West Virginia Legislature - Wikipedia
The West Virginia Legislature meets yearly in Charleston beginning the second Wednesday in January and is in session for 60 consecutive. West Virginia is represented by a "citizen legislature. In this case, the legislators return on the second Wednesday in February to meet for 60 consecutive days. 13K likes. Designed to strengthen constituent connection to West Virginia's legislators and the laws that. This legislature is a strong arm for big money donors.
Speaking before the full body in what is called the "State of the State Address," the governor proposes suggestions as to what key issues he believes the legislators should act on during the session. Any regular session may be extended by concurrent resolution adopted by a two-thirds vote of members elected to each house. If the session is extended, legislators cannot act on any measures except business stated in the concurrent resolution, or items proclaimed by the governor.
There are instances when it is necessary for the legislature to meet between regular sessions. These are termed "extraordinary" or special sessions.
Special sessions are convened at the discretion of the governor or when the governor receives a written request from three-fifths of the members elected to each house. The governor announces the convening of a special session through a written proclamation, which lists the issues the legislature may address. This proclamation is referred to as the "call" because it calls the legislature into session. No items outside of the call may be taken up by the legislature during an extraordinary session.
The leader in the Senate is the President and the House leader is the Speaker. In managing the work and efficient operations of their chambers, both leaders choose the chair and members for each body's standing committees, refer legislation to committees and maintain effective communications among their members. In addition to duties as the presiding officer of the Senate, the President of the Senate is the second ranking constitutional officer in West Virginia and succeeds to the office of Governor in the event of a vacancy.
The Speaker of the House is next in the line of succession. Floor Leaders West Virginia has a two-party political system and membership of both houses includes Democrats and Republicans. Both parties have floor leaders within each house that are the Majority and Minority Leaders and the Majority and Minority Whips.
These leaders serve as spokesmen for their party's political position and, as such, act as liaisons for the leadership with full membership and the members of their party. Because of the nature of the presiding officers' responsibilities, the President and the Speaker appoint a Majority and Majority Whip for their respective chambers. While both of these floor leaders act to communicate and promote the party's position, the Majority Leader takes the more visible role during a floor session.
The Majority Leader moves to delay or hasten the consideration of a bill, comments on legislation from the majority party perspective, and moves to recess or adjourn. A Minority Leader, selected by the minority members of each body, appoints the party's Minority Whip. Like their majority counterparts, they serve as spokesmen for their party and act to coordinate the minority party members' platform. Both the Majority and Minority Leaders move to caucus. Caucuses The Senate and the House of Delegates have two types of caucuses: Party Organization Caucus - the respective party chairmen call the party organization caucus for a date and time traditionally set on a Sunday in December following a general election.
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The purpose of the party organization caucus is to officially form the party blocs and to nominate candidates for the respective elective officers of the House and Senate, i.
Minority candidates for Speaker and President become the Minority Leader of their respective party. The party organization is called to order by the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the party, who then designates a temporary chairman of the organization caucus, by tradition the member with the most continuous legislative service. The temporary chairman then designates a secretary of the caucus to assist in the clerical business of the proceedings. The call of the Chairman of the party is read to the members and a list is presented to the caucus showing the delegates-elect appearing to have been elected as disclosed by the general election results.
The roll is called to determine the presence of a quorum, which is a simple majority of the constituent memberships, or one-half plus one of the total number of elected party members to which the body is entitled as disclosed by the election returns.
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The caucus then adopts rules of procedure to govern its proceedings. Generally, these rules are the standing rules of the House of Delegates and the Senate, with two modifications: At the end of nominations for each candidate a motion to close nominations for that office is entertained.
The Chair then appoints tellers to distribute the ballots. Members deposit their ballots in a box provided in the front of the chamber or the tellers collect the ballots. The ballots are opened and counted in the presence of the entire caucus. Nominations for uncontested offices are by acclamation of the caucus.
This procedure is followed for each officer to be nominated by the caucus. Generally, there is no other business considered by the party organization caucus. Party Caucus - A party caucus is called at the direction of the party leadership.
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These caucuses are designed primarily to give the parties a chance to discuss party strategy and position on issues. The Majority Whip and the Minority Whip of the respective parties generally chair the caucus. The party leadership holding the caucus sets the agenda. Decisions made by the caucuses are not binding upon the members and caucuses are not open to the public.
No formal record is published of caucus proceedings and the voting machine is not used. The standing rules of order of the House and Senate govern proceedings of the caucus. However, the caucus may determine its own individually tailored rules or practices regarding its proceedings, provided that such rules are in keeping with accepted parliamentary law and practice as it evolved in the Legislature.
Bill Development Bills are proposed laws. They are ideas or ways to correct or address problems in the State. While any individual or group may have an idea for a bill, only a legislator may sponsor a bill and introduce it into the legislative process. Once the legislator decides to sponsor a bill, an initial draft of the idea may be sent to the Office of Legislative Services for final drafting in proper and consistent bill form.
To draft a bill on a particular subject the appropriate portions of the West Virginia law are combined with the proposed changes. Introduction of a Bill A bill is formally introduced on the floor of the House or the Senate when the Clerk reads its title and the Speaker or the President announces the committee reference. The presiding officer of each house determines the committee reference for a bill. A bill may have more than one committee reference based on its subject matter and its fiscal implications.
The deadline for introduction of joint resolutions and bills, other than a supplemental appropriation or bill originating in committee, is the forty-first 41st day in the Senate and the House.
For more information refer to Senate Rule 14 and House Rule 91a. Bill Sponsorship In the House, Rule 94 allows for a bill to be introduced bearing the names of not more than seven Members as joint sponsors of the bill. In the Senate, there is no limit of the number of sponsors.
This allows a Member of the Legislature to introduce a bill for a constituent or constituent group that the Member may not necessarily support. The Clerk assigns a number to the bill and the presiding officer of the body names the committee or committees that will study the bill. Bill Carryover Any bill or joint resolution pending in the House at the adjournment of the First Regular Session of the Legislature or Extended First Regular Session, which has not been rejected, tabled, or postponed indefinitely, shall carry over as it was introduced to the Second Regular Session at the request of the sponsor or cosponsors of the bill or resolution.
The request must be made to the Clerk of the House not later than ten days before the commencement of the Second Regular Session. The bill or joint resolution shall retain its original number and be introduced on the first day of the Second Regular Session, and unless otherwise directed by the Speaker, shall be referred to the committee or committees to which it was originally referred.
In the case of any House bill or resolution, which has been passed or adopted by the House, such bill or resolution shall be introduced and referred unless otherwise directed by the Speaker, to the committee or committees to which it was originally referred.
This rule does not apply to the following cases. To any bill or joint resolution when the sole sponsor, or any one of the several sponsors, of the bill or resolution is not serving in the House during the Second Regular Session. To supplemental appropriation or budget bills, to legislative rule-making bills, to bills to expire or continue state agencies Sunset Billsto local bills, or to any joint resolution introduced during any extraordinary session.
Amendments to Bills Amendments must be put in writing in the designated format and be submitted to the Clerk.