Legislature introduces several bills in second session day - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Legislature introduces several bills in second session day

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Members of the 81st Legislature have been busy their first two days.

A total of 576 bills were introduced Feb. 13 as soon as lawmakers gathered to start the regular, 60-day session, with 433 of those measures coming from the House of Delegates.

Nearly 40 bills were introduced in the House the second day, and the Senate introduced an additional 19 bills Feb. 14.

Some of the measures deal with timely issues, such as gun ownership, while others could change things in the oil and natural gas industry.

House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, presented a citation during the Feb. 14 session to the West Side High School Lady Renegade basketball team which won the 2012 state championship. The team was undefeated in its 2012 season, and is the first team from Wyoming County to win the state championship. Two sets of sisters and all five feeder schools are represented on the team, according to the citation.

Feb. 14 also marked several recognition days for the Legislature. As part of transportation day, representatives from more than 42 groups asking lawmakers to find a way to fund highway maintenance and construction. Retired public employees gathered at the Capitol to lobby for a cost-of-living increase. Several members of the corrections industry were recognized, along with Mineral County community members who took part in a luncheon at the Culture Center at the state Capitol complex.

The Senate passed a resolution Feb. 14, creating the Special Select Committee on Children and Poverty during the Feb. 14 session, and Senate Majority Leader John Unger, D-Berkeley, was named its chairman.

Unger said the resolution allows the committee to have more than the usual five members, and this one includes 11 -- all the chairmen of the major committees and representatives from both parties. This committee also is able to meet at locations throughout the state, which is unique.

The West Virginia Legislature has seven types of committees, and select committees are created by the House and Senate to address specific issues, and then report their findings and any recommendations to the full Legislature. A select committee is then dissolved when its specified tasks are completed.