A WVU spokesman said he was unable to reach someone to talk about the bill.
John Cavacini, a lobbyist hired by WVU last fall, referred comment to WVU general counsel William Hutchens. Hutchens said he could not comment on pending legislation. When asked about current state law, Hutchens also said he had no comment.
Delegate Amanda Pasdon, R-Monongalia, said she thinks part of the reason is timing. Pasdon, the minority chairwoman of the House Education Committee whose district includes WVU, also said she thinks WVU is satisfied with the measure.
But it's a compromise, and problems still could arise from what she called the "duplication of approval" process.
"In my opinion, I think WVU has a wonderful board of governors -- they do their due diligence in any capital investment projects that they make -- and I think that really, truly we should trust our board of governors at WVU to make the right decisions," Pasdon said.
"Going through the reporting process is certainly imperative -- I don't want to remove the reporting process -- but having that duplication of approval certainly has hindered some projects in the past for WVU."
She mentioned a recent land acquisition by WVU. The purchase was delayed 45 days because WVU needed commission approval. The delay pushed the purchase from one fiscal year to the next, resulting in a higher cost.
She said she thought it was the purchase of the United Bank Center, but she wasn't positive.
In late June 2012 WVU announced it was purchasing the United Center Office Complex on Van Voorhis Road across from Mountaineer Station. The purchase cost $26.3 million, but the news release said it was not finalized.
Hendrickson said some confusion related to the project led to the delay. It's important for everyone to understand the use of property that a university purchases, he said. Such property comes off the tax base for the local municipality at that point.
The commission doesn't mistrust the board of governors at any school, and Hendrickson said he couldn't think of any projects the commission had rejected. It's always good to have an extra set of eyes on a project, especially when it's a public-private partnership, he said.
In the last six months WVU has announced two separate projects that involve participation from both the school and private companies to the tune of $160 million.
The bill now goes to the House Finance Committee. Pasdon said she supports the measure and thinks there are enough votes in the full House to pass the bill. The bill could be changed further in the finance committee.
The altered bill, if passed by the House, must go back to the Senate. If the Senate objects to the changes, the bill likely would be assigned to a joint House-Senate committee to forge a compromise by the end of the session at midnight Saturday.