Government, The Braxton Democrat

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

During the Special Session called by the governor, the legislature passed all 15 items that were on the call. Among those items included the following appropriations:

  • $80 million to the State’s colleges and universities to help provide needed funding for students affected by the Federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) crisis.
  • $$150 million for highway maintenance and equipment.
  • $$50 million for new State agricultural lab facilities at West Virginia State University.
  • $$10 million for the Posey Perry Emergency Food Bank Fund.
  • $$27.3 million for Hope Scholarship funding.
  • $$2 million to the Department of Veterans Assistance for medical expenses.
    The list of bills is as follows. To read entire bills, please visit and click on bill status and then completed legislation.
  • $SB 113-Prohibiting payment to residential substance use disorder treatment facilities that do not meet certain requirements
  • $SB 1001-Supplementing and amending appropriations to Department of Health and Department of Human Services
  • $SB 1002-Supplementing and amending appropriations to DOT, Division of Highways
  • $SB 1003-Supplementing and amending appropriations to Governor’s Office, Civil Contingent Fund (Approved by the Governor)
  • $SB 1004-Supplementing and amending appropriations to Governor’s Office, Posey Perry Emergency Food Bank Fund
  • $SB 1005-Supplementing and amending appropriations to Department of Education, BOE
  • $SB 1006-Making supplementary appropriation to Bureau for Medical Services, Policy, and Programming, and to BOE
  • $SB 1007-Supplementing and amending appropriations to Higher Education Policy Commission, Control Account
  • $SB 1008-Supplementing and amending appropriations to Department of Veterans’ Assistance
  • $SB 1009-Supplementing and amending appropriations to BOE, State Aid to Schools
  • $SB 1010-Making supplementary appropriation to Department of Administration, Office of Technology reorganization
  • $SB 1011-Expiring funds from Department of Revenue, PEIA Rainy Day Fund
  • $SB 1012-Expiring funds to Department of Arts, Culture, and History from Lottery Education Fund Journal
  • $SB 1014-Clarifying procedure for political party nomination of presidential electors
  • $SB 1015 -Amending amount of surplus deposited into Revenue Shortfall Reserve Fund
    The House revisited Senate Bill 1001 and agreed with the Senate’s amendments, thereby completing the legislative process. These amendments grant the secretaries of the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services the authority to transfer funds from a newly established reserve fund. The purpose of this transfer is to allocate money for various line items, including Medicaid and the Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) waiver program. Notably, there is no strict requirement that these funds must be specifically spent on these programs.
    Initially, the House had amended the bill to include specific requirements and line items. However, the Senate made it clear that they would not accept this amendment by adjourning sine die (ending the session). Despite this, the House decided to pass the bill in its current form. This ensures that the departments have access to the funds, and they will report on their spending in the coming months.
    The next interim session will be held August 11th-13th and Governor Justice has stated that a second special session is possible during that time.
    As I spend this Sunday evening with my family, I reflect on Memorial Day and the profound significance it holds. On the Capitol grounds, a solemn war memorial stands—a tribute to the courage and sacrifice of thousands of West Virginians who made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and freedom of others. Etched in enduring stone are the names of over 10,000 soldiers who served in four pivotal wars: World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
    As we traverse the highways, we encounter bridges adorned with signs bearing the names and memories of those who fought and fell. Let us pause and honor their legacy, never forgetting the price they paid so that we may live in freedom. As General Douglas MacArthur wisely said, “No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.”
    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.