CHARLESTON, WV (WVVA) The first of two public hearings on the omnibus education reform bill was held in the House chambers at the capitol.
Speakers were given 70 seconds to make remarks. Most were against the bill.
A version of the legislation passed out of the House Education Committee with some revisions. Committee members removed the non-severability clause which would have killed the entire bill if a section of it was successfully contested in court. A provision that would have required approval from teachers to have annual union dues withheld from their paychecks was also eliminated. They removed a provision that would have withheld pay from teachers if a work stoppage forced a school closure. It would also have mandated the cancellation of extracurricular activities if a work stoppage caused a school closure. The bill now heads to the House Finance Committee
Senate Bill 451 passed out of the West Virginia Senate last week by a vote of 18-16.
If the House version passes, the legislation would head to Conference Committee to resolve differences between the two versions.
Union leaders representing teachers and public service employee have voted to authorize a strike if needed.
A second public hearing is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday.
WVVA’s Haley Brown was at the first meeting and will have a full Capitol Beat Report on WVVA News at 6.