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Students present draft bills in mock legislative hearing

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA—Several WVU Law students recently presented bills they had researched and drafted to state legislators. The practical experience was the culmination of Lawyers & Legislation, a seminar taught by Professor of Law David Hardesty, WVU President Emeritus.

The mock legislative hearings were conducted before West Virginia state senators Robert Beach and Amanda Pasdon, and former delegate Alex J. Shook ‘97.

The students’ bills ranged from banning revenge porn and requiring lower teacher-student ratios in public schools to legalizing marijuana and prohibiting employment and housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and identity.

Rebekah Bofinger, a 3L, says she got a lot out of the class because it required practical drafting skills instead of writing a research paper on a certain area of law.

“We were able to pick out any area of the law that we felt needed change for the betterment of the state,” she said. “The mock hearing was beneficial because the legislators asked tough questions that we can consider when we finalize our bills for submission.”

Lawyers & Legislation, fall 2014: Subjects of Proposed Bills

LaTasha Banks: A bill prohibiting police officers from receiving paid leave while under investigation for misconduct.

Rebekah Bofinger: A bill prohibiting “revenge porn”, the act of posting intimate pictures or videos of a former sex partner without their permission in West Virginia, making revenge porn a crime and also providing for a civil remedy.

Zack Cameron: A bill requiring use of an on-line registry of vacant beds in certain mental health facilities.

Dominick Cangemi: A bill stiffening the fines, penalties or remedies, including mandatory education, for truancy or for fostering truancy.

Kristopher Casdorph: A bill legalizing the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana for medical and recreational use.

Marshall Foster: A bill to establish a pilot project that would lead to different required teacher – pupil ratios in WV Public Schools.

Brown Holston: A bill prohibiting employment and housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and sexual identity.

Nicole Johns: A bill further regulating the sale and distribution of electronic cigarettes.

Kate Lacy: A bill requiring the WV Department of Agriculture to collaborate with the Department of Education in order to facilitate bids by local farmers for seasonally available agricultural products to be served in public school cafeterias.

Eric Lyda: A bill regulating the expiration dates, inactivity fees, escheat provisions and the ability to redeem for consumer cash gift cards and certificates.

Nick Parker: A bill to require police officers in WV to wear body cameras under certain circumstances.

Lee Rice: A bill to promote accountability and judicial oversight of juvenile proceedings by offering public access to proceedings and records in certain circumstances.

Drew Shaffer: A bill to allow on online gaming in West Virginia and impose a tax on that activity.

Jenny Thoma:A bill to legalize and regulate the production, use and sale of recreational marijuana in West Virginia.

Camile Gray Wartts: A bill to define “consent” when used in connection in sexual assault crimes, and to require the adoption of policies related to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking at institutions of higher learning in West Virginia, and prohibiting public funding of institutions absent the adoption of such policies.

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