Over the past week, teachers filled the galleries, halls and rotunda of the Capitol, and parents and teachers rallied in support, as the Governor came out of hiding and tried to negotiate an end to the teachers’ strike that has garnered national attention. As we head into the home stretch, the strike continues as a result of the Senate’s rejection of the 5% pay raise agreed to by the Governor and approved by 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. The final vote on this extreme proposal takes place tomorrow. Act now! Tell your Delegate(s) not to play politics with women’s health and to vote NO on SJR 12.
The 2018 legislative session ends at midnight, Saturday, March 10. We can’t wait for the carnage to be over! In the meantime, keep reading for further updates and actions you can take now, and keep an eye out for other critical updates this coming week.
If you’re able, please join us for Tuesday, March 6 (9:00 am – 3:00 pm) for E-day! (Environmental Day) at the Capitol. This is our day to educate, and lobby our legislators for a cleaner West Virginia environment. Then unwind at a celebratory GREEN JAM complete with a delicious buffet, live music, and good friends at the Empty Glass right around the corner.
Something else that we’d like to bring to your attention is the need to for your continued support. Foundations don’t support lobbying so all our expenses for the fight for social, environmental, and economic justice at the Capitol is funded by YOU, our members and supporters. If you haven’t already, please take a minute to make a donation to keep this revolution going through WV Citizen Action. Thanks in advance!
Yours for Action,
Team WV CAG
Teachers’ Strike Continues As We Enter the Final Week of the SessionIn this article: Teachers' Strike Continues, Paycheck Deception Checked (for Now), Textbook Wars Anyone?, Medical Cannabis Act Improvements Continued, Big Win on Your Electric Bill!, State Parks Get Logging Reprieve, Hunger Games Still SNAPpening, Guns on Campus Nixed - OK'd at Work!?, Eliminating Education and the Arts, Killing Two Rules with a New One?, and Home Stretch ApproachingTagged: Healthcare, Kids and families, Our children our future, Poverty, SNAP, Workers Act Now: Anti-Abortion Ballot Measure Up for Final Vote Monday in the HouseYesterday, 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!Tagged: Healthcare, Inequality Judicial Budget Oversight Amendment Advances; Fate of Intermediate Court Bill UncertainAfter 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.Tagged: Budget priorities, Civil Justice The ACA, Medicaid, & Medicare Are Under Attack, AGAIN: We Need Your HelpWe need your help! The Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid and Medicare are under attack...AGAIN! With trillions of dollars going to tax breaks for the most wealthy Americans and corporations, funding will be taken away from critical healthcare programs! We are looking for your stories to share with the public about how and why these cuts would effect you, your family, or someone you know! While we fight to protect these important programs, we continue to work for solutions to our healthcare crisis. Join us at one of these upcoming healthcare forums to learn more about how our healthcare system got so complicated, why it’s under attack and what we can do about it. Tagged: Healthcare, Kids and families, Medicare You, Too, Can Follow the MoneyIt's a rare day when a committee hearing on a bill before the West Virginia state house makes it into the New York Times and Fox News. In what is now likely a familiar story to most reading this, Lissa Lucas was escorted from the House chamber after being called out of order for reading a list of donations that each of the committee members had taken from interests that stood to benefit from the bill before the committee. Lucas is a candidate running for a House seat in this election, but you don't have to be running for office to get access to the information on campaign donors— you can do it too. Unfortunately, there is a big hole in the information available to the public, and it’s called dark money. West Virginia can and should do better at disclosing these secret and unaccountable sources of political influence, but in the meantime, try out one of these easy tools and take a look at the wealth of information they have on your legislators’ campaign donations.Tagged: Clean elections As Redistricting Bill Dies in the House, Commission Proposal Considered in Senate Judiciary CommitteeHB 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. Tagged: Clean elections
“Co-Tenancy” Bill Passes Senate, Bills to Help Those Affected By Drilling Die in CommitteeThe “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. Tagged: Energy, Fracking, Pollution