Posts by Julie Archer

Julie Archer

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Newsletter article Julie Archer March 16, 2018
Redistricting Reform Stalls; Election Transparency Fails to Advance
Unfortunately, the two election related bills we most wanted to see pass this session failed to reach the Governor’s desk. A bill to reform the redistricting process – the redrawing of the boundaries of legislative and congressional districts – made significant progress before stalling in the House of Delegates. While a bill to improve election transparency and strengthen disclosure of political spending was never taken up by its assigned committee. Here's is a summary of what happened with these, other election, and ethics bills during the 2018 legislative session. More
Issues: Clean electionsOur children our future
Newsletter article Julie Archer March 16, 2018
Two Constitutional Amendments Headed for the Ballot in November
During the 2018 legislative session, legislators approved resolutions putting two proposed constitutional amendments on the November 6 general election ballot. On the final night of the session, the House and Senate agreed to a compromise version of SJR 3, the Judicial Budget Oversight Amendment, which would amend the state constitution to give the Legislature oversight of the judiciary’s budget. In addition to SJR 3, the Legislature also approved another proposed constitutional amendment (SJR 12) that is being deceptively explained as an effort to take away Medicaid funding for abortion, but which aims to take away reproductive rights for women more broadly. More
Issues: Budget prioritiesCivil JusticeHealthcareInequality
Newsletter article Julie Archer March 4, 2018
“Co-Tenancy” Bill Passes Senate, Bills to Help Those Affected By Drilling Die in Committee
The “co-tenancy” bill (HB 4268) has now passed the Senate unchanged. In other news, the Senate unanimously passed SB 360, which would change the way royalties are calculated for flat-rate leases. Unfortunately, most of the bills that were a priority for WV-SORO this legislative session are dead because they were not taken up by their assigned committees and sent to the floor in time to meet yesterday’s deadline (often referred to as Crossover Day) for bills to be out of the house of origin. More
Issues: EnergyFrackingPollution
Newsletter article Julie Archer March 4, 2018
As Redistricting Bill Dies in the House, Commission Proposal Considered in Senate Judiciary Committee
HB 2383, which would specify factors that can (and cannot) consider in the redistricting process, failed to advance before Crossover Day (the deadline for bills to be out of the house of origin). The next day the Senate Judiciary Committee took up a bill (HB 4002) passed by the House of Delegates earlier in the session mandating that the House go to 100 single delegate districts after the 2020 census. In an interesting twist, Senator Stephen Baldwin (D-Greenbrier) offered and amendment to HB 4002 that would incorporate the provisions of a Senate bill (SB 54), a bill he co-sponsored with Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump (R-Morgan) and others, which would establish an independent commission to propose redistricting plans. Read more here. More
Issues: Clean elections
Newsletter article Julie Archer March 4, 2018
Judicial Budget Oversight Amendment Advances; Fate of Intermediate Court Bill Uncertain
After clearing the House Finance Committee earlier in the week, (SJR 3), which would amend the state constitution to give the Legislature oversight of the judiciary’s budget was taken up and passed by the House Judiciary Committee. However, instead of accepting the proposed amendment passed by the Senate, the Committee included a procedural safeguard of requiring a super-majority (two-thirds) vote of the Legislature to reduce the judiciary’s budget by more than ten percent from the previous fiscal year. Meanwhile, the fate of the intermediate court bill is uncertain. Tell your legislators not to waste millions on an intermediate court we don’t need, and vote NO on SB 341. More
Issues: Budget prioritiesCivil Justice
Newsletter article Julie Archer March 4, 2018
Act Now: Anti-Abortion Ballot Measure Up for Final Vote Monday in the House
Yesterday, hundreds of people rallied on the steps of the Capitol to oppose SJR 12, a proposed constitutional amendment that is being deceptively explained as an effort to take away Medicaid funding for abortion, but which aims to take away reproductive rights for women more broadly. This extreme measure is up for a final vote in the House tomorrow. Act now! Contact your Delegate(s) and tell them to vote NO on SJR 12! More
Issues: HealthcareInequality
Newsletter article Julie Archer February 26, 2018
Where Are They Now?
Here's a quick update on on several bills we wrote about last week, including redistricting reform, co-tenancy, and LEEP. More
Issues: Civil JusticeClean electionsEnergyEnergy efficiencyFracking
Newsletter article Julie Archer February 18, 2018
Senate Passes Intermediate Court Bill, Judicial Budget Amendment
On Thursday, the Senate passed two measures that could dramatically reshape the judicial system in West Virginia. The first is a proposal (SB 341) that would establish an intermediate court of appeals between the level of circuit court and the state Supreme Court to hear civil appeals, appeals of workers’ compensation claims, abuse and neglect cases and some other administrative appeals. The other measure passed by the Senate (SJR 3) is a proposed Judicial Budget Amendment, which would amend the state constitution to give the Legislature oversight of the judiciary's budget. This is in response to a recent spending scandal involving extravagant renovations to the private chambers of the Supreme Court justices. More details here. More
Issues: Civil JusticeClean elections
Fracking
Newsletter article Julie Archer February 18, 2018
“Co-Tenancy” Bill Passes House of Delegates
On Thursday, the House of Delegates passes a the “co-tenancy” bill (HB 4268), with 60 votes for, and 40 votes against. As the bill came to the floor from the House Judiciary Committee it contained important protections for surface owners, requiring their consent for any surface disturbance whenever the co-tenancy law is used to develop the mineral tract beneath a surface owners’ land or into any neighboring mineral tract, regardless of whether the surface owner owns an interest in the mineral tract being developed. This is significant. The bill also contained protections for the non-consenting, and missing and unknown mineral owners that were not included in the introduced bill. On the floor, two other amendments were adopted that provide additional protections for these mineral owners. HB 4268 is now in the Senate where it has been assigned to the Energy, Industry, and Mining Committee, and the Judiciary Committee. More
Issues: EnergyFracking
Newsletter article Julie Archer February 18, 2018
Redistricting Bill Sent to House Floor Without Independent Commission
Establishing a specific list of factors that can (and cannot) consider in the redistricting process, including factors designed to promote partisan fairness and prevent favoritism toward incumbents, is an improvement, these goals would be more easily accomplished if we appointed someone other than legislators to draw legislative district maps. We need to let our delegates know that we want a process that is impartial, transparent, and accountable. This means having an independent redistricting commission lead redistricting efforts, providing ample opportunities for public participation throughout the process, and clear standards to guide the process that ensure equality and fairness. Contact your delegate(s) today and tell them to support fair districts and fair elections. More
Issues: Clean elections
Newsletter article Julie Archer February 18, 2018
SNAP Work Requirements Headed for a Vote in the House
HB 4001, which would further restrict access to food assistance (SNAP) and other vital safety net programs by imposing work requirements on recipients of public assistance, and require the West Virginia DHHR to implement a costly new comprehensive verification system is headed for a vote in the House of Delegates. After a public hearing on Monday, the House Judiciary Committee took up and passed a version of the bill that made significant changes to the proposal, however the proposed changes to SNAP will still hurt our people and our economy. Contact your delegate(s) and tell them to vote NO on HB 4001. More
Issues: DiscriminationInequalityPovertySNAP
Newsletter article Julie Archer February 13, 2018
House Judiciary Sub-Committee Nixes Redistricting Commission in Favor of Status Quo
We've written a couple of times about a bill (HB 2383) under consideration by a House Judiciary Sub-Committee the would establish an independent redistricting commission to redraw the boundaries of West Virginia's legislative and congressional districts after the 2020 Census. When the subcommittee met for the final time with the goal of approving a final bill an amendment to take out the commission and continue to leave the process of drawing legislative and congressional district maps up to the legislature was adopted, undermining the original intent of the bill, and maintaining the status quo. Voters should be choosing their elected officials, not the other way around. Let your delegate(s) know you are disappointed with this development. Urge them to honor the original intent of the bill and appoint someone other than legislators to draw legislative district maps. More
Issues: Clean elections
Fracking
Newsletter article Julie Archer February 12, 2018
Improved “Co-Tenancy” Bill Clears House Judiciary Committee
After Friday's public hearing on the "co-tenancy" bill (HB 4268), the House Judiciary Committee took up and passed an improved version of the bill that, most importantly, addresses the problems we raised regarding surface use and the need to require surface owner's consent. If version of HB 4268 that came out of the House Judiciary Committee passes, if the driller uses the statute to get the right to drill into the mineral tract beneath a surface owners' land or into any neighboring mineral tract, the driller will have to get the agreement of the surface owner to locate the well pad on their surface, regardless of whether the surface owner owns an interest in the minerals. Requiring the surface owners consent is very important, and a significant improvement that makes it worth supporting the bill. Why? Read more here. More
Issues: EnergyFracking
Fracking
Newsletter article Julie Archer February 4, 2018
“Co-Tenancy” Bill Advances Without Changes, Public Hearing Possible Wednesday
Last week the House Energy Committee passed the "co-tenancy" bill (HB 4268) without any changes. HB 4268 is problematic in a number of ways which we've outlined in detail here, and we remain opposed to the bill unless these issues are addressed. The bill is now before the House Judiciary Committee. A public hearing has been requested and will possibly be held this Wednesday, February 7 although there has been no official announcement yet. In the meantime, please contact House Judiciary Committee members and voice your concerns about HB 4268.  More
Issues: EnergyFrackingPollution
Newsletter article Julie Archer January 28, 2018
Our Children, Our Future 2018 Legislative Platform Includes WV Anti-Corruption / Voter Empowerment Act
As part of this year's Our Children, Our Future public policy platform, WV CAG is excited to be partnering with Fayette Fair Share to support the WV Anti-Corruption Act. The Act is about empowering voters and having a democracy where everyone participates, every vote is counted, and everyone’s voice is heard. To do this we need to close loopholes in our election and ethics laws, and change political rules that unfairly favor the wealthy and special interests. Two bills introduced this session help accomplish the goals of the Act. More
Issues: Clean electionsKids and familiesOur children our future
Citizen Action Group Blog Julie Archer January 2, 2018
Be Registered & Be Ready to Vote: WV Voter ID Law Now in Effect
West Virginia's voter ID law went into effect on January 1, 2018. With many important races on the ballot this year, it's important to make sure you're registered to vote and ready to vote. This means making sure you have your ID, informing yourself about the issues and candidates, and last but not least, getting yourself to the polls. Learn more about the new law, and the various forms of photo and non-photo ID that will be accepted at the polls. More
Citizen Action Group Blog Julie Archer October 11, 2017
Without disclosure, we don’t know what conflicts of interest our judges may have
Without common-sense disclosure laws, anyone could end up across the courtroom from another other party who has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to a dark money group supporting the judge ruling on their case. And they wouldn't even have the information, to ask the judge to recuse himself or herself. More
Issues: Clean elections
Citizen Action Group Blog Julie Archer June 8, 2017
Attacks on Democracy Halted
A number of bills were introduced during the 2017 session that would have negatively affected our electoral process. With your help we were able to halt these attacks on democracy. More
Issues: Clean elections
Action Alert Julie Archer July 29, 2016
Take Back Our Democracy
This is our chance to be heard. Tell Senator Manchin we need his support for the We the People package and the Fair Elections Now Act. More
Issues: Clean elections
Citizen Action Group Blog Julie Archer April 22, 2016
Judicial Public Financing: Moving Away from Corruption in the Courtroom
Our state’s judicial public financing system has given voters the ability to choose a judiciary that is truly independent because publicly financed candidates don’t have to rely on support from lawyers and special interest contributors who frequently have cases before the court. More
Issues: Civil JusticeClean elections
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