2024 State Legislative Session Takeaways: West Virginia

Written by Costa Costidis

The West Virginia Legislature adjourned the 2024 session on March 9. In even-numbered years, the legislature meets for a 60-day session. This election year session was highlighted by several socially controversial bills that were introduced but were unable to gain the necessary support to pass. In total, 2,575 bills (excluding resolutions) were introduced and 279 passed.

The Budget

On the final day of session, legislators compromised on a nearly $5 billion budget. The budget includes $128 million to the State Board of Education for specified expenditures, which include more than $5 million toward an early literacy program, $4 million for an assessment program, and $18 million toward the Hope Scholarship Program to allow K-12 students to receive financial assistance on a wide array of qualifying educational expenses. The budget also contained a 5% pay raise for state employees while phasing out the state income tax on Social Security payments.


In March, Governor Jim Justice (R) signed the Physician Assistant Compact to enhance portability and reciprocity of physician assistant licenses. West Virginia became the second state in 2024, and fifth overall, to adopt the compact. Four additional states have adopted the compact and it therefore activated on April 5 upon adoption by the seventh state, Virginia. It will take 18-24 months for the compact to become fully operational.

The legislature also passed a measure that adds transparency requirements for Pharmacy Benefit Managers that contract with the state's public employees’ insurance.

Another bill signed by Governor Justice, SB 325, bans manufacturers and any agents or affiliates from denying, restricting, or interfering with the acquisition of 340B drugs by authorized locations. Under the bill, 340B entities cannot be required to submit claims or utilization data as a condition for acquiring the drugs unless required by the US Department of Health and Human Services. The provisions take effect on June 6, 2024, and the State Board of Pharmacy is directed to promulgate rules for implementation. For questions on the rulemaking process, please contact Zachary Cook at zck@stateside.com.

Artificial Intelligence

On March 27, Justice signed a measure to create the West Virginia Task Force on Artificial Intelligence. A similar task force was passed by the Oregon Legislature earlier this year. The task force is directed to recommend legislation to protect individual rights, civil liberties, and consumer data as it relates to generative artificial intelligence. The task force must hold its first meeting within 120 days of enactment of this measure and must submit its findings and recommendations by July 1, 2025.

What’s Next?

The 2024 session was the last regular session for term-limited Governor Justice. The race to replace him has been contentious with four Republican candidates in the mix, including Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Secretary of State Mac Warner, former Delegate Moore Capito, and car dealer Chris Miller. The state’s primary takes place on May 14. Before his departure, the governor announced plans to reconvene the legislature for a special session as early as May to discuss budgetary issues, including tax cuts and spending on children.

In addition to the special session, the legislature is scheduled to meet seven times throughout the remainder of the year, beginning on April 14, for interim meetings. To stay up to date with all interim committee meetings and any action from the special session, please contact Constantine Costidis at cec@stateside.com.