Saturday, December 29, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Simply put, let us all adopt Virgil's suggestion: "Durate et vosmet rebus servate secundus" (Carry on, and reserve yourselves for better times).
Also, let's put into both word and deed Thomas Jefferson's counsel: "Non solum nobis, sed patriae" (Not for ourselves only, but for our country).
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Sheriff term limits up for vote
Footnote: There was a longer version of this article published on Friday, October 26th in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail newspaper, to which reporter Matthew Umstead contributed, but it was not available on-line.
November 7th Postscript: West Virginia voters resoundingly defeated this proposed constituional amendment, which also has been defeated by our citizens many times previously in prior elections. In point of fact, this proposal now has been voted down five times by Mountaineer citizens (1962, 1973, 1982, 1994, and 2012). Given the opportunity, it is my considered opinion that the people of West Virginia would vote for term limits for all elected officials.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
In a letter to West Virginia Delegate Larry D. Kump, Contractors Association of West Virginia Executive Director Mike Clowser wrote, "On behalf of the 475 members of the Contractors Association of West Virginia,...We appreciate the availability you always afford us to discuss the opportunities and the challenges of the construction industry in West Virginia.".
For more information, contact: Mike Clowser at (304)342-1166 or email@example.com.
Wednesday October 24, 2012
Early voting begins in W.Va., runs through Nov. 3
Footnote: 877 citizens voted on the first day of early voting in Berkeley County, West Virginia. Also, an important issue on the ballot is a proposed amendment to the West Virginia State Constitution, regarding whether or not to eliminate term limits for County Sheriffs.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Even better, there was a long line of voters behind me, stretching out through the door of the Election Center.
Early Voting in West Virginia will continue at County Election Centers throughout West Virginia from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Wednesday, October 24th through Saturday, November 3rd (except for Sunday, October 28th).
For those Mountaineers who prefer to wait and vote on election day (Tuesday, November 6th), you can confirm your election day polling place by visiting www.wvsos.com.
Elections matter, and every vote really does count.
So, what are you waiting for?
Postscript: 877 citizens participated in the first day of early voting in Berkeley County, West Virginia. Another important issue on the West Virginia ballot this year is a proposed amendment to the West Virginia State Constitution, regarding whether or not there should be term limits for County Sheriffs.
Friday, October 19, 2012
West Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Stephen G. Roberts has announced that the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee has endorsed the re-election of Delegate Larry D. Kump to the West Virginia House of Delegates.
In a letter to Delegate Kump, President Roberts told him that, "We believe you have a history of working hard to move West Virginia forward.".
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Contact HOSPAC Treasurer Joe Letnaunchyn at (304) 353-9716 for further details.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
For further information, contact: WVMA President Karen S. Price, (304) 342-2123.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
These days it is a rare, but professional, pleasure to support any candidate for political office in whom one has the utmost confidence.
Not only am I fully satisfied with his legislative results, but his personal character (indeed his entire attitude toward life & political reality in our state) offer agreement, cooperation, & continuing success for all --including those special ideas which he offers so often & so innovatively himself. I can only wish there were more candidates in both parties I could support with the complete confidence.
I take personal pleasure in adding my name to the lengthy & growing lists of individuals & solid organizations supporting my WV State Delegate, Larry D. Kump.
Proudly . . .
David L. Woods, Phd, Adjunct Professor at Marshall University & Captain, USNR (Ret.)-- from "The Woods", Hedgesville, WV
Monday, October 1, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
In a letter to Delegate Kump from BIC Chairman Janet Vineyard, she pointed out to him that, "Having worked closely in my position with state government and various organizations, I deeply admire your commitment and resolve in running for state office, as the problems facing West Virginia surely will impact future generations...We look forward to working with you.".
BIC includes more than 50 West Virginia trade associations and businesses, which collectively represent more than 250,000 employees across multiple industry categories. For further information and a list of BIC members, contact Janet Vineyard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, September 28, 2012
According to WESPAC Chairman Phillip R. Stevens, MD, WESPAC is "concerned for patients' rights, the public health of WV, affordable health insurance coverage for all families, and fairness in the courtroom."
The West Virginia State Medical Association has over 2,800 members who are physicians, retired physicians, medical residents, and students.
For further information, contact Amy Tolliver at (304) 925-0342 #25.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Chris Hamilton, West Virginians for Coal, pointed out that, "We appreciate all your hard work for your district, the state and for the state's energy and extractive programs."
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Having previously studied Islam and their Quran, I wonder and worry about those who so maliciously malign all those of that faith.
We should take great care to avoid conflating the Islamic faith of approximately 1.5 billion people with the twisted agenda of some revolutionary extremists, who pervert and subvert that faith into their raison d'etre.
While not Christian, most Muslims also are God fearing and sincere in their beliefs. Defaming their faith plays into the very hands of terrorist evil-doers.
After all, how would we react if Christianity was judged on the basis of David Koresh's child abuse or the Reverend Jim Jones' kool-aid drinkers?
Postscript: The purpose of this entry solely was to caution against sterotyping any group of people. I did not make any distinctions regarding the validity of the various sects of the Islamic (or any other) faith, nor did I suggest any weakening of support for American Excellence (as embodied by our Constitution) or our national interests. Furthermore, this entry made no suggestions whatsoever regarding our Middle Eastern foreign policy.
Note: See other entries on this issue.
In matters of faith the primary call to the believer is to know his or her faith and to incorporate that faith into his or her life.
The primary focus of our faith should lie in ourselves, not in rushing to condemn others, who may not hold the same belief set that we do.
A tricky proposition at best.
And yet, if one really studies the history of o ur country and asks the question, "What caused many of our ancestors to leave their old homeland, family, and friends and undertake a risky journey across many a stormy sea?", you will find in a surprisingly large number of cases the answer was "Religious Intolerance."
Grace and Peace,
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Friday, August 3, 2012
You guardians of our safety are overworked and underpaid.
Please pass along my gratitude to all of your staff for all that all of you do for all of us.
-Delegate Larry D. Kump
From: State Police Captain Robert A. Blair
Sent: Aug 3, 2012
To: Delegate Larry D. Kump
Subject: Reckless Drivers
Thank you Sir. We have been getting numerous calls in this area and as you so correctly stated, we are stretched very thin. I will pass this on and see if we can get a few patrols and possibly catch a few of the offenders. The other issue we have is where to initiate a traffic stop in the construction zone (no place to safely stop a vehicle). I appreciate your support and how you handle these citizen complaints. We want to get the reckless drivers just as much or more than the citizens that call in. Again thanks and please do not hesitate to call upon the WVSP if you need anything.
Captain Rob Blair
Troop 2 Commander
West Virginia State Police
From:Delegate Larry D. Kump
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012
The law is clear.
It's mostly a matter of citizen good sense and responsibility.
Police coverage is already stretched thin on other pressing public safety concerns, but I will pass along your alert.
cc: State Police
Citizen Concern Voiced:
More and more drivers are blowing thru construction zone merge ramps on to 81 from Spring mills up and down. Almost got swiped. Anything we can do to alert the staties? I see it all time.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
For more information, contact WV Farm Bureau President Charles Wilfong at (304) 472-2080.
Note: Check out the video links on the right hand side of this website.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
Doctor Wanda Franz, WVL-PAC President, said, "We appreciate the support Larry D. Kump has given to the pro-life cause during the last Legislative session in Charleston. Much work needs to be done to pass legislation to benefit the families of West Virginia, and we look forward to increasing the protection of life in future sessions."
For further information, contact WVL-PAC President Wanda Franz at (304) 599-0798 or WVL-PAC Program Director Mary Anne Buchanan at (304) 594-9845.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Regardless of the good intentions of the sponsors of HB 4605, which was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, I strongly spoke out and voted against this ill-conceived legislation. It greatly increases license fees for West Virginia marriages and also attempts to coerce nascent newlyweds into a government approved indoctrination course.
Bottom line: West Virginia now is discouraging marriage, by increasing marriage fees and adding more bureaucratic challenges to nuptials.
"Laurel & Hardy" perhaps sum this up best, "Here's another fine mess...".
Friday, June 15, 2012
Do they not realize that they are contributing to the disillusionment and disgust of the people in our entire political process and Constitutional system of governance, bought so dearly by patriots' blood?
Are our forefathers turning over in their graves?
Is *Atlas shrugging?
* "Atlas Shrugged" is a political novel by Ayn Rand.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
"God gave all men all earth to love,
But, since our hearts are small,
Ordained for each, one spot should prove
Beloved over all."
Monday, May 28, 2012
Not so surprisingly, some immediately howled in protest about the embarrassment to the people and leadership of our Mountain State, even though there have been similar situations and outcomes, both before and since, in other States.
However, today's Martinsburg Journal editorial (Monday, 28 May 2012) had it exactly right when they cautioned the West Virginia Legislature to resist the temptation to "enact a knee-jerk reaction law to keep legitimate, if lessor known candidates off the ballot.'
The Journal correctly went on to point out "that would smack of a system intended to protect those already in power...".
Instead, of ham-fisted attempts to restrict the will of the voters, how about instead increasing ballot access for all putative candidates, regardless of their political party affiliation or other so-called "insider" bonafides?
After all, doesn't our government belong to the people, and not the other way around?
Monday, May 14, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Mountain State voters may vote early in the Primary election at their local county voter registration offices from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on April 25, 26, 27, 28, 30 and May 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Otherwise, regular election polling places will be open on Tuesday, May 8th, from 6:30 AM until 7:30PM.
Voting is one of our supernal rights and responsibitiles.
Please also pass this message along to others.
Well, what are you waiting for?
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
The West Virginia Health Care Association (WVHCA) represents over 18,000 healthcare employees, who watch over and take care of over 12,000 frail, elderly, and disabled residents every day in the Mountain State.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
The above is a Martinsburg Journal newspaper photo of me studying the policy proposal at the Berkeley County Council public hearing last night on fire fees (see "Fee Increase Proposed" entry below at this website). My "friends" added the balloon caption above me. (I think they were at work when they did this. I wonder who's their supervisor?)
Postscript: The suggestion by Mike Folk to continue to exempt agricultural (farm) buildings from fire fees was endorsed by the Berkeley County Fire Board and adopted by the Berkeley County Council.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
The Board of Directors of the West Virginia Business and Industry Council (BIC) met, and you have our endorsement.
We have had the pleasure of working with you, as an incumbent legislator, and look forward to your return to Charleston.
The West Virginia Business and Industry Council (BIC) is comprised of more than sixty West Virginia trade associations and businesses which collectively represent more than 395,000 employees across twenty-six multiple industry categories. BIC is committed to working with the Legislature to come up with effective and politically viable solutions to critical issues such as economic and jobs development, fiscal responsibility, responsible government, education, and legal reform.
Janet S. Vineyard, Chairman
West Virginia Business and Industry Council (BIC)
Monday, March 19, 2012
I wish we had more people like you running for office. Hang in there, it must be a daunting task working in the legislative arena. It amazes and scares me that many of our leaders are so clueless.
P.S.: I like the way you think.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
HR 40 passed, expressing concern about the steady growth in the number and cost of taxpayer funded abortions and urging further evaluation of this issue. Eastern Panhandle legislators voting for HR 40 were Delegates Daryl Cowles, Walter Duke, Eric Householder, Jonathan Miller, Larry D. Kump. and John Overington. Voting against HR 40 were Delegates John Doyle and Tiffany Lawrence. (Roll Call #313)
HB 4605 passed, increasing marriage license fees in order to fund government directed marriage training (part of the fee to be refunded upon completion of the training). Eastern Panhandle Delegates voting for HB 4605 were Delegates John Doyle, Walter Duke, Eric Householder. Tiffany Lawrence, Jonathan Miller, and John Overington. Voting against HB 4605 were Delegate Daryl Cowles and Larry D. Kump. (Roll Call #194)
SB 477 passed. It is a nineteen page bill, prompted by the recent hysteria caused by the escape of some zoo animals in Ohio. SB 477 directs the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to establish permits, fees,and regulations for keeping "exotic" pets (including birds, amphibians, mammals, reptiles, and fresh water fish). If signed into law by the Governor, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will develop these rules under an "emergency" mandate. This bill begs the question, " Should it take a village to raise a ferret?". Pet owner confidence in this proposal and process ranges from "Slim" to "None" (and Slim left town). Eastern Panhandle Delegates voting for SB 477 were John Doyle, Walter Duke, Tiffany Lawrence, and John Overington. Voting against SB 477 were Delegates Daryl Cowles, Eric Householder, Larry D. Kump, and Jonathan Miller. (Roll Call #477)
SB 211, making a Primary traffic offense to use cell phones or texting while driving was passed. In the Eastern Panhandle, only Delegate Larry D. Kump voted against SB 211 (Roll Call #315). It is noted, with irony, that lack of seat belt use is not a Primary traffic offense in West Virginia.
With the increased mandate and burgeoning cost to taxpayers for law enforcement and prisons, no legislation was passed to reform our criminal justice system.
While there was no change in the law to make Sudafed a prescription drug, the passage of SB 437 does decrease the amount of Sudafed that can be purchased on an over-the-counter basis.
Funding was approved to increase lodging at Cacapon State Park.
Efforts to increase citizen access to non-confidential government information did not gain legislative approval.
Finally, although many have called for the West Virginia Secretary of State to have greater enforcement power over election fraud, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant pushed hard for passage of SB 461, which actually would have reduced her election fraud enforcement authority. SB 461 died in the last few minutes of the legislative session.
For further information on all 2012 legislative issues, click on "WV State Legislature" (under "Links", on the right hand side of this webpage). Also check out the links under "Videos".
Monday, March 12, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
However, there are important governing principles and policies which should prompt us to pause and ponder what our elected leaders have been and are doing.
All of us need to better understand and stand up for what we expect from our elected leaders, both here in the West Virginia State House and in our nation's capitol.
Legislators oft are prone to attempt to pass laws, in order to justify continuance in office, and, as Shakespeare once put it, "therein lies the rub".
Not all laws are good laws, and some of this year's proposed and enacted laws should send a chill down the spines of lovers of liberty.
One egregious case in point is the federally mandated "Real ID" law, which took effect here in West Virginia this past January. It makes getting and renewing drivers' licenses a horrible hassle for everyone, but especially for women whose names have changed because of previous marriages or divorces. Most of us are not yet even aware of the true extent of this waking nightmare, but it will get up close and personal for each and every one of us when we go to renew our driving licenses.
Other examples, during the 2012 session of the West Virginia Legislature, included legislative attempts to impose criminal penalties on previously legal activities and also increase the penalties for other crimes. All of this is going on when West Virginia has the second highest rate of prison incarceration in the nation and our local and state governments are reeling from the devastating expense of building and maintaining prisons and jails.
Additional legislative proposals this year also sought to limit our freedom and empower government to further dictate our choices for us.
More and more folks are becoming disgusted with both major political parties. The ranks of unaffiliated or independent voters, as well as those who have completely opted out of even voting at all, are growing.
And yet, our government belongs to each of us, and not the other way around.
Please do your part, keep an eagle eye on all of us elected leaders, and always remember that the job of West Virginia citizen legislators is to work on your behalf and to preserve your liberty.
Meanwhile, visit www.wvsos.com to learn about West Virginia's 2012 candidates in the May primary election and the November general election.
Furthermore, you can click on "WV State Legislature" for more information about specific legislative issues and leaders (right hand side of this webpage, under "Links"), and, finally, click on "Why It Matters" (under "Videos", also on the right hand side of this webpage).
Footnote: Although the 2012 Regular Legislative Session will end after Midnight tonight, legislators also will be at the State Capitol next week to finalize approval of the State Budget.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Accordingly, I am introducing the following for further legislative study:
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION #115
(By Delegate Kump)
Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study the "Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act" and all other WV laws and regulations applicable to Home Owners Associations for the purpose of clarifying and updating the status of WV Homeowners Associations and proposing legislation which may aid in the relation of consumers with these Associations.
WHEREAS, an increasing number of West Virginians live in homes which are part of planned developments and which are subject to governance by Home Owner's Associations; and
WHEREAS, this body has previously, through laws such as the uniform common interest ownership act, attempted not only to regulate the actions of these associations, and to clarify the powers of these bodies and their relationship to the government and to the people and also to protect the interest of the consuming public; and
WHEREAS, The Legislature seeks to address concerns that sufficient oversight does not currently exist to ensure that Home Owner's Associations adequately protect consumer's interests; therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study the "Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act" and all other WV laws and regulations applicable to Home Owners Associations for the purpose of clarifying and updating the status of WV Homeowners Associations and to study the feasibility of creating legislation consistent with the committee's findings; and proposing legislation to achieve this goal; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the committee shall consider such other information or documentation as the committee may request in order to achieve the goals of this resolution; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Committee report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2013, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Legislative proposals which have passed the originating chamber (House of Delegates or Senate) were reviewed.
There also was further discussion about West Virginia's implementation of the federal requirement for additional documentation for drivers licenses, which has become such a nightmare for Mountaineers, especially women who have had name changes because of marriage or divorce (see previous March 4th entry below). HB 4556, an attempt to ease these regulations, was introduced by Delegates Walter Duke, Larry D. Kump, Eric Householder, John Overington, and Jonathan Miller. Sadly, HB 4556 never even was given a legislative committee hearing.
Although the Legislative Session will end after Midnight, on Saturday, March 10th, legislators will remain in the State Capitol during the following week, in order to finalize the State Budget.
Participating in this morning's Eastern Panhandle Caucus were Delegates Daryl Cowles, Larry D. Kump, Eric Householder, John Overington, Ruth Rowan, and Walter Duke.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
With the completion of the "Cross-Over Day" deadline for legislation to pass the originating West Virginia Legislative Chamber (House of Delegates or Senate), there are four bills which recently passed the House of Delegates that prompts further comment and analysis.
HJR 113 is the proposed amendment to the West Virginia Constitution that would allow individual counties to increase the amount of property tax credits (Homestead Exemption Act) given to senior citizens and the disabled. Since HJR 113 is an amendment to our West Virginia Constitution, it requires a two-thirds vote of approval by both chambers of the Legislature (House of Delegates and Senate) and then an approving referendum by voters in the upcoming November election in order to become law. HJR 113 was approved by the House of Delegates by an unanimous vote and now goes to the Senate for further consideration. Note: Although my preference is to reduce or even eliminate property taxes for all West Virginia homeowners, HJR 113 at least has the potential for providing much needed property tax relief for senior citizens and the disabled.
HB 4263 is the West Virginia Buy American Act proposal, which callously trades upon a popular slogan and our national pride in order to increase the cost to taxpayers for public building projects. Instead of simply requiring contractors to make a reasonable effort to use American made products in public project construction, HB 4263 establishes a complicated "Rube Goldberg" set of approval rules for the use of construction materials. It also could require taxpayers to pay contractors much more than normal competitive prices for those construction materials. Even worse, the rules set by HB 4263 are so byzantine and stifling that it even actually could discriminate against West Virginial contractors and cause them to lose business because they cannot readily obtain American made project materials. HB 4263, despite its good intentions, is not a jobs creation bill. It actually could do much more harm than good.Contractor and Delegate Daryl Cowles (R-Morgan County) made valiant attempts to correct (amend) some of the worst inequities in HB 4263, but was voted down (Roll Call #136: 33 yeas, 62 nays, and 5 not voting; Roll Call #137: 31 yeas, 64 nays, and 5 not voting). Eastern Panhandle yea votes for both amendments by Delegate Cowles were Delegates Daryl Cowles, Walter Duke, Eric Householder, Larry D. Kump, Jonathan Miller, and John Overington. Voting nay on both amendments were Delegates John Doyle and Tiffany Lawrence. HB 4263 then passed the House of Delegates (Roll Call # 159 : 82 yeas, 16 nays, and 2 not voting ). Eastern Panhandle votes against passage of HB 4263 were Delegates Daryl Cowles, Eric Householder, Larry D. Kump, Jonathan Miller, and John Overington.Voting for passage of HB 4263 were Delegates John Doyle, Walter Duke, and Tiffany Lawrence. This legislation now goes to the Senate for further consideration.
HB 4392 increases the salaries of magistrates. (Roll Call # 130: 65 yeas, 30 nays, and 5 not voting) If enacted into law, it will have increased the salaries of lower tier magistrates by $27,000 over the past nine years. HB 4392 now goes to the Senate for further consideration. Note: Nay votes In the Eastern Panhandle were Delegates Walter Duke, Daryl Cowles, Eric Householder, Larry D. Kump, Jonathan Miller, and John Overington. Yea votes were Delegates John Doyle and Tiffany Lawrence. It now goes to the Senate for further consideration.
HB 4281 would provide a modest salary increase for State Troopers and unanimously passed the House of Delegates. It now will go to the Senate for further consideration.
Meanwhile, the West Virginia House of Delegates now turns its attention to consideration of legislation previously passed by the Senate.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Due to the complexity of the issues, there will be an effort to include Homeowners Association issues in a legislative interim study committee during this Summer.
A Constitutional Homestead Exemption Property Tax Amendment to allow an increase in the property tax credits for senior citizens (HJR 113) has passed the House of Delegates Constitutional Revision and Finance Committees Committees, and now is pending a vote by the House of Delegates.
A modest increase in State Trooper salaries (HB 4281) also is pending action by the House of Delegates.
Delegate Larry D. Kump will be the guest speaker on WRNR Radio from 8:40 AM - 9:00 AM on Monday, March 5th, 2012. WRNR Radio is broadcast at 740 AM, 106.5 FM, and www.talkradiowrnr.com. In Berkeley and Jefferson Counties, WRNR radio also is broadcast on Comcast channel 10.
Legislators participating in this morning's Eastern Panhandle Legislative Caucus were Delegates Larry D. Kump, John Overington, Daryl Cowles, Walter Duke, Ruth Rowan, and Gary Howell.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
HB 4555 would exempt the first $20,000 in pensions and social security benefits from West Virginia income taxes.
HB 4556 would permit the option of allowing previously used names on West Virginia Driver's Licenses.
HB 4558 would ease the penalties used to revoke West Virginia Driver's Licenses for minor infractions.
HB 4563 would save West Virginia taxpayers many millions of dollars by revising the method that wages are set for public construction projects.
Click on "WV State Legislature" under "Links" on the right hand side of this webpage for more legislative information.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Since both the above proposals are constitutional amendments, a two-thirds approval vote also will be required by the Legislature and thereafter a majority approval vote by voters in the next election before the proposed amendments become law.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Mr. Murphy explained that West Virginia still is waiting for specific federal budget project funding for about $400 million. He also reported that the I-81 widening project between Marlowe and the Potomac River should be completed this year. Discussions also are ongoing with Maryland regarding the widening of the I-81 bridge over the Potomac River. Improvements to Rt 9 from Martinsburg to Berkeley Springs as well as Rt 522 also are under review. The caucus also requested that a turn lane be added to Rt 9 at the site of the new Division of Motor Vehicles office.
Berkeley Council Councilperson Elaine Mauck discussed Berkeley County government concerns and Eastern Panhandle Conservation District issues also were reviewed.
Much concern and frustration was expressed by the caucus about the West Virginia County Commissioners Association opposition to helping senior citizens get additional property tax credits.
State legislators participating in this caucus meeting were Delegates Daryl Cowles, John Overington, Larry D. Kump, Walter Duke, Ruth Rowan, Eric Householder, Gary Howell, and Tiffany Lawrence.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
HB 4473 would dedicate part of the Marcellus gas severance tax income to reduce personal property taxes.
HB 4476 would reform the West Virginia Freedom of Information law to make it easier for citizens to get non-confidential information from state government agencies.
HB 4478 would give state police a modest pay raise and establish a minimum staffing level.
More information on these bills and other legislative issues is available by clicking on "WV State Legislature" under the "Links" section on the right hand side of this webpage.
Monday, February 6, 2012
Participating were Delegates Larry D. Kump, John Overington, Walter Duke, Ruth Rowan, and Daryl Cowles.
The need for passage of Homestead Exemption improvements and other property tax credits for senior citizens were discussed. Included in these efforts are HB 2672, HB 4339, and HB 4369.
We still are waiting on the West Virginia State Rail Plan and how it will affect the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC).
There has been no progress on HB 3256 (end times for bars serving alcoholic beverages).
SB 362 (Cacapon State park) still is being considered in the Senate.
HB 4412 would create another judicial circuit in the Eastern Panhandle.
Concerns were expressed about funding of roads and a representative from the West Virginia Department of Transportation will be invited to a future caucus meeting.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Hopefully, these efforts will result in protection for our environment, more good paying jobs for our citizens, and additional revenue for our State Budget (that can and should be used to reduce our other taxes).
All of which reminds me of that old maxim: "What's good for the goose is good for the gander.".
Wouldn't all of us Mountaineers be so much better served if the tax breaks and other incentives given to the Marcellus gas developers also were given to all West Virginia employers?
Monday, January 30, 2012
Martinsburg Mayor George Karos and Martinsburg City Manager Mark Baldwin also attended the caucus meeting.
On behalf of the West Virginia Municipal League, Mark Baldwin asked the caucus to support legislation to do an in-depth study of West Virginia's property tax.
Excepting the "common ground" areas within homeowners associations from property taxes also was discussed. Legislation to further study and reform laws regarding homeowners associations is being drafted.
Mayor Karos expressed support for increased "real-time" reporting by pharmacies of sudafed sales. (Note: This proposal would not require a prescription to purchase sudafed.)
The ongoing development of the West Virginia "State Rail Plan" in regard to the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) was discussed.
SB 362, to provide funding for Cacapon State Park, is expected to receive a favorable Senate Committee report.
SB 347, to use some of the property transfer tax income to help fund Regional Jail costs, was discussed.
Legislation to provide more property tax relief for senior citizens and the disabled is in the process of being drafted.
Legislation to increase the number of state police and increase state police civilian salaries also is being drafted.
HJR 102 prospectively would limit state legislators to no more than eight consecutive years as a Delegate or Senator.
HJR 103 would require a new office of West Virginia Lieutenant Governor to also serve as the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission (PSC), thus providing more accountability to voters by requiring that the PSC Chairperson be an elected official.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
While I understand and respect the position of those who support publication of petition signatures and absolutely agree that all petition signatures should be carefully reviewed by election officials for veracity and eligibility, I continue to believe that publication of signatures will further damper and discourage independent and third party election efforts.
To that end, I am a proud sponsor of HB 4081 (See the January 17th "Crime & Citizenship" entry at this website).
Monday, January 23, 2012
Hampshire County Delegate Ruth Rowan and Berkeley County Councilpersons Doug Copenhaver and Tony Petrucci also participated in this meeting.
A major topic of discussion was the drug abuse epidemic and ways to deal with it, including drug testing. There also was intense discussion about prison overcrowding, sentencing guidelines, and rehabilitation programs. There will be further meetings on this issue by the caucus.
SB362, to complete the improvements to Cacapon State Park, was discussed by the caucus.
Forthcoming legislation to help home owners' associations and ongoing Chesapeake Bay watershed efforts were meeting topics; as well as the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC), bar closings, salaries of eastern panhandle employees, state police staffing, the need for a additional circuit and family court judges, Homestead Act tax credits for senior citizens and the disabled, and copper wire theft issues.
Friday, January 20, 2012
They are wrong, so wrong.
One instant example is the renewed push in the West Virginia Legislature this year to require a doctor's prescription in order to purchase sudafed.
Because of drug addicts using sudafed to manufacture the illegal and devastating drug Meth, West Virginia previously required the over-the-counter sale of sudafed to be purchased directly from the pharmacist, without a prescription, but with the proviso that customers had to identify themselves and sign for the medication prior to purchasing it.
Drug addicts quickly circumvented this requirement by buying their sudafed supplies at multiple pharmacies.
This sudafed prescription requirement legislation passed the House of Delegates last year, but was narrowly defeated in the West Virginia State Senate.
This year, the same legislative push will be made again, and now it even is going to be named after the late Delegate Larry Border, who was a pharmacist.
This is yet another example of government punishing the many because of the bad behavior of a few.
If this legislation is passed, working West Virginia families will have to schedule a costly visit with their family doctor and get a prescription in order to get what previously was an over-the-counter medicine: all because of drug abusers.
Other Mountaineer families, who live in our border counties, simply will step across our state line to buy sudafed elsewhere.
This is not the first time that inventive abusers have found new ways to pursue their addictions.
Common bath salts also often are used for such nefarious purposes.
Further, alcoholic youth often buy vanilla extract, because of its high alcohol content, at neighborhood grocery stores.
Addicts "huff" the vapor in "Redi-Whip", and I'm told that even kitty litter can be used to manufacture addictive drugs.
As a former Criminal Justice Prison Case Manager, I have intense and up close experience with the tragic outcome from the manufacture of and addiction to Meth, not only to the addicts but also to public safety and our neighborhoods.
However, instead of punishing all of us, a more prudent solution simply would be to first try to effect a better coordination of the record of sudafed sales at drug stores with law enforcement, thereby targeting the offenders and not the law abiding public.
You know,these overly broad and ham fisted legislative oversight proposals remind me of a situation years ago in New England, where it was reported that someone had filled a "Super-Soaker" water gun with bleach and subsequently had inflicted great harm. The reaction of a few legislators was to attempt to include water guns as dangerous weapons.
I will be voting against the sudafed prescription proposal.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
His amendment (1-17) to HB 2402 would have allowed us more access to non-confidential government records.
The amendment (Roll Call #2)failed in a vote of 35 yeas, 59 nays, and 5 not-voting (absent).
From the Eastern Panhandle and voting for the amendment were Delegates Daryl Cowles, Walter Duke, Eric Householder, Larry D. Kump, Jonathan Miller, and John Overington. Voting against the amendment were Delegates John Doyle and Tiffany Lawrence.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
That's why I've introduced HB 4079, HB 4080, and HB 4081 in the West Virginia Legislature.
Our current criminal justice system is seriously out of whack, and it's costing taxpayers a huge amount of money. It's also becoming a serious burden to the the ability of state and local governments to make budgetary ends meet.
West Virginia needs to walk away from the "lock 'em up and throw away the key" approach to all crimes, and instead focus on our public safety from those who truly endanger us and our families.
To that end, we need to develop reasonable alternatives as to how we deal with drug abuse and other crimes, but also be much more diligent in protecting us and our families from violent criminals.
HB 4079 does that by making those convicted of Murder, Rape, and Child Abuse ineligible for parole.
In regard to our sacred citizen rights and responsibilities, HB 4080 would give each of us more clout at the ballot box by requiring single member districts in the election of Delegates to the State Legislature, and HB 4081 would give citizens who participate in petition drives on ballot issues the same personal privacy rights as voters in elections.
Monday, January 16, 2012
The Eastern Panhandle Legislator Caucus met at the State Capitol on Monday, January 16th.
Participating were Delegates Larry D. Kump, John Overington, Daryl Cowles, Walter Duke, Eric Householder, Jonathan Miller, and Tiffany Lawrence.
Issues discussed included increasing "Homestead" or other tax credits for senior citizens and the disabled, Eastern Panhandle conservation concerns, Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) problems,
Bar closing hours, Chesapeake Bay Watershed concerns, Locality pay for Eastern Panhandle employees, Improving Rt. 9 west of Martinsburg and other road issues, Homeowner association concerns, State Police issues, and the term of office for Water & Sewer boards.
Friday, January 13, 2012
If passed into law, HB 2705 would exempt West Virginia from federal regulation (under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution of the United States) of firearms, firearms accessories, or firearm ammunition manufactured and retained in West Virginia.
All firearms regulation under the above circumstances would be under West Virginia law, as guaranteed by the 2nd and 10th amendments of the United States Constitution.
Saturday, January 7, 2012