House Passes Bill to Create Upper Ohio Valley Trail Network Recreational Authority

During today’s floor session, the House passed seven bills, including House Bill 3147 and House Bill 3215.

House Bill 3147 expands the Mountaineer Trail Network and creates the Upper Ohio Valley Trail Network Recreational Authority. The bill establishes the recreation area as all Northern Panhandle counties – Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, and Marshall as well as Ohio Valley Counties – Wetzel, Tyler, Pleasants, Wood, Jackson, Mason, and Cabell. Recreational activities at these locations include hunting, fishing, swimming, boating, camping, hiking, and more. The bill does provide protections for landowners.

House Bill 3215 provides flexibility in timelines to allow planning commissions to promptly address applications. The bill addresses difficulties with finding qualified members for public boards and modifies the frequency of planning commission meetings. The bill addresses the jurisdiction of the planning commission and provides for flexibility in qualifications for county boards of zoning appeals and modifies the frequency of board of zoning appeals meetings.

Amendments were offered on four bills and two bills had action postponed.

Senate Bill 10, the Campus Self-Defense Act, authorizes the carry of concealed pistols and revolvers on grounds of higher education institutions by a person who holds a current license to do so. Two amendments were offered and rejected on the bill. The first amendment would allow the institutions to establish residence halls where weapons were prohibited to allow students who want to live in a gun-free environment to do so. The second amendment would remove the provisional conceal carry part of the code from the bill to prevent 18- to 21-year-old individuals from carrying on campus. Both amendments were rejected.

House Bill 2498 requires medication-assisted treatment programs to have written policies concerning community relations. The bill was amended to require all county commissioners and mayors of every municipality within the county to be notified with certified mail 60 days prior to a location being opened or moved within the municipality.

House Bill 3110 ensures that the WVDEP Office of Oil and Gas has sufficient money to inspect the oil and gas wells of the State of West Virginia in an efficacious and diligent manner that protects the people and environment of the State from degradation related to violations of the West Virginia oil and gas production laws. An amendment was offered and rejected which would have required permit fees for every well.

House Bill 3547 increases the number of personal leave days that county board of education employees may use without regard to the cause for the absence from four to five. The bill was amended to remove the requirement that a teacher finds their own substitute for those days.

House Bill 2900 and House Bill 3353 were postponed one day.

The House Rules Committee moved House Bill 3430 to the inactive House Calendar.