CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The House of Delegates passed a number of bills Friday during the 59th day of the 60-day regular legislative session.
The bills approved by early Friday afternoon included:
–SB 288, also known as Emmaleigh’s law. The bill increases penalties in the crime of child abuse causing death by parent, guardian, custodian or other person from the current 10 to 40 years up to 20 to 80 years. It’s named after 10-month-old Emmaleigh Barringer who was sexually abused and murdered last year in Jackson County. The bill passed in the House 99-0 and was sent to the governor.
–SB 220, which creates a new felony offense for failing to help someone who has overdosed on drugs and dies.
Delegate Rodney Miller (D-Boone) spoke in favor of the bill.
“Even an animal that’s hit along the highway there’ll be people to stop and help them. I think it’s probably worse to let someone die in their vehicle or die before them without getting them any help than it is to put a gun between their eyes and pull the trigger,” Miller said.
The bill passed 95-3 and was sent back to the Senate.
–Senate Joint Resolution 6, also called the Roads to Prosperity Amendment, passed the House 90-8. It authorizes the governor to put a road bond before the voters. The resolution says that when a bond is approved, the legislature shall provide for a collection of taxes to pay for the bonds.
Delegate Brent Boggs (D-Braxton) voted in favor of the resolution but expressed disappointment in the House leadership for not considering the governor’s DMV fee increase and gas increase bill passed by the Senate.
“We’ve got to get our roads fixed. We need to put some people to work,” Boggs said.
–SB 202, creates a new offense limiting pawnbrokers who exchange gift cards for cash. Supporters say pawning off the gift cards has helped further advance the state’s drug epidemic. The bill passed 69-28 and was sent back to the Senate.
–SB 388, passed 94-5 Friday. It allows for those with conceal carry permits to have guns on school property, mainly in the student drop-off and pick-up areas, as long as they are hidden. The bill was changed by the House and sent back to the Senate Friday.
The House also passed a resolution honoring first responders who played a key role in the June 23 flood that claimed the lives of 23 state residents.
“I know firsthand what these men and women did to help our state get through this,” House Speaker Tim Armstead (R-Kanawha) said. “We’ll be forever indebted to you for all you’ve done.”
The House also remembered the life and service of former Delegate Otis Leggett who died earlier this year.