When six year old Haven McCarthy was killed in Lincoln County by a driver passing her school bus, her relatives, including an aunt in Morgantown, asked the Legislature to help prevent similar tragedies in the future. In 2010, Delegate Fleischauer co-sponsored HB 4489, to increase penalties for careless drivers. During debate in the House Judiciary Committee on another bill related to school bus safety, HB 4223, Delegate Fleischauer offered an amendment that made it a felony offense to cause severe injure or kill a child being discharged from a school bus. HB 4223, as amended, passed the House unanimously after Fleischauer gave an impassioned floor speech. The Senate agreed and the Governor signed the bill making it law.
WVU's decision to eliminate the rifle team from its NCAA line-up of teams in 2003 was a shock to Mountaineers around the state and the country, especially since it was then the only WVU team to win any national championship - much less several of them. Delegate Fleischauer worked behind the scenes with the House and Senate Finance Committees to place $100,000 in funding for the rifle team into the 2004 state budget, which ultimately led to the restoration of the team's NCAA status. The WVU Rifle Team has rewarded our state by winning several more national championships since then. The budget line item supporting the WVU rifle team remains in the budget.
When grades were made up and a degree was granted to the daughter of our then-Governor, who had not completed the requisite classes, WVU faculty, staff, students and alumni nation-wide demanded reform. Delegate Fleischauer was the lead sponsor of HB 2961, which was intended to prevent future misconduct and provide greater oversight over the awarding of degrees. The provisions of HB 2961 were amended into SB 388 (which dealt with the Promise scholarship). The amended bill reformed the selection process for WVU's Board of Governors by adding a second faculty member, requiring the Governor to consider gender and minority balance when nominating future board members, and mandating training of Board members.
For years, Delegate Fleischauer introduced legislation to limit the time school children ride on buses in our state (for example, HB 2878 in 2004). Inspired by her husband Bob Bastress's efforts in the court system to limit school consolidation in counties so children would not spent inordinate amounts of time getting to and from school, Delegate Fleischauer's bill limited bus trips for elementary students to one hour per day, middle schoolers to one and one half hours, and high school students to two hours. One student estimated that during her school years she could have ridden around the world four times in the amount of time she spent riding buses to and from school.
Legislation modeled on Delegate Fleischauer’s bill finally passed in 2008 (HB 4319), but it was limited to elementary students. Delegate Fleischauer continues to introduce legislation to cut the bus riding times of the upper grade students, whom she thinks may be even more disadvantaged by long bus rides. For example, if students are unable to participate in extra-curricular activities because they spend so much time on school buses, it could jeopardize their chances of being accepted into college.
The unwarranted retention of rental deposits after a lease has ended by some landlords led to the passage of HB 3202 in 2011, co-sponsored by Delegate Fleischauer. This bill balanced the rights of students to a fair procedure with the rights of landlords trying to maintain decent housing in our community. It established a process for the return and/or deduction of expenses from rental security deposits and included penalties for violations.
In 2011, Delegate Fleischauer sponsored HB 2550, the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children Act. This bill is intended to promote smoother transitions for children in schools when military families move from state to state or out of the country. Passage of this bill is intended to ease the transfer of children’s credits and school records. Students and parents of military families should not be penalized by having to jump through inordinate hoops because they are serving our country.
HB 4145, passed in 2010, includes extensive requirements for all state colleges and universities to become more "veteran friendly." Included among the mandatory assignments were the following: coordinating college disability services with those provided by the federal veterans administration, establishing a system to award of academic credit for military training and experience, providing counselors trained to respond to the unique needs of veterans, and appointing and training faculty members in each program or major so serve as liaisons to veteran students, etc. When passed, this legislation was the most progressive in the entire country.
In 2013, Delegate Fleischauer worked with WVU’s student veterans to achieve passage of HB 2490 and HB 2491. Because of 2491, our Code now requires the appointment of Veterans Advocates at all state institutions of higher education. This bill also sets out requirements for schools to provide greater assistance to incoming veterans at colleges and universities so that they can make the most of their GI bill and Yellow Ribbon (a federal higher education assistance bill for veterans) benefits. Because of filing deadlines and other issues, some students received funding late and had difficulties with rent and tuition payments. HB 2491 established a uniform course completion policy for veteran students called up to active duty. The goal is to ensure that college students suddenly called up for a military drill during a semester are not penalized for their military service.