Business, Government, Latest News, State Government, West Virginia Legislature

Farming, gun and baby-changing bills pass out of House of Delegates

MORGANTOWN — Farming, guns and baby diapers were among the topics occupying the House of Delegates on Tuesday.

SB 171 prohibits counties from enacting or enforcing agricultural ordinances that contravene or are stricter than state agricultural laws. It applies to state-registered pesticides, herbicides and insecticides.

The bill also will revoke any existing ordinances that exceed state laws. It passed 84-16 and goes to the governor. Opposition was bipartisan; locally Democrats Joey Garcia, Anitra Hamilton, Evan Hansen and John Williams voted against it.

HB 4782 is the Second Amendment Business Protection Act. It says local governments must enact or enforce generally applicable zoning or business ordinances that apply to firearms businesses to the same degree as other businesses. A municipality may not use its planning or zoning powers solely to prohibit the sale of firearms, ammunition, firearms accessories or components.

It voids any provision of an ordinance that restricts the sale, purchase, transfer, manufacture, repair, or display of firearms, ammunition, firearms accessories or components, or personal defense tools or products other than firearms that are legal under state code.

It passed 92-8 and goes to the Senate. All eight votes against were from Democrats, including Garcia, Hamilton, Hansen and Williams.

The Senate has a similar-but-less-detailed bill, SB 621, that is on second reading on the Senate floor.

HB 5002 is a one-sentence bill. It says all state-owned rest areas and welcome centers built on or after Jan. 1, 2025, shall provide at least one diaper-changing station in both male and female restrooms.

It passed 96-3 without discussion and goes to the Senate. Three Republicans voted against it. All local delegates voted for it.

The House concurred with Senate amendments to HB 5045 and re-passed it.

The bill makes code changes needed for the U.S. EPA to grant the state primacy over the EPA for permitting Class VI underground injection wells used for carbon capture and sequestration. That permitting authority currently belongs to the EPA, which is notorious for dragging its feet and taking years to approve permits.

The details of the bill were crafted in consultation with the EPA and will consummate the application process that began in 2021 to enable the EPA to grant primacy.

The vote to re-pass it was 98-2 and the message was sent back to the Senate.


TWEET @DominionPostWV