Better at Being Bad

       This session has seen a plethora of bad ideas moving forward into proposed legislation. Everything from arming teachers in the classroom, to allowing child labor, jailing librarians (or teachers and museum curators) for exposing minors to “obscene” materials, squelching protest, removing immunization requirements for children in private or parochial schools, and cutting SNAP and unemployment benefits, precious legislative resources are being squandered on too many of these bad ideas. 

Take Action to Protect SNAP Food Assistance for Children and Families

Reject Cuts to Unemployment Insurance

       Meanwhile, major issues facing our state such as our broken child protection system, fair pay for state workers, access to healthcare, fixing the state correctional system, and other crises are getting lip service or mostly being ignored. 

       Much time is taken up fixing imaginary problems. One example is a ban on a new voting method that is gaining popularity around the country. Called Instant Runoff Voting or Ranked Choice Voting, it allows voters in races with more than two candidates to rank candidates in order of preference. This process makes sure that the winning candidate has been chosen by at least 50+1 majority of voters. However, our current Secretary of State has come out against this novel method that gives voters more choice and three bills have been introduced to ban it in WV before it’s ever even tried here. Don’t they know that, in nearly every state and city it’s been tried, the voters have an overwhelmingly favorable opinion of it? Another non-problem lawmakers are seeking to address is non-citizens voting in our elections. This is already illegal under state and federal law, but the Legislature wants to amend the prohibition into the State constitution. The House has already signed off on putting this before voters in November

       One of the dangers of such a supermajority is that leadership can pass just about anything they can agree upon. The governor is usually the last defense against some of the more insidious stuff that passes, but our current one, who’s running for US Senate, is more like a cheerleader than a backstop. So far 31 bills have been passed and sent to the governor. Twelve of these have already been signed into law. To be fair, several of them do address needed reforms but the whole process is so gummed up with these ‘off the wall’ issues that it’s amazing that anything of value gets through. Our admiration goes out to the minority party legislators (and allied citizen groups) up there every day trying to inject some sanity into “the Bad Idea Factory”!

       Next Wednesday (Feb. 28th) is “Crossover Day” when all bills need to be passed out of their house of origin over to the other side. This will cross lots of bad bills (and many of the ones we’re rooting for) off the list of active bills, and make our work a little less crazy! We’re now beginning to see split floor sessions to keep bills moving and longer committee meetings rolling into the evening hours. Sigh…

Good Idea – Renew your Membership Now!

       We want to give a big shout out and THANK YOU to everyone who’s already sent in a new or renewing membership contribution! Your green energy helps us keep up with the session and advocate for our common issues. If you haven’t yet, please take a minute right now to send some green energy in to support our Citizen Action lobby team. 

Updated: February 22, 2024 — 2:18 pm
Send this to a friend