An Initiative to Raise Awareness and Understanding of Counties

County Government Works is an initiative to make the American public, who are beneficiaries of government services, and officials at other levels of government, who are partners in delivering those services, more knowledgeable and positive about the contributions of county government.  County officials and NACo must tell the story about the effectiveness of county government and how County Government Works every day. This initiative has put in place the tools for county officials to use to ensure that the story is told well and told often.

NEW - Online Game - Counties Work

NACo, together with iCivics, has created an online game, "Counties Work," to educate students, grades 6 through 12, about the important role and functions of county government by letting them run their own county. A curriculum and web quest has also been developed to assist teachers with preparing lessons on county government.

By Vivian Parsons, Executive Director

Only 2 more days to go in the regular session (the governor has extended the session by 3 days to work on the state budget bill).  All bills still in committee at this time have little chance for survival, as bills are to be read on the floor 3 separate days.  Rules can, however, be suspended by the body if the votes are there, but we haven't seen much of that this session.   As always, call me if you have questions, 304-415-1608.

First a quick update on some bills of special importance we've been following:

HJR 113 - "County Option Homestead Exemption Bill" - Likely dead, has a double reference in Senate and has not moved.

SB 487 - expanding definitions of county economic development authority so counties can receive the monies in the Coalbed Methane Gas Distribution Fund   - This bill has passed out of House Finance and is on 1st reading today!

SB 526 - permissive authority for county commission to impose additional transfer tax for dedication to regional jails and drug treatment. - This bill is most likely dead, still sitting in House Finance.

SB 167 - allowing county to accept credit card payments.  - This bill is likely dead, still sitting in House Judiciary.

SB 437 - Governor's Substance Abuse bill  - This bill is on 1st reading on the House Floor.

SB 468 - Allowing Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority to issue bonds - This bill is likely dead, still sitting in House Finance.

HB 4547 - Creating the West Virginia Innovation Free-Trade Business Technology Property Valuation Act and the West Virginia Innovation Free-Trade Tax Credit Act - Allows for the use of (5% ) salvage value tax credits  - Likely Dead, still in Senate Economic Development.

HB 4030 prioritizes payments of fees from court costs which could cost counties revenues   - The Senate Judiciary Committee has passed this bill, but it has a 2nd reference to Senate Finance, which makes passage less likely.

Here are all the bills of county interest we've been following since cross-over day...(remember you can click on the bill number and go to the text of the bill and bill history)

By Vivian Parsons, Executive Director

Well the dust has settled and here are the surviving bills of county interest.  Nine days and counting.....   As always, call me if you have questions, 304-415-1608.

Especially Notice these bills:

HJR 113 - "County Option Homestead Exemption Bill"
SB 487 - expanding definitions of county economic development authority so counties can receive the monies in the Coalbed Methane Gas Distribution Fund
SB 526 - permissive authority for county commission to impose additional transfer tax for dedication to regional jails and drug treatment.
SB 167 - allowing county to accept credit card payments
SB 437 - Governor's Substance Abuse bill
SB 468 - Allowing Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority to issue bonds
HB 4547 - Creating the West Virginia Innovation Free-Trade Business Technology Property Valuation Act and the West Virginia Innovation Free-Trade Tax Credit Act - Allows for the use of (5% ) salvage value tax credits
HB 4030 prioritizes payments of fees from court costs which could cost counties revenues

By Vivian Parsons, Executive Director

Today is the last day for the House to pass House Bills and the Senate to pass Senate Bills.  Any bill not passed by its house of origin, is a dead bill.

The County Official Pay Raise bill (SB 168) is still in Senate Finance and most likely dead.  It is highly unlikely that the committee would meet, pass the bill, send it to the floor, suspend rules and read the bill three times in one day and pass it.  The only hope now would be if some bill dealing with the same section of the code is still alive that the raise could be amended into, again, not likely.

SB 347 - the Transfer tax bill is also dead in Senate Finance.  The committee did pass a version (SB 526) that we will continue to follow.  SB 526 does NOT return any of the transfer tax now collected and sent to the State, but rather gives permissive authority to County Commissioners to impose an "additional" transfer tax up to $1.10 per $500 of transfer, that would be dedicated to regional jails and drug prevention/treatment programs.  This would work like the current authority allowing County Commissioners to impose an additional transfer tax for farmland prevention.

I have attached a list of those bills of County interest that have passed one house or the other and those that will likely pass today.  I'll go through tonight and give you a better picture of what's left and where it lands, by Friday!  Now, I'm off to the capital for "CROSS-OVER DAY!"  More later....

By Vivian Parsons, Executive Director

Hi folks, Day 37 of the Legislative Session..... Remember, Monday, February 20th is the last day to introduce bills in the Senate and the House (Does not apply to originating or supplementary appropriations bills or House or Senate Resolutions) February 26, 2012: Bills due out of committees in house of origin to ensure three full days for readings. Wednesday, February 29, 2012: Last day to consider bill on third reading in house of origin. (Does not include budget or supplementary appropriation bills.)   As always, if you have questions or concerns, just call (304) 345-4639 or cell (304) 415-1608.

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