States map 2015 for blog Written by Don Byrd

[UPDATE 3/3: The West Virginia Senate voted 27-7 to reject the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bill. The bill underwent significant modifications after passage in the House. Some Senate members expressed support for the original bill but not for the amendments that emerged from committee.]

The West Virginia Senate is set to vote today on a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bill, after a handful of amendments significantly altered the bill that was received from the House. 

Generally, RFRA bills preclude government from taking action that substantially burdens a person’s religious exercise unless the action is necessary to achieve a compelling government interest.

Amendments passed by the Senate:

  • State that the bill does not apply to anti-discrimination laws, which are considered compelling government interests.
  • Clarify that the law does not apply to child vaccination laws, which are considered compelling government interests.
  • Changed the name of the bill from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to the Religious Freedom Protection Act
  • Limit the relief available to RFRA claimants to injunctions and declaratory judgments.

You can read the bill as amended here.

Follow all state RFRA developments at the BJC’s State RFRA Tracker.