Report for the week ending Feb. 3, 2023
By Ann Ali, House Communications Director
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A total of 13 bills have completed the legislative process, one of which would create a program to allow volunteers to help clean West Virginia streams and rivers.
Senate Bill 143 unanimously passed the West Virginia House of Delegates Jan. 27. The measure would create the Adopt-A-Stream Program, modeled after the Adopt-A-Highway Program. It would allow individuals and organizations to apply for the program to adopt a waterway where they would be required to perform at least one cleanup per year. Supplies would be provided and adopted streams would be noted with signs.
West Virginia University overtook the Upper Rotunda Jan. 31 with displays and information, and the next day Marshall University did the same. Members of the House took the opportunity to learn about various programs the universities offer and not only spoke with officials from both institutions but also posed for pictures with Mary the Mountaineer and with Marco the buffalo.
Members also took the opportunity to adopt House Concurrent Resolution 11, which urges both Marshall and WVU to work with the WVU Institute of Technology and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to lead an education consortium and work toward developing the policies and programs necessary to facilitate nuclear energy developments in West Virginia. The resolution is pending in the Senate Education Committee and would require the consortium to coordinate with representatives from private industry to identify then recommend nuclear policies to the Legislature that would maintain the state’s position as a leader in 21st Century energy production.
“I’m proud we’ve been able to work together with so many partners to maximize the opportunities that go along with developing nuclear energy projects in the Mountain State,” said House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay. “With our repeal last year of the previous ban on constructing nuclear energy projects and our latest efforts to become an agreement state with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, we’re now able to turn our attention toward mobilizing the highly trained workforce that will be necessary to bring these types of projects to fruition.
“I’m confident all these moves are keeping the state in its position as a national energy leader well into the future as we continue making it even easier to choose West Virginia.”
Members of the House also unanimously passed House Bill 2004 this week. The measure would prevent financial institutions from disclosing the purchase of firearms, their accessories, components or ammunition. Tracking for law enforcement purposes still would be permitted, along with other limited exceptions, but the merchant code for firearms and related sales would be considered protected financial information. It now goes to the state Senate for debate.
A total of 1,289 House bills have been introduced as of Feb. 3, and 37 of those have passed the House. The 60-day, regular legislative session ends at midnight March 11.