CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State lawmakers could end their brief special session Tuesday afternoon at the state capitol. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin introduced six bills Monday, which lawmakers addressed quickly.
Most of the measures are cleanup from the 60-day regular session and a March 14 special session including funding for the state Courtesy Patrol program.
Tomblin administration Deputy Chief of Staff Jason Pizatella told lawmakers a bill to cap funding at $4.7 million for the Courtesy Patrol is aimed at creating flexibility from Lottery proceeds that go through the Tourism Promotion Fund.
“Now we don’t have any flexibility,” Pizatella said. “It’s 4-point-7 million no matter what it costs.”
The bill would take anything left of the $4.7 million amount to target tourism advertising including promoting of the state’s parks and forests.
Pizatella assured lawmakers there’s no attempt by the governor to get rid of the Courtesy Patrol.
“The governor is a supporter of the program and he wants to maintain it,” Pizatella said.
Another bill would make the state’s new minimum wage law apply to the minimum wage only. The bill lawmakers passed earlier this year had some unintended consequences when it came to federal rules for overtime. Failing to change the language could cost cities a lot of overtime money for workers, like firefighters, who work 24-hours shifts.
State Senate President Jeff Kessler said Monday on MetroNews Talkline he didn’t anticipate many problems with getting the governor’s agenda approved.
“It’s a relatively modest agenda. There’s no real major controversial issues on there. Mostly tweaks of legislation without getting into the merits of it,” Kessler said.
The House has a floor session scheduled for 11:30 Tuesday morning with the Senate set to come in at noon.