From Lida Shepherd, American Friends Service Committee WV Economic Justice Project
Thanks to the many of you who took action on SB 488 to restore voting rights for people on parole or probation. The bill had tremendous bi-partisan support, and groups including WV Families of Convicted People, ACLU-WV, Recovery Point, plus hundreds of people around the state made phone calls or showed up at the Capitol to talk with lawmakers about the importance of this bill.
Unfortunately politics trumped good policy, and leadership was not willing to buck a couple of senators who were opposed. Around 10,000 West Virginians will not have their voting rights restored this year. That is the bad news. But the good news is thanks to all the heart and work put into making this policy change, we are well poised to get it through in 2023.
There is some other good news. Two good bills are alive and kicking! But the extended supervision bill which passed the House we are still worried might continue to move in the Senate. Consider sending a message about all three bills to Senate judiciary members by clicking here.
- SUPPORT HB 4373 – no longer consider fentanyl test strips drug paraphernalia – by no longer including fentanyl test strips as drug paraphernalia, this bill will save people’s lives from overdose.
- SUPPORT HB 4522 – automatic expungement for non-convictions – people who have not been convicted of a crime should not have to jump through hoops to clear their record.
- OPPOSE HB 2257 – mandatory 10 years additional extended supervision for 2nd offense involving fentanyl – this bill will drive up incarceration rates for technical violations, inhibit workforce participation, and have no impact reducing drug crimes.
Thanks for your interest! 6 more days of session to go!