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Last Wednesday was Crossover Day, when all bills not passed out of their house of origin are considered “dead”. “Dead” is in quotations because, when leadership wants a bill, it can come back to life like zombies. It can happen in a number of ways so advocates must be on the watch this week for these zombie bills until the stroke of midnight on March 12th when the session ends.
This has already happened to the anti-CRT/classroom censorship bill that died in the House and was then resurrected by the Senate and sent to the House. On this subject see the open letter to legislators by Sheila Coleman-Castells in West Virginia’s Black By God entitled ‘Eighth Grade Civics Refresher.’
Still Dead (for Now)
Several bad bills of note died on Crossover, the one neutering the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training Safety, and another anti-worker bill doing away with ‘deliberate intent’ liability, when employers ignore safety hazards resulting in workers injuries or deaths. Another one was the bill to limit and regulate services to and stigmatize the homeless. Hopefully they’ll stay dead.
Lots of good bills died too, including our Medicaid Buy-In, which would have allowed workers making a little too much over the income limit to buy into Medicaid instead of falling off the income ‘cliff’ and losing coverage. We’ll be back next year to get this one across the finish line!
Orwell was Right
Our ally Rick Wilson with the American Friends Service Committee had a tough hitting op-ed in Saturday’s Gazette-Mail citing George Orwell and calling out the Legislature for their focus on pushing ‘cookie-cutter’ legislation copied from radical conservative think tanks that seek to divide us into feuding camps while the 1% continue to drain public funds into for-profit scams. “Make Orwell Fiction Again” is an apt bumper sticker for our times. If you don’t have an on-line subscription to the Gazette-Mail you’re missing a lot of good local reporting and writing.
Thank You Everyone
We want to send out a big thanks to all who already have and to those who may take actions on bills this coming week. This is the way democracy is supposed to work. You, the citizen, vote for your representatives, then in addition, give them instructions on how to best govern. Your messages to lawmakers provide input from regular West Virginians. When they only hear from lobbyists and big-money special interests, their world is skewed towards that narrow focus. Regular West Virginians know how to solve the problems facing our state, and make West Virginia a better place. So please keep up the outreach to your legislators!
Also reach for your checkbook or click on this link to renew or become a new supporting member of WV Citizen Action. We’ll be moving past this legislative session soon but there is still a mountain of work needed to rebuild the Mountain State and your support and energy is needed now more than ever. Thanks again!