The legislative session started out with a BANG on day one as the Senate leadership promptly used their super majority to suspend the rules, ram through 23 bills and send them to the House. These were mostly (but not all) ones that had passed out last year and died in the House. This also happened last year, but it’s a terrible way to legislate without public notice or internal debate.The Senate is supposed to be the legislature’s deliberative body!
The House is moving mostly at the normal pace, but their Finance committee pulled a fast one on Thursday and added the governor’s 50% personal income tax cut to their agenda at the last minute and passed it out to the floor. See our allies at the WV Center on Budget and Policy on why it’s a terrible idea to use the excuse of a temporary (inflated) budget surplus to permanently gut a quarter of the state’s annual revenue, then take this action to tell your lawmakers to just say NO.
Resources for Following the Action
In addition to getting this weekly update, there are lots of resources for keeping up on the daily hijinks at the ‘Bad Idea Factory’ (as Delegate Pushkin often calls it). Here is a short list:
- Mountain State Spotlight has a daily digest of their antics. Sign up here to get it in your inbox!
- WV Public Broadcasting has thankfully brought back their daily 30 minute Legislature Today simulcast to TV and radio.
- WVPB veterans Giles Snyder and Dave Mistich, who now work at NPR, are providing coverage of the legislative session via 60 Days.
- WV MetroNews has excellent and timely coverage.
- The Charleston Gazette-Mail has a paywall, so consider an online subscription (first month free). Mike Tony’s and Phil Kabler’s articles alone are worth the cost.
- Black by God is a community-led news organization based in West Virginia focusing on Black issues and voices, and holding government accountable to the people. Check out the BBG Citizen’s Guide to Online Advocacy here.
- The WV Legislature’s website is a great resource for live audio and video of the action and tracking bills of interest.
- Search for @wvsenate and @wvhouse on www.twitter.com for minute by minute updates on floor sessions and announcements of committee meetings.
- Our friends at the WV Environmental Council, the WV Center on Budget and Policy, the WV Rivers Coalition, WV FREE, ACLU of WV and WV NOW all are watching different parts of the elephant(s) in the room along with other partners and allies.