June 7,2021 marked the first extraordinary session of the year. There will be several because of the passing of House bill 2014 which requires the executive branch to have the legislative branch’s approval to spend federal monies in excess of $150 million that are received after its effective date of March 31,2021. We requested, when possible, the special sessions occur while the legislature is convened for interim meetings to decrease costs. The reason we chose $150 million as the benchmark is for natural disaster considerations such as flooding to not have delays in receiving funds in an emergency.
This June 7th session we approved the federal transfer of money from the WV Treasury to the designated state fund accounts in the WV Department of Education and the Dept. of Health and Human Resources. We also approved some budget surplus funds to the Department of Highways. District 4, which includes Taylor Co., received the most at $18 million. Taylor County’s share is $1,757,000 and will provide for additional projects to be completed. Marion County’s share is 2,088,400 and Monongalia County’s share is $4,241,550. I supported this bill as roadwork continues to be a high priority need for our area.
There will also be a special session in the fall for the purpose of redistricting which occurs every ten years following the census. Districts are created for the purpose of elections and determining who are your representatives. As you have heard we are losing a seat in the US House of Representatives due to decreasing population. The state will need to be divided into two equal areas of population. I will serve as the Vice Chairman of the House redistricting committee. We will conduct public hearings in all regions of the state and then draw maps that contain the required number of populations. Currently WV House District 49 that I serve was drawn 10 years ago and a portion of Taylor Co was removed and then parts of Marion and Monongalia counties were added. My hope is that every county that can remain whole will be. The Legislature also passed a bill a few years ago that provides for the state to be divided into a 100 member House of Delegates. Instead of a county having multiple members each portion of that county will have one member.
The latest information suggests the next special session will be the end of June to appropriate the remaining budget surplus dollars for fiscal year 2021 which ends June 30, 2021. Current law dictates that 50% of the surplus goes into the Rainy-Day savings fund. Our savings accounts are very healthy at 20% of our annual budget. The other 50% can be spent at legislative discretion.
Delegate Amy Summers, WV House Majority Leader
304-641-1159 c, email [email protected] , 98 Meadland Rd., Flemington, WV 26347