CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Time is running out for legislation that would set a fall vote for the seat held by the late U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd after it sat idle Sunday.
The Senate passed four more school-related bills from Gov. Joe Manchin's special session agenda. The House's Education Committee began reviewing separate education measures, advancing four of them.
But neither chamber acted on either version of the proposal that would put Byrd's seat on the Nov. 2 ballot following a special Aug. 28 primary.
One version awaits a final vote in the House of Delegates. The other has passed both chambers, but with dueling amendments that require a joint conference committee to resolve.
As West Virginia's elections chief, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said her office could keep the tight timetable set out in either version if it wins final passage today.
"If they can get it passed tomorrow, we will be OK," Tennant said Sunday.
But that bill must also be written to take effect today. For now, only the Senate-passed version would do that. When the House approved the other version Saturday, supporters failed to muster the two-thirds majority needed for that effective date.
Without a bill, Manchin may still declare a special election, said Jim Pitrolo, his legislative liaison. Pitrolo cited the recent legal opinion from the state attorney general that concluded the governor had that power.
But Manchin may also do nothing, Pitrolo said.