By Lori Dittman WV House of Delegates 63rd District
The House of Delegates adjourned Saturday, March 11th, at midnight, after another history-making regular legislative session.
A total of 332 bills completed the legislative process, including adopting a balanced budget during the regular legislative session for the fifth year in a row, again eliminating the need for the extended budget session of years past.
The full Legislature passed House Bill 3035 with a near-unanimous vote to boost reading and math in early grades. This bill will expand on the successful assistant teacher program we’ve had in the state for kindergarten classrooms to eventually put an additional trained, caring adult in every first through third-grade classroom.
Members of the House took time on the final day of the legislative session to recognize the seven inaugural recipients of the Medal of Valor. John Forbush, a member of the Gassaway VFD who lost his life in the line of duty, was one of the recipients. Accepting in his memory were his partner, Amber Frame, daughter, Krislyn, and his grandmother, Ruth Ann Samples.
House Bill 3552, which also completed the legislative process on the final day of the regular legislative session, will give counties a new process to receive certain regional jail reimbursements when municipal police arrest an inmate who is taken to the regional jail.
HB 2006 divided the Department of Health and Human Resources, the largest state agency, to make it more effectively serve every single resident of this state.
I was disappointed that HB 3153, relating to distribution of certain taxes and surcharges to benefit volunteer and part-volunteer fire departments and emergency medical services providers, did not pass. The bill had my support and as the session neared the end, we believed both houses had come to an agreement on amendments. Sadly, that was not the case and session timed out before resolution.
Legislation also provided the largest tax break in the history of the state to the tune of $750 million, on top of another well-deserved state employee pay raise.
I was pleased to see Braxton Countian Barbara Clifton. We had discussed a visit since before session began and I am happy she was able to visit.
I enjoyed having pages from Braxton and Gilmer counties this session. Our last page was Kaden Perkins from Braxton County High School.
It has been my honor to serve the 63rd District this session. Interims will begin in about a month and I will continue to work hard and thoughtfully for the citizens of our District and the State. I look forward to seeing everyone at community events and look forward to hearing from you. My email is [email protected], and my phone number is 304-701-8600.
“My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest.” (Charles Dickens, David Copperfield)