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The Glenville Democrat
Glenville, West Virginia
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April 2, 1976     The Glenville Democrat
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April 2, 1976
 

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m [] 10 The Glenville Democrat/Pathfinder April 1, 1976 Legislature Enacts 130 Bills in Session Ending March 13 The second regular session of the Sixty-second West Virginia Legislature is over for now. Of the 1,597 bills introduced (577 in the Senate and 1,021 in the House of Delegates} 130 bills were passed by the legislature. The regular 6e-day session expired at midnight on March 13, but under a resolution approved by the required two-thirds members, the session was extended through June 30. Top priority was given to passage of a budget for the coming fiscal year during the first week of the extended session. A $959 million budget was approved by the legislature on March 16, and sent to Gee. Moore on March 22. The budget includes appropriations totaling $671.3 million from general revenue; $2.8 million from surplus: $168 million to the Dep't. of Highways from highway user taxes; $28 million from federal revenue sharing funds; $2.1 million in supplemental and deficiencies for the current fiscal year; and other amounts from special revenue. One of the major pieces of legislation approved by the legislature was the sexual assault bill, which repeals the old rape statute. The measure establishes various degrees of sexual assault and prescribes appropriate penalties. Under the old rape laws, the only penalty for conviction was life imprisonment - a penalty the bill's supporters said made a rape conviction nearly impossible to obtain. Another  significant bill passed late in the session would implement the county magistrate's system under the Judicial Refrm Amendment to the State Constitution. The legislation sets up 148 dounty magistrates posts. Magistrates would be elected this year and take office on Jan. I, 1977, to replace the justice of the peace system, abolishe effective on the same date. Under the bill, the magistrates' salaries;would range from $7,000 to $18,000 depending on county popula- tion. Magistrates serving 5,000 or more people Would be required to work full-time. Leglation which provides for the West Virginia State Senate to redistri, itself passed this session, after be defeated for the last couple of yearsiThe plan, which would go into effect on Jan. 1, 1977, still provides for two senators from each of 17 districts, but thei)oputjo sIreaff between districtsas b dratlly cttt, The bill splitseverkonQ othey are in more thin one district. .... Cabal and Wayne Counties, which together;ow form the 5th Senatorial District wouldbe most affected under the chae. "" e! n w in : e 5th District would include ll of Cabell County except Grant magisterial district and portions of Westmoreland district, and Ceredo district in Wayne County. Grant district of Cabell would become part of the 4th District, which includes ]acksom Mason, Putnam and Roane Counties, The rest of Wayne County would go to the 7th (Lincoln, Logan, and Boone} and 6th {Mingo and part of There was a provision in the budget for a $1,000 pay raise to all state employees eligible for the public employees retirement system. Under the proposed raise, teachers, part-time employees,, legislative staff and judiciary employees would not be eligible. According to Senate President William T. Brotherton, D-Kanawha. a teacher pay raise might come after the legislature reconvenes in May, if Gov. Moore releases more general revenue funds for the budget. A minimum wage increase was signed into law and will become effective July 1, 1976. The wage increase from $2 to $2.20, applies to all jobs covered by the state-wage and hour law. The new law also provides a reduction from 44 to 42 in the number of weekly hours after which pay goes to time-and-a-half. Salary increases for the governor {from $35,000 to $50,000} and increases for other state elected and appointed officials were approved just after the end of the regular 60-day session. Those persons receiving work- men's compensation benefits may be due for a raise under approved legislation to revise the workmen's compensation laws. Under the bill, the benefits of widows and those permanently or totally disabled would be increased by $50. The injury or death must have occurred prior to 1971. " The new legislation also raises the minimum wage benefit from $45 to one-third the average weekly wage, or about $60. Gov. Moore signed into law legislation to establish an, alcohol and drug countermeasure school. The new law gives persons convicted of first offense drunken driving or driving under the influence of a controlled substance, the choice of attending a driving school. The law also permits drivers who must operate a-vehicle in their work, or to get to work, to obtain a temporary driver's license for this purpose. The bill becomes effective this June. Legislation to take away the pension of public employees found guilty of job-related felonies was approved and sent to Gov. Moore. The  final bill did not contain a retroactive clause, which caused the House of Delegates to previously reject the bill. Many attempts at election reform 'x#ere made this session. The measure which finally won approval would require total reporting of contributions to candidates' from the moment of conception of their campaigns, within a five-year limit. Under the reform bill, nominees would ,have to file their financial statements no less than five to 10 days prior to the Nov. 2 general election. Other features of the bill require the reporting of the full name of all contributors. For amounts of more than $250, the address and main occupation must be added. Contribu- tions in amounts of more than $50 must be by check or money order. In an attempt to help alleviate the critical physician shortage in West McDowell}. , Virginia, the legislature passeda bill to ' ta Are Back! To Celebrate ,) ! Want Ad Week April 11 to 18 The Glenville -Democ:at ha driven the clock backwards to ffer an OLD TIME SAVINGS on  Classified Ads. For the month of April 2 cents / word 50 cents minimum on all ads placedon the coupon below. This price effective on 3 terms. [1] Ad must run at leas ' eeks [2] Discount good only for April [3] Ad must be prepaid [no refLqds] Name Address- To run weeks[Ad must run at least 3 weeks - remit payment of .50 per week or $1.50] Ad minimum establish and license physician's assistants. In a new law also relating to health professions, optometrists are now legally permitted to prescribe drugs for the front of the human eye for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. The law becomes effective in May. Yet another bill dealing with drugs passed the legislature. This one requires stores to post the list of their 100 most commonly prescribed drugs, their manufacturers and their sale price. Tax relief measures - in any and most every form - were many in the Sixty-second Legislature. Scores of bills to remove the consumer sales tax from such goods and services as food, funeral expenses and certain medical and hospital expenses in excess of $1,000. were introduced, but very few of the bills ever reached the House or Senate floors for a vote. One bill did, and the legislature approved a form of tax relief for persons age 155 or older. These persons would be allowed an $8,000 to $10,000 income tax exemption on pension and annuity income. One of the most pressing issues of the session was the need for consumer relief from soaring utility costs. Again, numerous bills to reform utility rates and revamp the Public Service Commission were introduced, but no bill went to the Governor during the regular session. The Senate passed an amended version of a House bill to overhaul the Public Service Commission and to prohibit "piggyba'cking '' - the procedure whereby an electric company puts a second rate increase into effect before an earlier request is approved. The House bill would - have provided for a public counsel in the PSC to represent . consumers at hearings on rate increases. The Senate version changes only one word in the present state law. The bill would change the year 1976 for 00!!ii00iii!ii!iii!i00!!i00iii!!i!i!iii!i!0000i00i00i00iiiiii00!i!i000000i00iiiii!i!i!00iiii!i00i0000ii00iii00ii l!)77.JN(lthus xtcnd tr another year the law passed in 1975 to ban the [uel adjustment clause on electric [)ills. On the other hand, the Senate passed a bill which would alter present state business taxes on electricity. The bill would increase tax on electricity produced in West Virginia for out-of-state users, and thereby lower the roles for in-state USerS. Re(:apping ether highlights of the session, many of the so-called "major issues" were stopped in committee before reaching the floor for a vote. Legislation to set up uniform abortion guidelines in the state, in line with the United Slate Supreme Court dicision, was tabled in the Senate ]udiciary Committee. Subsequent legislation to protect the rights of unborn infants was tabled in the same committee. Branch banking legislation, which would have permitted West Virginia banks to set up additional facilities in the same county as the main facility, died in the Insurance Le ployees the bargain colleclJ out of An att death could not reach the The West scheduled to the purpose of clearing up any its calendars. 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