This website is devoutly dedicated to all of Larry's friends and associates, both early and late, who have influenced and mentored him. However, it also should be noted that, being who they are, a majority of them have been late most of the time.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

It's a Miracle!

The photographer made even me look good. Kudos to Martin Valent, official photographer for the West Virginia Legislature. (Click the pic to get a full size image.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

For Hand-Wringers & Gloaters Alike

The partisan post 2012 national election combination of hand-wringing and gloating, regarding the continuance of our Presidential and Congressional status quo, gave me elegiac pause to ponder our ongoing challenges.

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).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Term Limits (Also see Postscript)

October 25, 2012
Sheriff term limits up for vote
 MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Keith Wilson Jr. is one of West Virginia's youngest sheriffs at 39, but even if he wins a second term on Election Day, his career with the Wirt County department will end in four years.
Term limits the West Virginia Constit ...
Read more

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

Legislator News Update

WV Construction News

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

More on Early Voting

Wednesday October 24, 2012
Early voting begins in W.Va., runs through Nov. 3
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia voters began filling out ballots across the state Wednesday as early voting got under way for the Nov. 6 general election.
Early voting continues through 5 p.m. on Nov. 3, and the polls will be open on Saturday ...
Read more

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

West Virginia Election News Update

Early this morning,It pleased me to be the first early voter in Berkeley County again at the Berkeley County Voter Election Center in downtown Martinsburg, West Virginia.

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

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

Chamber of Commerce News

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

Well Regarded by Those who Heal

The West Virginia Hospital Political Action Committee (HOSPAC), "based on voting records for incumbent candidates and recommendations from member hospitals", has endorsed the re-election of Delegate Larry D. Kump to the West Virginia House of Delegates in the new district #59.

Contact HOSPAC Treasurer Joe Letnaunchyn at (304) 353-9716 for further details.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

They Built It!

Building upon their belief that Delegate Larry D. Kump "will help advance the manufacturing legislative agenda to create more jobs and investment in West Virginia", the West Virginia Manufacturers Association (WVMA) has endorsed Kump's re-election to the West Virginia House of Delegates.

For further information, contact: WVMA President Karen S. Price, (304) 342-2123.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Navy Dave Weighs In

Dear Larry:

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

A Boost from Bankers

Mountaineer bankers believe  in Delegate Larry D. Kump and are urging his re-election to the West Virginia House of Delegates.

Source: Joe Ellison, West Virginia Bankers Association Political Action Committee (WVBankPAC).

Saturday, September 29, 2012

And the Beat Still Goes On...

The West Virginia Business & Industry Council (BIC) has endorsed the re-election of Delegate Larry D. Kump to the West Virginia Legislature in the new House of Delegates District #59 in the Eastern Panhandle (Berkeley-Morgan Counties).

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

Friday, September 28, 2012

Medical News Update

The West Virginia State Medical Association Political Action Committee (WESPAC) has endorsed the re-election of Delegate Larry D. Kump to the West Virginia House of Delegates in District #59 (Berkeley-Morgan Counties).

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

West Virginia Energy News

The West Virginians for Coal Political Action Committee has endorsed the re-election of Delegate Larry D. Kump to the West Virginia Legislature in District #59.

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

A Chaplain on Islam

As a retired military Chaplain let me say an "amen" to Mr. Kump's remarks about Islam. One of the fine lines of distinction that I was always concerned about was precisely the point made here (see previous entries).

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


Yesterday afternoon, in the West Virginia State Legislature's Government Organization Interim Committee Subcommittee meeting, one Senator proposed that, in order to give social workers more personal protection, state troopers make precautionary pre-visits to the homes of all social work clients.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Dumb, Dangerous, & Disrespectful :(

Please read the below exchange of concerns (published in reverse chronological order):

Captain Blair,
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

-----Original Message-----
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

----Original Message-----
From:Delegate Larry D. Kump
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012
To: Jeff

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:

Hey Larry.
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

Farm Bureau News

The West Virginia Farm Bureau Political Education and Political Action Committee (WV FARM PAC) has endorsed Larry D. Kump for re-election to the West Virginia House of Delegates in the new District #59 (Berkeley-Morgan Counties).

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.

Monday, July 16, 2012

"West Virginians for Life" News

 The West Virginians for Life Political Action Committee (WVL PAC) has endorsed the 2012 re-election of Delegate Larry D. Kump to the West Virginia House of Delegates from District #59, Morgan-Berkeley Counties.

 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

A Message from Micah

 I have given West Virginia Delegate Larry D. Kump the "Greatest Delegate in the House" award.

Mr. Micah Phelps
South Charleston, West Virginia

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Here's another Fine Mess!

The "Morgan Messenger" June 20th editorial, "Marriage Counselor's Full Employment Act", was another excellent disclosure of government obstruction and interference, this time with marriage.

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

Is Atlas Shrugging?

Reflecting yesterday, on our nation's "Flag Day", it grieved me to consider the panderings of a handful of partizan zealots, from both major political parties, who use the anonymous local newspaper readers' forums ("Journal Junction" & "Mail Call") to distort and manipulate issues on behalf of their political parties and candidates.

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

My West Virginia Home

The lines below were written long ago by another, but they express well the feelings of my heart about my home and hearth, here in Falling Waters, West Virginia:

"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

Who Owns Our Government?

A surprisingly large number of West Virginians voted for a prison inmate in preference to our incumbent President during the May Primary Presidential election.

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?

Just asking.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Button, Button. Who Pushed the Buttons?

 It gave me great pleasure and pride this morning to be the first in Berkeley County to push the  buttons (touch-screen) and vote early in the West Virginia Primary Election.

 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

Healthcare News

The West Virginia Health Care Political Action Committee (WVHC-PAC) has endorsed the re-election of Delegate Larry D. Kump (the new District #59, Berkeley-Morgan Counties in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia).

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

Voting Record Lauded

Gregory M. Gray, Clerk of the West Virginia House of Delegates, has presented a "Certificate of Distinction" to Delegate Larry D. Kump (Berkeley-Morgan Counties in the Eastern Panhandle) for his "outstanding Voting Record", "during the Regular and the First Extraordinary Session, 2012" of the West Virginia Legislature.

Friday, April 6, 2012

More on Proposed Fee Increase

                                  (Click on the photo to enlarge)

  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?)

Fee Increase Proposed

The complete newspaper article may be viewed at:,0,3112377.story

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

Does It Take a Village...?

The West Virginia Governor answered the question, "Does it take a village to raise a ferret?", by vetoing SB 477.

For more details about SB 477, visit the March 15th "Final 2012 Legislative Reflections" entry at this website.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Business & Industry Leaders Endorse

Dear Delegate Kump,

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

Sharon Has a Clue

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.

Take care.
Sharon Martin

P.S.: I like the way you think.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Final 2012 Legislative Reflections

 With the end of the 2012 West Virginia legislative session and the state budget approval process by legislators tomorrow (Friday, March 16th), here are some points to ponder regarding just a few of the proposals considered by lawmakers this year:

 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".

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Legislative End of Session Musings

 The 2012 West Virginia legislative session finally will end in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, but it has not brought much jubilation to, or even much attention from, most Mountaineers.

 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 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. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

2012 Eastern Panhandle Report #7

Due to the press of numerous and competing committee meetings during this last week of the Legislative Session, the Eastern Panhandle Legislative Caucus meeting this morning was both brief and sparsely attended by area legislators.

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

Senior Citizens Endorse Kump

"Senior Power" has endorsed the 2012 re-election of Delegate Larry D. Kump (Morgan-Berkeley Counties).

Senior Power Chair Jennifer Gibson and Lobbyist Marc L. Harman told Delegate Kump that Senior Power "appreciates the support you have given West Virginia's senior citizens...".

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Legislative "Cross-Over" Day

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

2012 Eastern Panhandle Report #6

The main topics of discussion during the Eastern Panhandle Legislative Caucus this morning were Homeowners Association issues, the Homestead Exemption Act, and a modest increase in State Trooper salaries.

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 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.

Homeowner News & More

Click on the link below for this recent news story, and, to discover more political insight about the dynamics of today's ongoing issues, also click on "Mouseland, a Fable for Our Time" (under "Videos" on the right hand side of this webpage).

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pensions, Driver's Licenses, & Public Projects

Additional legislation that I have cosponsored is HB 4555, HB4556, HB 4558, and HB4563.

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

Property Tax Relief Proposals Move

The House of Delegates Committee on Constitutional Revision today recommended passage of an amendment to the West Virginia Constitution to give counties the option of increasing homestead property tax exemptions for senior citizens and the disabled (HJR 113). The committee also recommended passage of a constitutional amendment to enable the Legislature to provide property tax relief for individuals actively serving in the armed forces (HJR 114). Further consideration of both of these proposals now will be reviewed by the House of Delegates Finance Committee.

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

2012 Eastern Panhandle Report #5

In the Eastern Panhandle Legislative Caucus meeting this morning, West Virginia Division of Transportation spokesperson Marvin Murphy gave an extensive update on road projects within the Eastern Panhandle.

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

Lower Taxes, Access, & State Police

It pleases me to be one of the sponsors of HB 4473, HB 4476, and HB 4478.

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

2012 Eastern Panhandle Report #4

The Eastern Panhandle Legislative Caucus held a brief, truncated meeting this morning.

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

Goosing the Gander

 Energy is a tremendous West Virginia natural resource, and the non-partisan efforts by the West Virginia Legislature and Governor to attract developers of our Marcellus gas deposits are praiseworthy indeed.

 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

2012 Eastern Panhandle Report #3

Participating in the Eastern Panhandle Legislative Caucus this morning were Delegates Larry D. Kump, Jonathan Miller, Tiffany Lawrence, Ruth Rowan, Eric Householder, Walter Duke, Daryl Cowles, John Overington, Gary Howell, and Senator Herb Snyder.

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.

Constitutional Issues

HJR 102 and HJR 103 are two of my proposals to amend the West Virginia Constitution.

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

Standing Alone

Click on the link below to read the newspaper editorial lauding public access to citizen petition signatures.

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

2012 Eastern Panhandle Report #2

Participating in this morning's meeting of the Eastern Panhandle Legislators' Caucus were Senator Herb Snyder as well as Delegates Larry D. Kump, Daryl Cowles, John Overington, Tiffany Lawrence, Walter Duke, and Eric Householder.

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

Sudafed Up? (Revisited)

Sadly, many otherwise well-intentioned elected officials sincerely believe that more government control over our lives (and the taxes to finance it) is best.
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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crime & Citizenship

Dealing effectively with criminals and safeguarding our citizen rights and responsibilities are important public policy issues.
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

2012 Eastern Panhandle Report #1

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

2nd & 10th Amendments Based Proposal

It pleases me to be a proud sponsor of HB 2705.

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.