West Virginia House of Delegates
|West Virginia House of Delegates|
|2013 session start:||January 9, 2013|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Richard Thompson, (D)|
|Majority Leader:||Brent Boggs, (D)|
|Minority leader:||Tim Armstead, (R)|
| Democratic Party (54) |
Republican Party (46}
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art VI, West Virginia Constitution|
|Salary:||$20,000/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (100 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (100 seats)|
|Redistricting:||West Virginia Legislature in special session|
As of June 2013, West Virginia is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas.
Article VI of the West Virginia Constitution establishes when the West Virginia State Legislature, of which the House of Delegates is a part, is to be in session. Section 18 of Article VI states that the Legislature is to convene its regular session on the second Wednesday of January of each year. Once every four years, on the year in which the Governor of West Virginia is inaugurated, the Legislature holds a thirty day recess after the first day of the session. This recess is designed to give the Governor time to prepare a budget.
Section 22 of Article VI limits regular sessions of the Legislature to sixty days. Regular sessions can be extended by a two-thirds vote of the members of both legislative houses.
Section 19 of Article VI gives the Governor of West Virginia the power to convene the Legislature into special session. Section 19 also requires the Governor to convene a special session if it is requested by three-fifths of the members of each legislative house.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 9 through April 13.
Major issues include the availability of soft drinks in schools, repeal of the law allowing the sterilization of "mental defectives," and treatment of sexually-transmitted diseases.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from January 11 through March 10.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the House was in regular session from January 12 through March 18.  An August 1 special session was called by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to pass legislation related to redistricting and other topics. A second special session began on August 15, to replace the House of Delegates' redistricting plan. The House's plan, which passed during the first special session on August 1, must be vetoed because of errors. The plan contains duplicate voter precinct populations for districts in both Kanawha and Morgan counties.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. West Virginia was given a grade of B in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
All Delegates are up for election every two years. As a result of the primary election, the top vote-getting candidates for each party earn a place on the ticket in the general election. For example, if two Delegate positions are open for a district, the top two primary vote-getters for each party are eligible for the general election ballot.
Voters who come to the polls on the general election day will vote for the number of Delegate positions for their District. Note that a candidate must have received at least one vote in the primary in order to be on the ticket for the general election.
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was January 30, 2010. The primary election day was May 11, 2010.
In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $4,862,057 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: 
|2010 Donors, West Virginia House of Delegates|
|Susman, Sally M||$130,948|
|West Virginia Building & Construction Trades Council||$120,200|
|West Virginia AFL-CIO||$115,000|
|West Virginia Regional Council of Carpenters||$80,150|
|West Virginia Appalachian Laborers District Council||$76,000|
|West Virginia Federation of Teachers||$71,900|
|West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association||$68,500|
|Householder, Eric L||$50,523|
|West Virginia Bankers Association||$48,400|
Section 13 of Article 6 of the West Virginia Constitution states, "No person holding any other lucrative office or employment under this state, the United States, or any foreign government; no member of Congress; and no person who is sheriff, constable, or clerk of any court of record, shall be eligible to a seat in the Legislature."
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
The executive committee of the political party that holds the seat must submit a list of three candidates to the Governor. The list must be submitted to the Governor within 15 days of the vacancy. The Governor must make a selection within five days of receiving the list. The person that is selected to fill the seat serves the remainder of the unfilled term.
The Legislature is responsible for redistricting in a summer session after Census data comes in; the Governor holds veto power.
West Virginia received its local census data on March 23, 2011. The state grew a meager 2.5 percent with most growth by county seen in the northeast part of the state. The state's largest cities showed decline: Charleston decreased by 3.8 percent, Huntington decreased by 4.5 percent, Parkersburg decreased by 4.9 percent, Morgantown grew by 10.6 percent, and Wheeling decreased by 9.3 percent.
The 2011 redistricting period was notable for the proposal of eliminating the state's multi-member districts, which ultimately failed. The Legislature passed plans in early August; Democratic Governor Ray Tomblin vetoed the House plan on August 17, 2011, calling for another session to begin the next day. On August 21, the Legislature approved revisions to the House plan, and struck down numerous Republican amendment including the replacement of the multi-member system with 100 single-member constituencies. Tomblin signed the plan on Friday, September 2, 2011.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of June 2013|
The chart below shows the partisan composition of the West Virginia State House from 1992-2013.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the West Virginia Legislature are paid $20,000/year. Legislators receive $131/day per diem during session, set by the compensation commission.
When sworn in
West Virginia legislators assume office the first day of December following the election.
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body. 
The West Virginia House has 18 standing committees:
- Agriculture Committee, West Virginia House
- Banking and Insurance Committee, West Virginia House
- Constitutional Revision Committee, West Virginia House
- Education Committee, West Virginia House
- Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business Committee, West Virginia House
- Enrolled Bills Committee, West Virginia House
- Finance Committee, West Virginia House
- Government Organization Committee, West Virginia House
- Health and Human Resources Committee, West Virginia House
- Interstate Cooperation Committee, West Virginia House
- Judiciary Committee, West Virginia House
- Natural Resources Committee, West Virginia House
- Pensions and Retirement Committee, West Virginia House
- Political Subdivisions Committee, West Virginia House
- Roads and Transportation Committee, West Virginia House
- Rules Committee, West Virginia House
- Senior Citizen Issues Committee, West Virginia House
- Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee, West Virginia House
Partisan balance 1992-2013
Throughout every year from 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the West Virginia State House of Representatives. The West Virginia House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. West Virginia was under Democratic trifectas for the final 13 years.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
- Official website of the West Virginia House of Delegates
- Official list of the current members of the West Virginia House of Delegates
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states
- ↑ State Journal, "Soft drinks in schools to be considered by WV Legislature," January 8, 2013
- ↑ West Virginia Legislature
- ↑ WTRF, Tomblin Calls Special Session for Redistricting, July 26, 2011
- ↑ The Republic, Tomblin: special session to begin Thurs to remedy House redistricting plan, Aug. 12, 2011
- ↑ 2010 session convenes dates for West Virginia Legislature
- ↑ 2010 session adjourns dates for West Virginia Legislature
- ↑ Sunlight Foundation Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information, accessed June 16, 2013
- ↑ Follow the Money: "West Virginia House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ West Virginia Legislature "West Virginia Constitution"(Referenced Section, Article 4, Section 7)
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 West Virginia Legislature "West Virginia Code"(Referenced Statute 3-10-5, WV Code)
- ↑ U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers West Virginia's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," March 23, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- ↑ NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- ↑ West Virginia House Leadership
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