Jan. 28, 2015 
Latest News from Week 2 at the Capitol
Welcome to the second issue of the Legislative Hubbub!

This week, we we highlight two bills related to affordable housing and farmers markets that have been introduced in the West Virginia State Legislature.

We'll also introduce you to the new Senate and House majority leaders, review the major conversations from last week, and share tools on how to keep yourself informed about particular legislative bills.


We hope you enjoy the Hubbub from week 2 at the Legislature!


Affordable Housing Trust Fund Threatened
A bill is expected to be introduced this week to eliminate the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF).

Over the past 15 years, the AHTF has become one of the only funding sources in the state available to address abandoned and dilapidated properties.

Learn more about the AHTF, and how you can voice your opinion. 

Major Conversations this Week at the Legislature
During the second week of the legislative session, the House of Delegates held its first public hearing on a bill, relating to lawsuits and workers compensation. But the major hubbub continued to be the final vote to repeal the Alternative Energy Portfolio Act.

Photo by Perry Bennett/WV Legislative Photography.


Alternative Energy Portfolio 
There was much discussion this week over what impact repealing the Portfolio Act would have - or fail to have - and what relationship the bill's passage had to politics and campaign promises.

Photo by Bob Wojcieszak/Daily Mail 


New bill on worker injury lawsuits 

The House Judiciary Committee held the first public hearing of this session on HB 2011, a bill to make it more difficult for workers to sue employers if they are injured on the job and receive Workers Compensation benefits for that injury.



Vendor Permitting Bill Introduced - What Does This Mean for Farmers Markets?
The WV Farmers Market Association is supporting a bill that would clarify permitting for farmers market vendors. This bill, SB 304, would create a single statewide permit for vendors, eliminating the current inconsistent permitting practices between counties.

If you have an opinion about farmers markets and vendor regulations, consider contacting the Agriculture Chairmen, Senator Daniel Hall (304-357-7807 or 
daniel.hall@wvsenate.gov), and Delegate Allen Evans (304-340-3399 or allen.evans@wvhouse.gov) to voice your opinion and to ask whether they plan to move the bill forward. 

For more information on this and other farmers market policy issue, contact Kelly Crane at coordinator@wvfarmers.org.

Know Your Leaders...
House and Senate leadership is made up of a team from the majority party. At the core of that leadership team is the Senate President and House Speaker, and their respective majority leaders.

The role of the Majority Leader is decided by the team in leadership but is, in part, to work with the Speaker to develop a legislative agenda for the party and to move that agenda forward by passing bills during the session.

This week we introduce to you:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael. 

Photo Credit: WV State Legislature


Sen. Mitch Carmichael (Jackson Co.) is a Ripley native and has been a member of the WV Legislature since 2000.
He stated at the beginning of this session that his goal this year is to promote a pro-jobs agenda for West Virginia.
Sen. Carmichael maintains a policy of being accessible and available to the public about their interests and concerns. You can reach him by phone (304-357-7855), email (mitch.carmichael@wvsenate.gov), or at his website.

House Majority Leader Daryl Cowles. 

Photo Credit: WV State Legislature


Del. Daryl Cowles (Morgan Co.) lives in Berkeley Springs where he owns and operates a construction and contracting business.
Del. Cowles is active with a number of economic development programs in the eastern panhandle, and is a strong supporter of the Berkeley Springs farmers market.
You can reach Del. Cowles by phone (304-340-3220) or email (daryl.cowles@wvhouse.gov). Stay up to date with the bills he is sponsoring by following the Majority Leader's website.
5 Easy Tips to Keep Track of the Legislature
Sure, politics is complicated. And who has hours to spend in endless meetings at the Capitol? Lucky for you, we have 5 handy tips and tricks you can use to keep track of the workings of the state legislature from your own home or office.

Key Bills We're Tracking
Now that we're full swing into the session, each week we will highlight 5 new bills relating to community development, dilapidated buildings and local foods issues that we're keeping a close eye on. 
  • SB 258 - Creating Let Our Counties Act Locally Act (gives counties the ability to create a tax of up to 1% for local road improvement projects) - Sen. Beach
  • SB 281 - Creating system of judicial sale of tax liens (creates judicial process for tax sale properties, clarifying notice and shortening purchaser redemption time period) - Sen. Plymale
  • SB 282 - Relating to National Coal Heritage Area Authority (expanding county coverage of NCHAA to include Lincoln Co. and parts of eastern Kanawha Co., and incorporates Coal Heritage Highway Authority into NCHAA) - Sen. D. Hall
  • HB 2097 - Creating the Hatfield McCoy Recreational Authority Fund (creates financial mechanism for Hatfield McCoy Authority; clarifies discrepancies in powers of Authority) - Mr. Speaker (Armstead)
  • HB 2218 - Creating the Budget Reform Act (requiring the state to cut spending by one percent every year for 10 years and reducing the size of state government) - Del. Householder
If you'd like more information on any of these bills, or other legislative efforts, email me at s.tyree@wvhub.org.

Got news you'd like to share, or feedback on this email?
We'd love to hear from you!
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