Legislature in WV The Voice of Agriculture in the Mountain State

Today in the Legislature

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

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

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

Agriculture Chair: Dave Sypolt (R-Preston Co., District 14)

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

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

Inter-State Cooperation Chair: Jack Woodrum (R-Summers Co., District 10)

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

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: Amy Summers (R-Taylor Co., District 49)

Assistant Majority Leader: Kayla Kessinger (R-Fayette Co., District 32)

Majority Whip: Paul Espinosa (R-Jefferson Co., District 66)

Speaker Pro Tempore: Gary Howell (R- Mineral Co., District 56)

Finance Chair: Eric Householder (R-Berkeley Co., District 64)

Judiciary Chair: Moore Capito (R-Kanawha Co., District 35)

Education Chair: Joe Ellington (R-Mercer Co., District 27)

Government Organization Chair: Brandon Steele (R-Raleigh Co., District 29)

Health & Human Resources Chair: Matt Rohrbach (R-Cabell Co., District 17)

Agriculture & Natural Resources: Agriculture Chair: Chris Phillips (R-Barbour Co., District 47), Natural Resources Chair: Mark Dean (R-Mingo Co., District 21)

Banking & Insurance Chair: Steve Westfall (R-Jackson Co., District 12)

Energy & Manufacturing Chair: Bill Anderson (R-Wood Co., District 8)

Technology & Infrastructure Chair: Daniel Linville (R-Cabell Co., District 16)

All committee assignments and legislator contact information are available at
www.wvlegislature.gov.

2022 1ST SPECIAL SESSION
January 10, 2022 at 11:00am
Proclamation

2022 REGULAR SESSION
January 12 - March 12, 2022.
2022 Membership Directory [PDF]
2022 Legislative Calendar
2022 Information Packet [PDF]

INTERIM COMMITTEE SCHEDULE 2022
January 9, 10, 11

Legislative Action Report

March 21, 2022
 
The 2022 West Virginia Legislative Session closed at midnight on March 12.
Over 2,100 bills and resolutions were introduced for consideration. A total of 293 bills (150 House bills and 143 Senate bills) were passed by both houses.
Governor Jim Justice has currently signed 45 bills. All other legislation awaits his approval or veto.

The State Budget has been set at $4.6 billion, with $12.9 million dedicated to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. Also, $11.2 million has been appropriated for the West Virginia Soil Conservation Agency. Teachers will receive a 5-percent pay raise, and State Police will receive a $10,000 pay increase.

Other major bills included:

SB 1    Creates $50 million Mining Mutual Insurance Program to address potentially insolvent coal mining permit holders/reclamation shortfalls.   
 
SB 172    Provides for pay raise for elected county officials.

SB 694    Known as the Oil/Gas Unitization Bill.

HB 4491    Establishes Deep Well Carbon Sequestration Rules.

HB 4098    Outlines Geothermal Energy Development Rules.

Other bills important to agriculture included:

SB 424    Known as the 2022 Farm Bill. Addresses WVDA operations.

SB 264    Sets election rules for Soil Conservation District supervisors.

SB 242    Amends Chapter 8 of the State Code that addresses
zoning. Prevents limiting by county governments the use of natural resources by the owner of a tract or contiguous tracts of land of any size for a farm or agricultural operation as defined in 19-19-2 of the West Virginia Code.

HB 4570    Sets procedures for tele-medicine for veterinary services.

SB 334    Authorizes WVDA to promulgate rules.

Other legislation addressed development of certified sites/development programs for industrial expansion, the number of county magistrates, and reorganization of the DHHR. Legislation also passed to create the West Virginia Military Hall of Fame and establish contracts for the construction of recreational facilities in State parks and forests.

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 9-14) of the 60-day session. Those of interest to agricultural producers and rural West Virginia include:

SB 242    By Senator Sypolt. Bill limits authority of county government to prevent or limit owners’ complete use of natural resources or real property for farm or agricultural operations. Sent to Agriculture & Rural Development.
Passed. Sent to Full Senate. Passed Full Senate. Sent to House Judiciary. 
Passed Full House. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision.
WVFB supports.

SB 264    By Senator Trump. Bill creates Conservation Districts Law of West Virginia. Revises definitions and modifies the process for election and filling of vacancies. Updates process for public meetings and reports. Removes the “active farmer with 5 years’ experience or a retired farmer” requirement to be elected to the supervisor position. Sent to Natural Resources. Passed. Sent to Government Organization. Passed as amended. Sent to Full Senate. Passed.
Sent to House Agriculture & Natural Resources. Passed. Sent to House Government Organization. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. (Similar to HB 4302.) WVFB monitoring.

HB 4050    By Delegate Summers and Speaker Hanshaw. Bill defines livestock as an animal of the bovine, equine, porcine, ovine, or caprine species, domestic poultry, peafowl, guinea fowl, and emu. Bill amends Article 18 of Chapter 19 that addresses livestock trespass. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. Passed. Sent to Judiciary. Passed. Sent to Senate Agriculture. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. WVFB monitoring.

The following bills were introduced during Week 2 (January 17-21):

SB 334    By Senator Sypolt. WVDA rule relating to feeding untreated garbage to swine. Sent to Judiciary. Passed Full Senate. Sent to House Government Organization. Passed Full House. Completed legislation. Awaits
Governor’s decision.
 (Similar to HB 4173.) WVDA monitoring.

SB 335    By Senator Sypolt. WVDA rule relating to commercial feed. Sent to Judiciary. Reported in Committee Sub SB 334. Passed Full Senate. Sent to House Government Organization. Passed Full House. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. (Similar to HB 4174.) WVFB monitoring.

SB 337    By Senator Sypolt. WVDA rule relating to seed certification of potatoes. Sent to Judiciary. Reported in Committee Sub SB 334. Passed Full Senate. Sent to House Government Organization. Passed Full House.
Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. 
(Similar to HB 4176.)
WVFB monitoring.

SB 338    By Senator Sypolt. WVDA rule relating to Fresh Food Act. Sent to Judiciary. Reported in Committee Sub SB 334. Passed Full Senate. Sent to House Government Organization. Passed Full House. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. (Similar to HB 4177.) WVFB monitoring.

SB 339    By Senator Sypolt. WVDA rule relating to auctioneers. Sent to Judiciary. Reported in Committee Sub SB 334. Passed Full Senate. Sent to House Government Organization. Passed Full House. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. (Similar to HB 4178.) WVFB monitoring.

SB 340   By Senator Sypolt. WVDA rule relating to hemp products. Sent to Judiciary. Reported in Committee Sub SB 334. Passed Full Senate. Sent to House Government Organization. Passed Full House. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. (Similar to HB 4179.) WVFB monitoring.

SB 341    By Senator Sypolt. WVDA rule relating to livestock care standards. 
Sent to Judiciary. Reported in Committee Sub SB 334. Passed Full Senate. 
Sent to House Government Organization. Passed Full House. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. (Similar to HB 4180.) WVFB monitoring.

SB 343    By Senator Sypolt. WVDA rule relating to Farm to Food tax credit. 
Sent to Judiciary. Reported in Committee Sub SB 334. Passed Full Senate. 
Sent to House Government Organization. Passed Full House. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. (Similar to HB 4182.) WVFB monitoring.

SB 344    By Senator Sypolt. WVDA rule relating to farmers’ markets. Sent to Judiciary. Reported in Committee Sub SB 334. Passed Full Senate. Sent to House Government Organization. Passed Full House. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. (Similar to HB 4183.) WVFB monitoring.

SB 424    By Senators Sypolt, Baldwin, Karnes, Phillips, Smith, Woodrum, Hamilton, Martin, and Lindsay. Bill known as the 2022 Farm Bill. Purpose of bill is to provide additional powers to Commissioner of Agriculture to collect certain debts. Bill establishes West Virginia Animal Remedy Law, defines agritourism as agriculture, and amends Auctioneer Board of Review. Sent to Agriculture & Rural Development. Passed as amended. Second reference waived. On first reading Full Senate. Passed Full Senate. Sent to House Judiciary. Passed Full House. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. (Similar to HB 4332.) WVFB monitoring.

SB 458    By Senator Smith. Bill establishes clear legal right to title of chemical compounds, elements, and substances that are derived from the treatment of acid-mined drainage on mined lands. Bill allows those who treat acid mine drainage to find rare earth minerals to have clear title to the minerals. Sent to Natural Resources. Passed. Sent to Senate Judiciary. (Similar to HB 4003.) On second reading Special Calendar Full House. Passed Full House. Sent to Senate Energy. Passed on First Reading Full Senate. Passed Full Senate. 
Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision.
  WVFB monitoring.

HB 4098    By Delegates Anderson, J. Kelly, Steele, Boggs, Pethtel, Burkhammer, Riley, Statler, Westfall, Wamsley, and Reynolds. Bill defines certain matters relating to geothermal energy. Defines that surface owners have ownership rights to geothermal resources unless previously conveyed. Defines the powers of DEP to develop/revise reinjection rules of spent geothermal fluids. Sent to Energy. Passed. Sent to Judiciary. Passed Full House. Communicated to Senate. Sent to Energy Committee. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. WVFB monitoring.     

The following bill was introduced during Week 4 (January 31-February 4):

HB 4491    By Delegates Anderson, J. Kelly, Ferrell, Hansen, Wamsley, Holstein, Clark, Hott, and Young. Bill sets a legal and regulatory permitting format for development of underground carbon sequestration wells. Surface owners are held harmless under all development activities. Creates Carbon Dioxide Storage Facility Trust Fund. Title to the pore space dedicated to surface owner. Sets consenting agreement threshold of 75 percent. Non-consenting required to comply as directed by Secretary of DEP. Sent to House Energy. Passed. Sent to House Judiciary. Passed Full House. Sent to Senate. Similar bill SB 622 passed as amended. Sent to Full Senate. Passed Full Senate. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. WVFB monitoring.

The following bill was introduced during Week 5 (February 7-11):

HB 4570    By Delegates Hamrick, Howell, Paynter, Dean, and Pack. Purpose of bill is to allow veterinarian tele-medicine in West Virginia and establish requirements to form a veterinarian – client patient relationship. Sent to Agriculture & Natural Resources. Passed. Sent to House Government Organization. On First Reading Special Calendar. Passed Full House. Sent to Senate Agriculture. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. WVFB monitoring.

The following bill was introduced during Week 6 (February 14-18):

SB 650    By Senator Nelson. Bill eliminates minimum number of seven royalty owners required to utilize Chapter 37B regarding lawful use and development of oil and gas on reserves on a single tract of property. Sent to Senate Energy. 
Passed. Sent to Full Senate. Passed Full Senate. Sent to House Energy. 
Passed on Second Reading Special Calendar. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. WVFB monitoring.

The following bill was introduced during Week 7 (February 21-25):

SB 694    By Senator Tarr. Committee substitute for SB 694 provides for modifying the membership of the Oil/Gas Commission to include an agricultural property owner and a mineral owner. Sets criteria for unitization of mineral tracts. Requires 75 percent of net mined acres consent to pool with a hard cap of 128 acres if the unit exceeds 640 acres. Provides for same terms as 2018 Co-Tenancy Bill of average bonus and highest royalty. Provides for judicial review. Passed Senate Finance. On Second Reading Full Senate.
Passed Full Senate. Sent to House Energy Committee. Passed. Passed Judiciary Committee. Passed Full House. Completed legislation. Awaits Governor’s decision. WVFB supports.

Additional key points for SB 694:

  • Adds two new members to Oil/Gas Commission: agricultural property owner and mineral owner unaffiliated with operators.
  • Includes public policy statement to safeguard, protect, and enforce property rights of surface owners and agricultural users of the land.
  • Requires operators to engage in good faith negotiations to obtain consent prior to going to the Commission; specifically, it requires good faith offers to all owners.
  • Must have 75 percent of the net acreage consent to pool and unitize, with a hard cap of 128 net acres non-consenting in a unit, regardless of unit size if approved by Oil/Gas Commission.
  • Unit size is 640 acres but can be larger if Commission deems it appropriate.
  • Applies to ALL horizontal wells regardless of depth.
  • No surface use allowed for non-consenting.
  • For old leases that lack unitization and pooling provisions, non-consenting owners will receive 25 percent of the average bonus and 80 percent of the average royalty percentage. The averages are from the leases in the unit taken within 24 months, which precludes the old leases from the calculation of averages.
  • Non-consenting owners of unleased tracts receive average bonus payment and highest royalty within the unit to mirror co-tenancy.
  • Non-consenting owners can choose weighted average sales prices, or they can choose local index pricing for gas. The price for natural gas liquids is at the exit from the processing plant with no post-production deductions.
  • Requires payment of NGLs in each of their various forms (ethane, butane, pentane, propane, etc.). This is much better for pricing.
  • Non-consenting owners can elect to participate in the well.
  • No other lease provisions like forced arbitration or storage well provisions.
  • Can appeal to Circuit Court (judicial review).
  • Unknown and unlocatable interests go to the surface owner after 5 years if all conditions for reunification of mineral and surface estate is met.
  • The 75 percent consent to pool threshold is higher than in Ohio (65 percent). Pennsylvania has lease integration with no right to renegotiate old leases.
  • Operators are not allowed to stop negotiating once they reach 75 percent leased. Must continue to make good faith offers to all known owners.
  • Bill improves mineral estate position to negotiate development of the Utica strata.

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

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