Week four has seen the introduction of 1,388 bills in the House and 613 in the Senate as of today, Jan. 31, 2024. The last day to introduce bills in the House is Feb. 13 (which is also E-Day) and in the Senate the cutoff for new bills is Feb. 19. These dates can’t come too soon as every day more pile on.
Speaking of piling on, Big Jim’s Senate Campaign (excuse me, I mean Governor Justice’s legislative posturing) added to the pile at a Monday press conference with a bill called the “Women’s Bill of Rights.” HB 5243 would “define “women” and “female” in state code as well as define “women-only spaces,” such as locker rooms. It’s now in the House Judiciary Committee. The culture wars are ramping up into this new election season to turn out red voters.
What About Throwing Your Hat In?
Saturday was the deadline for filing to run for office so we now know (mostly) who the major candidates are for the primary elections. Republicans also decided on Saturday to kick independent voters out of their primary elections, but not till 2026. This seems odd since they’ve for decades made primaries open to non-affiliated voters.
Political parties still have an option of appointing candidates to fill vacancies on their ballots and here’s hoping the Dems find some additional candidates as their ballot has more vacancies than candidates in House races. It ain’t a race with only one runner!
Here’s a thought: Check here to see if your delegate is running unopposed, and, if so, contact your party’s county executive committee to get yourself appointed to run! Democracy is a participatory sport. Do it right away, as there is a short window for this to happen. Call us if you want to talk it over.
Your Input Is Important!
We’re talking with legislators all the time about bills we support and oppose, but when they hear from the voters back home, they really pay attention! This is where your actions as a citizen can make a difference! As you read through this update take a few minutes to send a personal note to your legislators on issues that resonate with you. Find them here. Another way you can make a difference is to become a supporting member of Citizen Action. Thanks to all who have done so already!
Message to PSC – Leave Net Metering Alone!
Solar advocates from around the state gathered at the Capitol on Saturday to send a message to lawmakers and the Public Service Commission – “It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It! — Leave Solar Net Metering alone! The ‘Save our Solar’ rally was sponsored by WV CAG and other West Virginians for Energy Freedom partners with help from Solar Holler. Around 150 folks from all over the state showed up to support Solar Net Metering and Community Solar.
Earlier last week, Net Metering was explained to the Commission by the CEO of Solar Holler, Dan Conant, as “an accounting practice that measures energy use versus energy production” at the meters of a home or small business with solar panels that are connected to the utilities grid. Homeowners get credit for the energy they send out to the electric grid and then can draw down electricity against that credit when the sun goes down.
Since its inception in 2007, when WV CAG and the WV Environmental Council petitioned the PSC to get Net Metering started, it’s been an even trade. But now the First Energy affiliates, Mon Power and Potomac Edison want to slash this credit by around 50% from retail to wholesale value. This money grab has solar advocates up in arms and the PSC has had over 1,000 web-mailed public comments opposing this money grab. At last week’s public hearing dozens of folks from around the state testified in person and over the internet on the benefits of Net metering and to just say NO to changes in credits. At this point we’re waiting to see what the PSC ruling does to Net Metering.