This week and in a straight political party line vote, the Democrats in the West Virginia House of Delegates Constitutional Revision Committee voted to ram through a Constitutional Amendment (HJR 29) which would make it easier to raise taxes. It now goes to the House Judiciary Committee for further consideration before going to the full House of Delegates for a vote. HJR29 would decrease the amount of votes (from 60% to 50%) that counties and local governments need to pass non-school bonds and other levies. Since this is a Constitutional Amendment, HJR 29 must be approved by two-thirds of the Legislature, before it goes to the voters for final approval. Eastern Panhandle area delegates who voted against HJR 29 were Larry D. Kump, Eric Householder, and John Overington. Voting for HJR 29 was John Doyle.
Eastern Panhandle sponsors of HJR 29 are Delegates John Doyle and Tiffany Lawrence,
HB 2949 to simplify and increase property tax relief for low income senior citizens was passed unanimously by the House of Delegates and now is pending further action in the Senate.
I am pleased to be a cosponsor of HB 3125, which is a comprehensive revision of West Virginia's gun laws. It expands the rights of law-abiding gun owners and also increases the penalties for the criminal misuse of firearms and other weapons.
It also is an honor to support HB 3146, which will create an ongoing process to reduce wasteful state spending and to return those savings to the empty pockets of taxpayers in the form of yearly tax rebate payments.
Other legislative proposals still are forthcoming from me, including a Constitutional amendment to create an independent commission to oversee legislative redistricting. This would stop the partisan political "gerrymandering" of voting districts and ensure that citizens have more clout at the ballot box.
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