And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. – Galatians 6:9
(Charleston – March 21, 2014) It was exciting when HB 4588 passed the legislature on March 8th less than two hours before the end of the session. By the following Thursday, many church congregations began calling the Governor and asking him to sign the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The next Sunday, pastors made their congregations aware of the need to call the Governor and another wave of calls poured into his office. It is wonderful that so many responded – and continue to do so – in order for their voice to be heard on behalf of the unborn. Please continue to let others know of the need and importance of these calls. There is a website dedicated to this issue that is being updated and has a bulletin insert ready for download so you can spread the word: http://www.wvflfetalpainbill.org/
There have been a variety of confusing reports by various groups and even by professionals in the media about where HB 4588 is in the process of becoming law. Here is the inside scoop:
According to a March 19th article in the Charleston Gazette, of the 1,876 bills that were introduced this session only 201 actually passed both Houses. The Governor has signed 27 of these into law, another 37 are ready for his signature, and another 137 are still in the process of being proofed. As of today, HB 4588 is still one of those being proofed. The term for a bill whose preparation has been completed and is ready for the Governor’s signature is ”enrolled.”
The Enrolling Process
After a bill is proofed to remove any typographical errors, it must then be printed and signed by six different individuals before the enrollment process is completed. Only then is it considered ready for the Governor’s signature. The Governor has until April 1st to either sign or veto any enrolled bills he has received. After April 1st, any bills he has not acted on become law without his signature. It was previously reported that he had 15 days after receiving a bill to act on it, but this is only true if he gets the bill soon after the session ends. As of today, there are fewer than two weeks left before the April 1st deadline, giving us time to continue our efforts to ensure HB 4588 becomes law.
Currently, HB 4588 is considered to be “Completed Legislation.” The next step is to complete the process needed so that it may become “enrolled.” It will then achieve the status of those bills “Pending the Governor’s Signature.” If you want to follow this process to know right away if HB 4588 is actually on the Governor’s desk, “Pending the Governor’s Signature,” click on the link below, go to the bottom of the screen, and select the “Pending Governor’s Signature” tab found under “Actions by the Governor”.
How long does the legislature have to complete proofing and enrolling bills? It is expected that this process will end by the middle of next week. While the Governor has not officially received the enrolled version of HB 4588, his staff has been studying the legislation and should have a good understanding of it before he must make a decision.
Between now and April 1st, we must not grow weary in well doing. We will do our best to keep you updated via email and the website. Don’t forget to pray!
Governor Tomblin’s phone number: 304-558-2000
Governor Tomblin’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org