With only a week left in the Legislative session, most proposals have not survived, although there remains a possibility that some of them will be resurrected in last minute wheelings and dealings during the coming week. Meanwhile, the deadline now has passed for legislative bills to be approved by their orginating chamber (House or Senate). The House of Delegates and Senate now will concentrate our remaining time on voting on bills that already have passed the other chamber.
The Democrat proposal for an additional tax of $1.00 a pack on cigarettes as well as a proposal to diminish West Virginia's electoral status in Presidential elections did not pass.
Democrats in the West Virginia House of Delegates also voted to refuse consideration of their own proposal to reduce the sales tax on groceries (HB 2649, Roll Call Vote #152). Voting in favor of reducing the grocery tax were Delegates Duke, Kump, and Overington. Voting against further consideration of reducing the grocery tax were Delegates Doyle and Lawrence.
The following House of Delegates legislation now goes to the Senate for further consideration:
HB 2732, to increase court fees to provide political campaign contributions to candidates for election to the West Virginia Supreme Court, passed the House of Delegates by a vote of 65 to 35 (Roll Call # 191). Voting against HB 2732 were Delegates Cowles, Duke, Householder, Kump, J. Miller, and Overington. Voting for the fee increases were Delegates Doyle and Lawrence.
HB 2946 requires the ingredient pseudoephedrine in the cold medication "Sudafed" to become only available by higher cost medical prescriptions. It also subjects those who obtain or have it without a doctor's prescription to possible criminal charges. HB 2946 passed the House of Delegates by a vote of 77-23 (Roll Call #196). Voting for HB 2946 were Delegates Doyle, Duke, Overington, and Lawrence. Voting against HB 2946 were Delegates Cowles, Householder, Kump, and J. Miller. One of the authors of HB 2946, Delegate Don C. Perdue (D-Wayne County), in a speech to persuade Delegates to vote for this proposal, pointed out that pseudoephedrine sometimes is used to make illegal drugs. He then went on to further recommend passage of HB 2946 by using "Communist China" as an example of enforcement efforts against drug offenders.
There will be much activity and some surprises during the upcoming final week of the Legislature.