‘Crossover Day’ is History – One Week to Go

       ‘Crossover Day’ is history, and we have one week left to go in the 2024 legislative session. Of the nearly 2,600 bills introduced, only those which have passed either the House or the Senate are still in play. Each chamber has passed over 240 of their bills to the other side, so these, and the remaining ones that made it past the Feb. 28th deadline, will be the ones fought over moving forward.

       So far, only 48 bills have been passed by both the House and Senate and sent to the Governor. Many of the worst bills have yet to make it all the way through the gauntlet to his desk. Hopefully most of the bad ones still ticking will expire at midnight on March 9th when the session comes to an end. This is in many ways a war of attrition and doing what’s needed to slow down or amend awful bills, counting votes in committees, and hurry up and wait.


       Mountain State Spotlight has a summary of the progress (or lack thereof) of major legislation in key areas important to West Virginians, and what legislators will be focused on in the final week of the session. 

       Our job moving forward is to try to get the few good bills still breathing after Crossover Day over the finish line and make as many bumps in the road as possible for those we want to die. 

       This is where you, our citizen activists, can really help! Thursday was a day of action for fully funding Medicaid and opposing increased work requirements for SNAP (food stamps). Folks from key areas of the state traveled to Charleston to meet with their delegates and senators to share their concerns and support for these vital anti-hunger and healthcare programs. 

       If you can come down to the Capitol for a day, let us know and we’ll work out a day and time to hook you up with one of the many advocates aligned with your interests. Democracy is a contact sport and, in between elections we must contact those who got elected to represent us to let them know what we expect of them. If you can’t come down to do it in person and be a witness to the grinding of the sausage of lawmaking, please pick a few bills you’re concerned with passing or opposing and look up your legislators here to call or write about these bills. They pay attention when the voters back home take the time to contact them, so be sure to include the fact that you’re a constituent at the top of your message or voice mail. 

Another action everyone can take is to invest in WV Citizen Action by becoming a supporting member here! Thanks to all who’ve already renewed or joined!


       Addendum: Speaking of bumps in the road: $465 million bump in road to passing a budget

       Although the Crossover Day deadline does not apply to the budget or supplemental appropriation bills, in an unprecedented move, the Senate suspended the rule requiring bills be read on three separate days to pass its version of the budget on Day 50. The following day, the House Finance Committee advanced a different version in the face of news that the state may be forced to repay the federal government $465 million due to the Governor’s mis-management of COVID-19 funds, and the Legislature’s underfunding of public education. Our friends at the WV Center on Budget and Policy break down how the two versions of the budget stack up compared to the Governor’s proposed budget and pre-pandemic spending. Bottom line: Both the House and Senate budget proposals reduce spending on public education and fail to fully fund Medicaid. The Center’s advice to lawmakers: 

“Rather than facing clawbacks to federal money, the legislature should pass a budget that increases funding for and adequately supports our public education and health care systems—not only to be in compliance with federal requirements but also because it’s the right thing to do for our people and our economy. Lawmakers should also repeal the [automatic] triggers [in the 2023 tax cut bill] that will create annual uncertainty like this, while continuing to inhibit important spending needs in public education, child care, and health care.” 

       Read more about the $465 million dollar problem here

Send this to a friend