delegate PerryThe Legislature has completed its first full week of the legislative session with a total of having 1,171 been introduced in both chambers; 814 in the House and 357 in the Senate.

The chemical leak, which occurred on January 9, affected 9 counties and left approximately 300,000 people without clean drinking water. Even today, individuals still await the green light to reuse their water again.

In order to help assist small businesses, the House introduced House Bill 4175 this week. The bill is known as the West Virginia Small Business Emergency Act.

The intent of this bill would be to provide financial assistance to those small businesses that are affected when an emergency, like the chemical leak, occurs.

The Senate also introduced legislation as a response to the chemical spill crisis. Senate Bill 355, if passed, would amend the current Water Resources Protection and Management Act.

All committees met this week to begin working on draft legislation. House Judiciary reported out of committee House Bill 4001 which creates the False Claims Act.

This bill would provide for qui tam proceedings. Qui tam are lawsuits brought by private citizens against a person or company who is believed to have violated the law in performance of a contract with the government or in violation of a government regulation, when there is a statute which provides for a penalty for the violations.

Senate committees have also been hard at work considering various bills. Senate Education alone has reported out of its committee 7 bills.

One of the bills reported from Senate Education was Senate Bill 270 which would require a jobs impact statement to be completed by the West Virginia Development Office for certain proposed legislation which may impact both short-term and long-term jobs in West Virginia.

If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to call my office at 340-3337 or write Delegate David Perry at the State Capitol, Building 1, Room 442M, Charleston, WV, 25305.