WV Citizen Action Group
Action Alert
March 29
 Alert Archive


From inside the Maelstrom
Gary Zuckett, garyz@wvcag.org

Well, it’s the middle of the afternoon on Friday and we’d hoped to pull off a full newsletter. Considering that we’re all still up at the capitol chasing around our bills (which are all still very much alive at this point) we’ll have to punt and send out this as an alert. There are events here that you all need to know about before we send out an updated newsletter on Monday.

As I mentioned last week, next Wednesday is “crossover day” so any bills not passed out of house of origin are considered dead. We’re up here frantically trying to keep our bills alive by getting them voted out of their assigned committees and out onto the floor to be (hopefully) passed over to the other side – House or Senate. Since there will be more than one floor session on Monday there is still a little time on Monday morning or early afternoon to get some of the stragglers out of committee and read a first time on the floor to keep them in the loop for a mid-week passage. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Here are a few quick updates on our bills:

Energy Efficiency -- HB 2176 was killed today with an 11-11 vote in the House Judiciary.

The Clean Election – Supreme Court Public financing bill was passed out of the House Finance Committee this afternoon. This is the one we want to move as the Senate bill was watered down to just extend the pilot project for another election instead of making it a permanent option for SC races.

As you may have heard our House Resolution HR9 on Citizens United vs FEC passed yesterday. See links to media below!

There are still a ton of bad enviro bills moving so look to our allies at the WV Environmental Council www.wvecouncil.org for the latest details on these.

And thanks again for all those who have send in contributions to help us pay for all of this crazy running around! Keep those checks coming into 1500 Dixie St. Charleston, WV 25311 – you’ll be glad you did!

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One Small Step

Thursday afternoon, following more than an hour of debate the West Virginia House of Delegates passed HR9. The resolution called for a constitutional amendment overturning the US Supreme Court’s infamous Citizen United decision. Citizen’s United ruled that corporations and unions were “people” and therefore entitled to free speech under the first amendment. The decision in essence threw out any limits on what a real person, corporation, or labor union could spend on an election.

It will be a long and winding road but WV is now the ninth state to send Congress the message of the need for the amendment. The vote Thursday was 60 yeas and 39 nays. 8 republicans joined with all of the House democrats to achieve this victory. Most of the speakers against the resolution were teabagger wannabes from the eastern panhandle.

We expect the Senate to pass a similar resolution next week. You may remember from 8th grade civics class that it takes two thirds of the states to ratify an amendment to the Constitution. This will be a long journey but one that we must take to preserve democracy in this country. Stay tuned!

W.Va. House Seeks Anti-Citizens United Amendment

WV House resolution seeks to overturn Citizens United

West Virginia House of Delegates Calls For Citizens United Constitutional Amendment

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Expand Medicaid to Save Lives

If Governor Tomblin signs onto the Medicaid expansion, that one act would give 120,000 of us healthcare, nearly 7,000 of us jobs and put almost $7 million new Federal bucks into our state’s economy. This should be one of those “no brainer” decisions. If you think that the mountain state would be better off with the Medicaid expansion, make a plan to attend the Statewide Forum and Training on Medicaid Expansion. Please let us know if you are planning to attend, we want to assemble a crowd that will get the governor’s attention!

Sunday * April 7 * Charleston
Christ Church United Methodist, 1221 Quarrier
2:00pm – 3:30pm (Doors open 1:30pm)

At the forum, you’ll learn the “in’s and out’s” of Medicaid expansion, who gets covered, and what you can do to make sure this happens. In the meantime, let’s help them meet their goal of 1000 signatures before the April 7th Statewide Forum and Training on Medicaid expansion by signing on and sharing this petition.

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“Peabody and Arch Have the Money to Make this Right”-Del Caputo

With a moving floor speech from Delegate Mike Caputo, the House passed HR28 on Monday, condemning Peabody and Arch Coal for breaking their promise to retired miners’, their families and their communities. As Delegate Caputo put it, “obviously Peabody and Arch Coal don’t give a damn.” But, we give a damn and always have. We’ll be with them on Monday, standing up for their right to the retirement and health benefits they bargained for. You should too!

Monday, April 1st
10 AM
Charleston Civic Center


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Southern Appalachian Labor School Community Health Forum

Residents of areas close to surface mining, people who work on a surface mine, or those interested in learning more and connecting with other concerned residents of Fayette County, are invited to join the Southern Appalachian Labor School for their second Community Health Forum. The event will feature Dr. Michael Hendryx who is a leading scientist in uncovering the health impacts of large scale surface mining and mountaintop removal by correlating large databases of health records with mining information.

Monday April 8, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Historic Oak Hill School, 140 School St. Oak Hill, WV

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Alert from Our Friends at WV-FREE

Your calls, emails, and presence at the Capitol today slowed down Senate Bill SB 405 which would take away insurance coverage of abortion in private and public plans. Many of you turned out to fill the Senate hallway this morning, and some of us were able to meet with Senate President Kessler.

Be proud of yourself for making a difference! But don't stop now. Keep the calls coming- and share this message with everyone you know who will stand with women against these kind of attacks. There is no fixing this bad bill-- it simply needs to be rejected.

Please call and email Senators Tucker, Palumbo and Senate President Kessler. Tell them: "Please reject SB 405. There is no fixing this dangerous bill. It hurts women."

Senator Tucker: greg.tucker@wvsenate.gov; 304 357 7906
Senator Palumbo: Corey.palumbo@wvsenate.gov; 304 357 7880
Senator Kessler: jeff.kessler@wvsenate.gov; 304 357 7801

NOW is the time to take action. If for some reason you can't get through on the phone, please call first thing Monday morning.

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