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JUNE 1, 2009

 

 

TO:     CAWV MEMBERS

 

RE:      JUNE 1, 2009 LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN

 

 

 

The West Virginia Legislature Sunday approved the FY 2010 state budget, concluding the 2009 Regular Session.  Initially presented in February, Gov. Joe Manchin’s budget contained a total General Revenue appropriation of $3.9 billion.  During mid-session of the 60-day session, the governor revised the budget about $200 million downward to reflect a softening economy.  Legislators extended the session until May 26 to give the administration and themselves more time to review revenues.  The budget passed yesterday contained across the board cuts ranging from 2 percent to 10 percent.

 

Legislators also took up bills passed during the regular session that were vetoed by Gov. Manchin, mostly for technical reasons.  One of the vetoed bills was H.B. 2771, the WV Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Act.  The 2009 bill made revisions to the bill passed last year. (For a complete synopsis of the changes to the West Virginia’s drug and alcohol testing requirements for all government-funded construction projects, click here to view the May 29, 2009 CAWV Newsletter).

 

Following the conclusion of the Regular Session, the Legislature convened the First Special Session of 2009.  The agenda consists of 13 bills.  To expedite the process, lawmakers read all 13 bills a first time Sunday prior to being referred to committee.

 

There are two bills affecting contracting.  HB 104 (SB 1005) relates to the Motor Fuel Excise Tax Shortfall Reserve Fund.  HB 113 (SB 1012) relates to bonds for certain higher education and tourism capital improvement projects.

 

HB 104 extends from February 2010 to June 2013 the ability to transfer money from the state’s General Fund to the State Road Fund when highway revenues come in under estimates.  The Legislature approved in June 2008 a bill to transfer up to $40 million – $20 million in this fiscal year and $20 million next fiscal year – if gas tax revenues do not meet estimates.  The state Tax Department has transferred about $12 million to the SRF in the current fiscal year, which expires June 30, 2009 – leaving a balance of about $28 million.  The transfer was approved when lawmakers froze the 2009 wholesale tax at the 2008 level.  The freeze cost the WV Division of Highways about $52 million in calendar 2009.

 

HB 104 will eliminate the $20 million-a-year cap to allow the full $28 million to be used, without regard to the fiscal year that revenues don’t meet estimates.  The proposed bill also extends the transfers until June 2013, giving the administration and lawmakers the ability to continue providing General Fund transfers when revenues are lagging. 

 

One issue that is not on the Special Session call is a bill that would freeze the 2010 wholesale gas tax at the current rate.  S.B. 680 died in the last days of the Regular Session.  WVDOH officials predict the wholesale tax could drop as much as 4 cents to 5 cents per gallon, based on the current price of gasoline.  The wholesale gas tax generates about $14 million per penny, so a 5 cent reduction could result in a $70 million loss in state highway revenues in 2010.  The CAWV met with Governor Manchin and his legislative staff last week to attempt to have this bill put on the Special Session call.  The governor indicated only bills that have legislative agreement will be added to the call.

HB 113 will allow for the issuance of up to $150 million in bonds that will be used for capital improvement projects at higher education facilities, state parks and the State Capitol.  About 60 percent of the proceeds will be used for projects at the state’s four-year higher education institutions.  The projects that can be funded include: 1/ Acquisition of land; 2/ Construction or acquisition of new buildings; 3/ Renovation or construction of additions to existing buildings; and 4/ Acquisition of furnishing and equipment for the buildings.   About 40 percent will be available for projects at state parks and the State Capitol.

 

House and Senate committees will take up the bills starting this morning.  The governor and legislative leaders hope to conclude the Special Session within a week.

 

The full list of bills introduced by Gov. Manchin is below:

 

HB 101 High-Technology Business Property Valuation Act

HB 102 Relating to the allocation of adjusted gross receipts from pari-mutuel racetracks with West Virginia Lottery racetrack table games

HB 103 Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act

HB 104 Relating to the Motor Fuel Excise Tax Shortfall Reserve Fund

HB 105 Relating to the issuance of retail licenses for the sale of liquor

HB 106 Relating to the recruitment and retention of certain classified service positions at Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital and William R. Sharpe Hospital

HB 107 Relating to critical skills instruction programs for students in grades three and eight

HB 108 Relating to the hiring, termination, transfer and reassignment of teachers and school personnel

HB 109 School Innovation Zones Act

HB 110 Relating to the future support of children with autism

HB 111 Providing certain county commissions with authority to regulate the location of businesses offering exotic entertainment

HB 112 Ensuring the post-mine development of reclaimed surface mine property

HB 113 Reissuing revenue bonds for tourism and education and providing a procedure for the selection of projects to receive moneys resulting from such bonds

SB 1001 Creating critical skills instructional support programs for third and eighth grades

SB 1002 Relating to recruitment and retention of certain employees at Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital and William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital

SB 1003 Creating High-Technology Business Property Valuation Act

SB 1004 Relating to allocation of adjusted gross receipts from pari-mutuel racetracks with racetrack table games

SB 1005 Relating to Motor Fuel Excise Tax Shortfall Reserve Fund

SB 1006 Relating to hiring, terminating, transferring and reassigning teachers and school personnel

SB 1007 Relating to issuance and classification of retail liquor licenses

SB 1008 Creating School Innovation Zones Act

SB 1009 Providing tax deduction for trust funds for children with autism

SB 1010 Providing county commissions with authority to regulate location of exotic entertainment businesses

SB 1011 Relating to post-mine land use development

SB 1012 Relating to bonds for certain higher education, tourism and capital improvement projects

SB 1013 Creating Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act

 

 

 

To view up-to-date information about bills as they move through the legislative process, click here.