West Virginia House of Delegates
|West Virginia Legislature|
New session started
|January 9, 2019|
Speaker pro tempore
Length of term
|Authority||Article VI, West Virginia Constitution|
|Salary||$20,000/year + per diem|
|November 6, 2018|
|November 3, 2020|
|House of Delegates Chamber|
West Virginia State Capitol
Charleston, West Virginia
The West Virginia House of Delegates is the lower house of the West Virginia Legislature. Only three states—Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia—refer to their lower house as the House of Delegates.
West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States, and is also considered to be a part of the Mid-Atlantic Southeast Region. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 41st largest state by area, and is ranked 38th in population. The capital and largest city is Charleston.
A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.
The West Virginia Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of West Virginia. A bicameral legislative body, the Legislature is split between the upper Senate and the lower House of Delegates. It was established under Article VI of the West Virginia Constitution following the state's split from Virginia during the American Civil War in 1863. As with its neighbor and former constituent Virginia General Assembly, the legislature's lower house is also referred to as a "House of Delegates."
Regular sessions begin with an organizational day on the second Wednesday of January of each year.The length of regular session is limited to 60 calendar days. The governor can call for special sessions.
Delegates are elected for terms of two years.
Delegates submit bill proposals to the Office of Legislative Services or legislative staff counsel, who draft the bill.Once the bill draft is approved by the delegate, it is submitted for introduction. Bills then undergo committee review and three readings in the house of origin and then the other house of the state legislature.
An unusual feature of the West Virginia legislative process is that revenue bills can originate in either house.The state constitution also prohibits multiple subjects in a single bill.
If approved by both the West Virginia House of Delegates and the West Virginia Senate, bills are submitted to the governor, who may sign them into law or veto them.State legislators can override the governor's veto of bills with a simple majority vote of both houses, unless the bill is a revenue bill, in which case two-thirds of the members elected to each house are required to override the governor's veto or line-item veto.
The West Virginia Senate is the upper house of the West Virginia Legislature. There are seventeen senatorial districts. Each district has two senators who serve staggered four-year terms. The Democrats gained two seats in the 2018 elections, bringing their total number of seats to 14, while the Republicans still hold a majority with 20.
|Affiliation (Elected)||Party |
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|25th legislature (1900)||26||45||71||0|
|26th legislature (1902)||29||57||86||0|
|27th legislature (1904)||25||61||86||0|
|28th legislature (1906)||25||60||86||1 (Prohibition Party)|
|29th Legislature (1908)||26||60||86||0|
|30th legislature (1910)||63||23||86||0|
|31st legislature (1912)||33||53||86||0|
|32nd legislature (1914)||27||56||86||3 (Fusion Party)|
|33rd legislature (1916)||52||42||94||0|
|34th legislature (1918)||24||70||94||0|
|35th legislature (1920)||21||73||94||0|
|36th legislature (1922)||65||29||94||0|
|37th legislature (1924)||39||55||94||0|
|38th legislature (1926)||33||60||94||1 (Square Deal Party)|
|39th Legislature (1928)||31||63||94||0|
|40th legislature (1930)||68||26||94||0|
|41st legislature (1932)||79||15||94||0|
|42nd legislature (1934)||82||12||94||0|
|43rd legislature (1936)||72||22||94||0|
|44th legislature (1938)||70||24||94||0|
|45th legislature (1940)||74||20||94||0|
|46th legislature (1942)||50||44||94||0|
|47th legislature (1944)||65||29||94||0|
|48th legislature (1946)||56||38||94||0|
|49th Legislature (1948)||78||16||94||0|
|50th Legislature (1950)||67||27||94||0|
|51st legislature (1952)||67||33||100||0|
|52nd legislature (1954)||76||24||100||0|
|53rd legislature (1956)||58||42||100||0|
|54th legislature (1958)||85||15||100||0|
|55th legislature (1960)||82||18||100||0|
|56th legislature (1962)||76||24||100||0|
|57th legislature (1964)||91||9||100||0|
|58th legislature (1966)||65||35||100||0|
|59th Legislature (1968)||63||37||100||0|
|60th Legislature (1970)||68||32||100||0|
|61st legislature (1972)||57||43||100||0|
|62nd legislature (1974)||87||13||100||0|
|63rd legislature (1976)||91||9||100||0|
|64th legislature (1978)||74||26||100||0|
|65th legislature (1980)||78||22||100||0|
|66th legislature (1982)||87||13||100||0|
|67th legislature (1984)||73||27||100||0|
|68th legislature (1986)||78||22||100||0|
|69th Legislature (1988)||79||21||100||0|
|70th Legislature (1990)||74||26||100||0|
|71st legislature (1992)||79||21||100||0|
|72nd legislature (1994)||69||31||100||0|
|73rd legislature (1996)||74||26||100||0|
|74th legislature (1998)||75||25||100||0|
|75th legislature (2000)||75||25||100||0|
|76th legislature (2002)||68||32||100||0|
|77th legislature (2004)||68||32||100||0|
|78th legislature (2006)||72||28||100||0|
|79th Legislature (2008)||71||29||100||0|
|80th Legislature (2010)||65||35||100||0|
|81st Legislature (2012)||54||46||100||0|
|82nd Legislature (2014)||36||64||100||0|
|83rd Legislature (2016)||36||63||100||1 (Independent)|
|84th Legislature (2018)||41||59||100||0|
|Latest voting share||41%||59%|
Prior to the 1970 Census, districts always respected county lines, with districts always consisting of either a single entire county, or several entire counties. Beginning with that year, the state began to use smaller geographic areas.
The 2000 House of Delegates' districting system divided the state into 58 districts that elected a varying number of members. The majority of districts, 35, were single-member districts. 23 districts were multi-member districts, varying from two to seven (the 30th District in Kanawha County) delegates.
Kanawha County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 193,063, making it West Virginia's most populous county. Its county seat is Charleston, the state capital.
In response to the 2010 Census, the Legislature again was required to redistrict. The Republican Party, and groups from the growing eastern panhandle and Putnam County were among those calling for 100 single member districts. Eventually redistricting was adopted by House Bill 201, which divided the state into 67 districts, of which 47 are one-member districts, 11 two-member districts, 6 three-member districts, 2 four-member districts, and 1 five-member district. The old 30th District was abolished; however, the five-member district, covering most of Monongalia County, remains among the ten largest multi-member lower house districts in the country. These changes took effect with the 2012 election cycle. The state Supreme Court rejected legal challenges and no federal challenge was filed.
The Speaker of the House is selected by its members. In contrast to the tradition of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Speaker must vote unless excused. The House rules state that in some cases, he or she is not required to vote unless the House is equally divided, or unless his or her vote, if given to the minority, will make the division equal. In the latter case, the question is lost.
|Speaker of the House||Roger Hanshaw||Republican||33||Clay Co.|
|Speaker pro tempore||Daryl Cowles||Republican||58||Morgan Co.|
|Majority Leader||Amy Summers||Republican||49||Taylor Co.|
|Minority Leader||Tim Miley||Democratic||48||Harrison Co.|
|Majority Whip||Paul Espinosa||Republican||66||Jefferson Co.|
|Minority Whip||Mike Caputo||Democratic||50||Marion Co.|
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Redistricting will occur in the United States in 2022, following the completion of the 2020 United States Census. In all fifty states, various bodies will re-draw state legislative districts. In states with more than one member of the United States House of Representatives, new lines will also be drawn for federal House districts. Political parties prepare for redistricting years in advance, and partisan control of redistricting institutions can provide a party with major advantages. Various laws and court decisions have put constraints on redistricting institutions, but redistricting institutions continue to practice gerrymandering, which involves drawing new districts with the intention of giving a political advantage to specific groups. Aside from the possibility of mid-decade redistricting, the districts drawn in 2022 will remain in effect until the next round of redistricting following the 2030 United States Census.
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