owners to investigate violations of DEP rules. (Similar bill HB 2189.)  Sent to Judiciary. WVFB monitoring.

SB 78 By Senator Weld. Bill creates felony criminal offense relating to aggravated cruelty to animals. Provides for fine of up to $5,000 and possible prison sentence of one to five years under certain circumstances. Sent to Judiciary. WVFB opposes.

SB 96 By Senator Azinger. Bill creates Timber Co-Tenancy Modernization Act. Provides for harvest of timber when 75 percent of owners have agreed to terms of sale contract. Sent to Judiciary. WVFB monitoring.

SB 152 By Senator Oliverio. Bill changes primary elections from second Tuesday in May to second Tuesday in August. Sent to Government Organization. WVFB monitoring.

HB 2307 By Delegate Howell. Bill ensures that rightful owners of real property retain rights to their property when someone lodges a fraudulent claim against the rightful owners’ land. Sent to Judiciary. WVFB supports.

HB 2309 By Delegate Howell. Bill requires Division of Forestry to establish on-line renewal process for Managed Timberland Program. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. WVFB supports. 

HB 2338 Delegate Griffith. Bill changes definition of unlawful restraint of dogs. Sent to Judiciary. WVFB opposes.

HB 2344 By Delegate Pritt. Purpose of bill is to provide definitions for “market value” and “true and actual value” and that property may not be assessed higher than the value in 2019. Sent to Finance. WVFB monitoring.

HB 2369 By Delegate Gearheart. Bill permits owner of land damaged by deer or other wildlife to pay third party to harvest wildlife by bow and arrow. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. WVFB monitoring.

HB 2439 By Delegate Cooper. Bill exempts sales tax on ATVs used as farm equipment. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. WVFB supports.

HB 2476 By Delegate Fast. Bill removes authority of county farmland protection boards to acquire ownership of farm property. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. WVFB monitoring.

HB 2508 By Delegate Keaton. Bill amends 19-19-4, also known as the Right to Farm legislation. Adds the language “unless the plaintiff proves both of the following clear and convincing evidence”. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. WVFB monitoring.

HB 2518 By Delegate Keaton. Bill amends West Virginia Fresh Food Act to increase food purchases from in-state sources by schools, colleges, and government agencies. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. WVFB monitoring.

HB 2526 By Delegates Hanshaw & Skaff. Purpose of bill is to reduce personal income tax rates by 50 percent over the next three years. Sent to House Finance. Passed Full House. Sent to Senate Finance. WVFB monitoring.

The following bills were introduced during Week 2 (January 16-20):

SB 217 By Senator Chapman. Bill sets the standards for cruelty to animals regarding shelter and bedding. Requires at least 100 sq. ft. of floor space for animals over 4 months of age and other shelter requirements for all species. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources.  WVFB opposes.

SB 229 By Senator Maynard.  Purpose of bill is to encourage landowners to make land available for recreational purposes by limiting landowner liability. Sent to Judiciary. WVFB monitoring.

SB 280 By Senator Tarr. Bill provides for several reforms to election of the West Virginia Judiciary. Also updates procedures of filling vacancies in the judicial system. Sent to Judiciary. WVFB monitoring.

HB 2574 By Delegate Horst. Bill sets forth rules of entry onto private lands by DNR officers and clarifies use of surveillance cameras on or near private lands. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. WVFB monitoring.

HB 2616 By Delegate Foster. Bill addresses net metering by requiring PSC to adopt a rule requiring that all electric utilities provide a rebate or discount equal to the energy at supply rate of utility. Sent to Energy. WVFB monitoring.

HB 2696, HB 2697, HB 2698, HB 2699, HB 2700, HB 2701, HB 2702, HB 2703, HB 2704   
´╗┐By Delegate Foster. Various rules bills for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. WVFB supports.

HB 2787 By Delegate Dillon. Bill modifies definition of a distributor to exclude persons engaged in selling products or commodities produced exclusively on their own farms. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. WVFB monitoring.

SJR 4 By Senator Karnes. Proposed constitutional amendment to ensure the rights of farmers and ranchers to engage in natural, traditional, or modern farming and ranching practices forever guaranteed. Sent to Judiciary. WVFB supports.

SJR 7 By Senator Jeffries. Purpose of resolution is to permit West Virginia citizens in a magisterial district to be sole electors of county commissioners. Sent to Judiciary. WVFB monitoring.

The following bills were introduced during Week 3 (January 23-27):

SB 485   By Senator Smith. Bill creates the PFAS Protection Act. Requires DEP to identify and address PFAS sources impacting public water systems. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. WVFB monitoring.

HB 2918 By Delegate Westfall. Bill permits removal of animals left unattended in motor vehicles under certain conditions. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. WVFB opposes.

HB 2977 By Delegate Foster. Bill amends the right to set aside a deed relating to tax sales from two years to one year following the delivery of the deed if not notified. Sent to Judiciary. WVFB opposes.

HB 2983 By Delegate Williams. Bill amends statute relating to cruelty to animals. Sets standards of housing and feed when temperatures are below 32 degrees or above 85 degrees F. Sets specifications for tethering standards and seizure of animals for violations. Sent to Judiciary. WVFB opposes.

HB 2995 By Delegate Foster. Bill sets standards to license veterinary nurses. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. WVFB monitoring.

HB 3045 By Delegate Dillon. Purpose of bill is to establish temporary emergency certification for currently certified teachers wishing to obtain certification or endorsement in Agriculture Education. (Similar bill HB 3046.) Sent to Education. WVFB monitoring.

HB 3090 By Delegate Foster. Bill repeals the entire section of the West Virginia Code relating to auctioneers. Auctioneers would be exempt from licensing requirements. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. WVFB opposes.

SR 16   By Senator Smith. Designates January 30, 2023, as Future Farmers Day at the Legislature. WVFB supports.

All legislation may be found at www.wvlegislature.gov.

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