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.

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".

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