Also starting July 12, children under 18 will need a parent's written consent before hitting a tanning salon. Another measure bans sexting by youths while offering an alternative to juvenile criminal charges.
Public funding for qualifying Supreme Court candidates becomes permanent July 12. The program operated under a pilot basis in 2012, with now-Justice Allen Loughry its sole participant, offering an alternative to traditional fundraising.
Another program expanded this month allows the Division of Highways commissioner to reach public/private road project deals without legislative approval. These deals would allow the private-sector partner to assess temporary tolls, for instance, or mine the coal beneath a planned roadway to help the state complete a project.
"Using traditional funding methods, it would take 20 to 30 years to complete some of these projects," Pizatella said.
Legislation that took effect July 1 continues a pilot program that's granted more powers to cities, in a state where government is heavily centralized. As amended before passage, it limits gun-control ordinances and tax changes while making such other topics as annexation, pensions and marriage off-limits.
Also beginning July 1, all 55 county sheriffs must ensure that their deputies have bullet-resistant vests. With the needed funding pledged by the West Virginia Beer Wholesalers Association and a statewide group representing sheriffs, an estimated 50 vests were needed to meet that mandate.
The law was prompted by an August shooting that left Roane County Deputy John Westfall wounded, after the suspect had shot down West Virginia State Police Cpl. Marshall Lee Bailey and Trooper Eric Michael Workman.
Another July 1 change expands a scholarship program for the children of slain state troopers to benefit those of all law enforcement killed in the line of duty. The measure increases the scholarship from $7,500 toward tuition at state colleges or vocational schools to that amount for each year of college.
Repealed provisions include one that allowed for the sterilization of people deemed mentally incompetent.