A Brief Overview of the 2016 Legislative Session
HB 4175 created a positive change in the West Virginia homeschool exemption.
Considerable effort was needed to secure passage. HB 4175 was deliberated extensively in both the House and the Senate before the “Modernization Bill” was passed by both Houses and sent to the Governor for his signature.
The Tim Tebow Bill was passed by the Senate early in the session. SB 105 was not taken up in the House because it lacked support in the House Education Committee. Instead, a Resolution was passed by the House Education Committee which called for a study during the Interim session. This study could result in a recommendation that the legislature support the Tim Tebow during the 2017 Regular Session.
HB 4014, the Stop Common Core Bill, was passed on the last day of the session. HB 4014 was a positive step forward by removing West Virginia from the testing consortium which currently governs testing in West Virginia. The Governor has 15 days in which to decide if he will veto HB 4014.
HB 4012 – The Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed overwhelmingly in the House. Then on the Senate floor, Senator Palumbo introduced an amendment, supported by the Majority leader Mitch Carmichael, that gutted the legislation. Supporters of Religious Freedoms could no longer support the bill and it was killed. What was learned from this effort will be discussed in a soon-to-be-released report.
The following bills did not gain consideration by a committee in either legislative body.
HB 4215 and SB 316 – Which would remove the GED requirement in order to receive the Promise Scholarship.
SB 292 and HB 4242 – Which would provide for a tax credit for homeschooling educational expenses.
HB 2258- The Parent’s Bill of Rights which would define parental rights as a fundamental right.
Thank you to everyone who communicated with their legislator to encourage passage of these bills supporting our freedoms. Thank you to Mike Donnelly of HSLDA for his tireless efforts and expertise on behalf of homeschooling families.
Thank you to Delegate Brian Kurcaba and Senator Robert Karnes for all their hard work, as well as House Education Chairman Paul Espinosa and Senate Education Chairman Dave Sypolt.