CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — It is Day 50 of the annual West Virginia legislative session, and that always means it’s one of the busiest. And one issue is making it very controversial. Things can get touchy when talking about race in a bill, but we should be clear this bill never mentions the phrase, “Critical Race Theory.”

Today is known as “Crossover Day” and involves a fury of activity on both the Senate and House floors. If a bill does not pass its chamber of origin by the end of the day, it is dead for this year. In the Senate alone there were 30 bills up for final approval, on a wide variety of topics.

One that spurred the most debate was Senate Bill 498, the Anti-Racism Act of 2022. While critics say teachers know how to discuss racially divisive matters, bill backers are not so sure.

“The teaching and kind of pushing of racism. The concepts that someone is inherently racist if they are of a certain race,” was an objection from State Sen. Patricia Rucker (R) Jefferson and Education Committee Chair.

“My wife was a teacher and when she would hear little kids say things like that she would always correct them. And I just think it creates more tension. It has really raised the tensions in the classrooms,” said State Sen. Owens Brown, (D) Ohio County.

Again, the anit-racism bill passed the Senate, and now heads to the House of Delegates where it’s future is uncertain. On the house side, delegates voted to divide the state Department of Health and Human Resources into two separate agencies, with two different secretaries in charge. The DHHR reform bill now goes to the Senate for consideration there.

All in all, it was a bust Crossover Day.

“Yes I think it’s always the economic development piece. So, there are several bills that the Senate has sent to the House that we think could be game changers. We’re obviously watching everything the House is sending us, going over that with a fine-toothed comb,” said Sen. Tom Takubo, (R) Kanawha – Minority Leader.

Some worry certain issues are being neglected.

“We’ve done very little to help address the opioid crisis. We haven’t done a lot to help working people in West Virginia, in fact we’ve done the opposite. And most of all we’ve damaged public education,” said Sen. Mike Romano, (D) Harrison.

With just nine days left, the legislature is due to recess on March 12.