15 March 2010

Regular Session Wrap-Ups

Legislative officials report that 217 bills cleared the Senate and House of Delegates during the 60-day session that concluded Saturday.

The Associated Press provides an overview of the session's end. Successful bills of note include "measures offering ultrasound images to women seeking abortions and public funds to state Supreme Court candidates in 2012," as well as a "multi-prong approach to curbing the school dropout rate" and another that "expands the range of practice for optometrists but does not include laser eye surgery."

Casualties included Gov. Joe Manchin's "proposal to ease business taxes through a constitutional amendment," as well as the first bill to have passed the House (and unanimously), "toughening ethics rules," the article said.

Others with session-finale coverage include The Register-Herald of Beckley, The Charleston Gazette, the Charleston Daily Mail and (updated) the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington.

" The Senate and House of Delegates will spend another week completing a state spending plan for the budget year that begins July 1," AP reports. "Versions of the budget bill they exchanged in advance of the extended session outlined $11.6 billion in spending backed by general tax revenues, lottery proceeds and federal funds, among other sources. Aided by stimulus dollars and a lottery surplus, lawmakers expect to balance the final budget with limited cuts."

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