Government, The Braxton Democrat

Legislative Update…By Lori Dittman WV House of Delegates 63rd District

The West Virginia House of Delegates held its second regular session of the 86th Legislature on January 10th, with a newly renovated chamber and several improvements to safety and accessibility.
House Speaker Roger Hanshaw adapted leadership roles, including a new Judiciary Committee Chairperson, Tom Fast, and a new Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Delegate Jarred Cannon was appointed as chairperson, while Delegate Jordan Maynor will serve as vice-chairman. Deputy Speaker Matthew Rohrbach was selected to serve a two-year term as vice-chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures; Standing Committee on Health and Human Services.
The Committee on Workforce Development has a new vice-chairman, and Republican James Robert Akers II was appointed to represent the southwestern portion of Kanawha County. Both the Judiciary and Health and Human Resources committees advanced legislation, with 682 bills introduced in the House.
The Health Committee passed from Committee HB 4274 that changes the name of the Department of Health and Human Resources to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Health, and the Department of Health Facilities.
Other bills included HB 4595 which permits the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability (LOCHHRA) to have closed-door executive sessions and HB 4593 which requires WV First Foundation to comply with the Open Government Proceedings Act and Freedom of Information Act.
Finally, HB 4433 allows for mobile health facilities to perform mammography or low-density computerized forms of mammography. The Judiciary Committee passed from Committee HB 4190 which established an alert system for minor cognitively impaired persons, called Purple Alert, and HB 4250 established the crime of torture. Also, HB 4252 creates a framework to recognize, register, and enforce Canadian Domestic Violence Orders.
With a reflective attitude, Governor Justice delivered the State of the State Address in which he celebrated economic development, infrastructure, and tourism growth. The governor also revealed tax reform in the Social Security income tax, child dependent care credit, and senior citizen property tax credit. Governor Justice presented the budget to the legislature which totaled $5.2 billion, an increase from the 2024 budget of $4.8 billion. You can access the budget and other reports at The governor also encouraged everyone to continue to do the required work, so our state continues to successfully grow.
I filed to seek a second term as your delegate for the 63rd District. It has been a privilege and honor to serve the citizens of Braxton and Gilmer counties and the State of West Virginia. I hope to continue to represent you in the upcoming 87th Legislature.
This weekend we have seen several power outages around the state. Thank you to the men and women that are working around the clock in extreme weather to restore power. Thank you to the Division ofHighways for clearing our roads.
Monday, January 15th, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I hope everyone reflects on his peaceful activism that improved the quality of lives for not just minorities, but everyone. He worked tirelessly for fairness and encouraged everyone to love one another and work together to make the world a better place for all.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
I look forward to hearing from people in the district and hope to see you out and about enjoying all the great things our area has to offer. I can be contacted at lori.dittman@ or 304-701-8600.