Category: Newsletter article

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Newsletter article Savanna Lyons February 11, 2019
Say NO to charter schools (and other updates)!
This week, State Superintendent Steve Paine reportedly ordered the creation of a "charter school pilot" project in two predominantly Black communities in Cabell and Kanawha counties. The project would transform Mary C. Snow Elementary (in Charleston's West side neighborhood) and Spring Hill Elementary (and Huntington's Fairfield West neighborhood) into charter schools, after little or no conversation with these communities and their students, parents and educators. This announcement follows in the heels of Republicans' efforts to ram charter schools through the legislature as part of the education omnibus bill. More
Issues: DiscriminationEducationInequality
Newsletter article   February 10, 2019
Senate Sends Water Quality Rule to the House With No Updated Health Protections
The West Virginia Senate voted Thursday to pass the water quality standards rule (SB 163) without updated protections for drinking water. Join us in thanking the 12 Senators that voted NO on the bill that did not include the updated protections. Let them know you appreciate them being champions for public health and safe drinking water. We’ll need to put even more pressure on members of the House as they begin to consider the bill. The legislature is listening and there is a still a long way to go until the bill is law. Stay engaged! More
Issues: PollutionWater
Newsletter article Gary Zuckett February 10, 2019
Half-Way There
Last Thursday was day 30 of the 60-day legislative session. It was also Environment Day (E-Day) and All Kinds Are Welcome Here Lobby Day. Meanwhile, the polluters and the bigots were busy doing their dirty work in committees and in the chambers. Now that the midpoint is passed, several significant deadlines are looming, which up the ante for those who are working to pass more progressive policies in a body with a conservative leadership. More here, on what's moving and languishing. More
Issues: DiscriminationEducationEnergyKids and familiesPollutionSNAPWater
Newsletter article Julie Archer February 10, 2019
Calls Needed to Help Advance the Pro-Democracy, Anti-Corruption Platform
West Virginians understand the urgent need to strengthen our democracy and make our politicians work for us, not wealthy special interests. We need your help to make this a reality. Several bills have been introduced that advance the goals of the Pro-Democracy, Anti-Corruption Platform. Unfortunately, these bills are being held up in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Contact Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump at (304) 357-7880 and ask him to put these bills up for a vote! More
Issues: Clean elections
Newsletter article Gary Zuckett January 28, 2019
Week Three Heats Things Up
The 2019 WV Legislature now has 1,119 bills on its plate and is starting to get a heartburn that Tums won’t cure. The first three bills described below are a major source of the legislative indigestion. They cover foster care, education, and yet again, the courts. More
Issues: Civil JusticeEducationEnergyOur children our futureWater
Newsletter article Julie Archer January 27, 2019
Pro-Democracy Platform Update: Voting Rights Restoration, Court Bills Advancing
As we mentioned last week, several bills have been introduced that help advance the goals of the Pro-Democracy, Anti-Corruption Platform. Two of these bills have started to work their way through the legislative process. More details here, along with a complete list of bills we’re supporting as part of the Pro-Democracy, Anti-Corruption Platform. More
Issues: Civil JusticeClean elections
Newsletter article   January 21, 2019
Tell Lawmakers to Protect Our Health
Please call the members of the Senate Energy, Industry and Mining committee today. Tell them “to adopt the EPA-recommended human health criteria updates that strengthen our water protections!” More
Issues: PollutionWater
Newsletter article Savanna Lyons January 21, 2019
How You Can Help End the Government Shutdown
On Tuesday, about 50 people rallied at Senator Capito's Charleston office, asking her to "stop playing politics with our lives," end the government shutdown, and forget the border wall. Rally speakers emphasized how the shutdown does the most harm to the people who need the most support – seniors, struggling families, and kids. More here on how you can help end the shutdown. More
Issues: Budget prioritiesInequalityKids and familiesPovertySNAPWorkers
Newsletter article Gary Zuckett January 21, 2019
Week Two – Full to Overflowing!
Week two at the legislature was a busy one. Meetings with potential bill sponsors, checking daily bills introduced (now totaling 876), monitoring committees as they take up and amend legislation. This is just the daily grind. Then there are the special events and actions we’re co-sponsoring and/or showing up for. More about the some of these activities, and a short list of the good, bad, and just plain ugly bills that we’re either promoting or trying to stop here. More
Issues: Budget prioritiesClean electionsFair taxationSNAPWater
Newsletter article Julie Archer January 20, 2019
The Pro-Democracy, Anti-Corruption Platform: Stand Up, Stamp Up for Your Rights
We had a great time last week promoting the Pro-Democracy Anti-Corruption Platform at Kids and Families Day hosted by the Our Children, Our Future (OCOF) campaign. We also encouraged folks to help spread the word about the need to fight the influence of money in politics, and demonstrate support for the solution by stamping their money with messages like “Stamp Money Out of Politics, “Not to Be Used to Buy Elections,” and “Stop the Attack on Voting Rights.” Several bills have been introduced that advance the goals of the platform have been introduced. Learn more here. More
Issues: Clean electionsKids and familiesOur children our future
Newsletter article Gary Zuckett January 13, 2019
2019 Legislative Session Kicks Off
The 2019 session of the WV Legislature kicked off on Wednesday, January 9. Here's a glimpse at some of the upcoming fights and things to watch for, and a list of resources to help you be an informed activist throughout the session. More
Issues: Budget prioritiesCivil JusticeFair taxationHealthcarePollutionWater
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   March 16, 2018
Water Policy Update
Several bad bills that would have been harmful to water quality and the environment, died this legislative session thanks to the efforts of our friends at the WV Rivers Coalition (WVRC) and the WV Environmental Council (WVEC). Two bills passed that our allies were able to secure improvements to. Read more here, then check out the legislative wrap-ups from WVRC and WVEC. More
Issues: PollutionWater
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 Gary Zuckett March 16, 2018
2018 Legislative Wrap-Up
The 2018 legislative session is FINALLY over, and this is our wrap-up edition. In this article: A Strike and Two Vetoes?, 5% Raise and PEIA Task Force Reopen Schools, Collateral Damage, Timber Bill Cut Down, SB 600 = Tons of BS, Regulation Two-Fer, Guns-R-Us, Cannabis Sabotage, and Another Shade of Green. More
Issues: EnergyHealthcareKids and familiesPollutionWorkers
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   March 4, 2018
You, Too, Can Follow the Money
It'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. More
Issues: Clean elections
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 Alexandra Gallo March 4, 2018
The ACA, Medicaid, & Medicare Are Under Attack, AGAIN: We Need Your Help
We 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. More
Issues: HealthcareKids and familiesMedicare
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
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