For 60 days at the start of the year, West Virginia’s part-time legislature comes together in Charleston to do the bulk of their work. That session just wrapped up over the weekend. Here are eight things that are now (or will soon be) law of the land in West Virginia.
1. You no longer need a permit to carry a concealed gun.
The state legislature eliminated the need to have a permit and take a training program to carry a concealed weapon for ages 21 and older. A permit is still required for 18-21 year olds. The bill was vetoed by the Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) but that veto was overridden. This will go into effect in 90 days.
2. You may to have to show an ID when you go to vote.
If signed into law, voters would have to show an ID to cast a ballot. The term ID though is wide, with qualifying documents ranging from driver’s license to a hunting license. It would go into effect in 2018.
3. Prevailing Wage has been eliminated.
This one will affect you if you work on public construction projects. Legislators overrode Tomblin’s veto, thereby eliminating the state’s prevailing wage for public construction projects. Prevailing wage was the base rate set by the state for an employee (usually a contractor) had to be paid when working on a public construction project.
4. You no longer have to pay union dues.
Thanks to another override, West Virginia is set to become the nation’s 26th right-to-work state. These states prohibit companies from requiring employees to pay union dues – but unions are still required to represent all workers. This law becomes effective July 1.
5. You might be able to buy a drink before 1 on Sundays.
The so-called Brunch Bill allows for alcohol sales at restaurants, bars and wineries as early as 10 a.m. instead of 1 p.m. on Sundays – if approved by county referendum vote.
6. Dismemberment and late term abortions are now illegal.
Dismemberment abortions and late-term abortions will be banned, thanks to more legislative overrides of Tomblin’s veto. Also known as D&E, the dilation and evacuation method uses suction and surgical instruments to remove fetal and placenta tissue. The legislature also banned abortions after 20 weeks.
7. You can buy raw, unpasteurized milk (kindof).
Raw milk is now legal thanks to legislation allowing its distribution through herdsharing agreements with diaries. So you won’t be able to just go to the store and buy raw milk, but you can purchase a share of a herd and then get raw milk from those cows.
8. You’ll soon be able to take an Uber
Finally. The legislature finally passed a law (and the Governor is expected to sign) allowing Uber drivers in the state. It would go into effect July 1.