The House of Delegates committees have now completed all their work on House bills. If the bill has not been reported out of committee, then the bill is now dead for the year.

By Del. Gary Howell
The House of Delegates committees have now completed all their work on House bills. If the bill has not been reported out of committee, then the bill is now dead for the year.
From this point on, House committees will begin working on Senate bills. The few House bills still alive are now to the full House for a vote and they must be completed by Wednesday, which is known as Cross Over Day.
Here are some bills of interest that passed the full House of Delegates.  
HB 2961 changes the law so that only water customers that pose a risk to water systems because of the nature of how the water is being used will be required to be equipped with a backflow prevention assembly. Currently all are required, even if they pose no risk, and at an additional cost.
Probably one of the most requested bills this session was HB 4955, it reduces the fees for those concealed carry weapons permits.  While West Virginian’s enjoy the right to carry a concealed weapon within the state without a permit, many that travel outside of the state purchase the concealed carry permit for the reciprocity with our neighboring states, except Maryland.
Another very popular bill was HB 2775 which will require each high school student to complete a full credit course of study in personal finance in order to graduate.   
Probably one of things that makes you scratch your head is why the state ever required a permit to shampoo someone’s hair.  HB 4099 eliminates the requirement to get a permit from the state to shampoo someone’s hair.  
SB 209 is one of the few Senate bills we have run; it requires municipal annexation by minor boundary adjustment to have 100% agreement from those being annexed.  Landowners can still voluntarily join a municipality, or a city can still annex a subdivision if the people vote to join but gone will be the days when a municipality annexed without consent of those being annexed.  
A bill of local interest was HB 4039; it places limitations on nuisance actions against fire department and emergency medical services for their station sirens.
The House Committee on Government Organization which I chair had a very full agenda leading up to Crossover Week.  One bill of interest was HB 3098, which clarifies allowing the same business owner to brew and sell beer to also distill and sell liquor.  There is no prohibition against a business doing both, but the state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration was misinforming people that they could not do both.  This clarifies that you can have a microbrewery and micro-distillery in the same location.  
HB 4447 creates the shared table initiative for senior citizens who suffer from food insecurity, this allows food that was previously thrown away at senior centers be boxed and given to seniors to take home.  HB 4746 has a rather ominous short title, “Establishing a registry of persons with a communication disability,” what this does is allow persons with communication difficulties to voluntarily have it placed on their drivers license.  That way if an officer pulls someone over they can see by their driver’s license that the person could be hearing impaired, so that the officer knows the person is not refusing to cooperate.  
The final bill of interest that passed the committee was HB 4693 it expands the scope of the Veterans to Agriculture Program to include First Responders.  
The only bill we heard in the Technology & Infrastructure Committee was HB 4853, titled, “Relating to a customer constructing a connection or other infrastructure necessary for the customer to connect to the public utility.”  This allows a contractor building a subdivision to install the water and sewer to the specifications of the local PSD.  It will save both the contractor and the PSD money.
There are only two weeks of session left and no new bills can be introduced, but as always if you have a question, a suggestion on making West Virginia the best place to live, work and raise a family or need help with a state agency, then you can always call me at 304-340-3192 or if you prefer e@mail me at Gary.Howell@WVHouse.gov.  Make sure you leave your full name, address and phone number so I can contact you if you leave a message.