Despite the attempts by some partisans to gin up lots of hoopla about the recently concluded legislative session(s), major issues affecting the prosperity of all of us in the Mountain State sadly were allowed to lie unaddressed on the legislative table.
Even with a reconvened "special" session of the Legislature by the Governor, he mandated that the business of that session be restricted to just a scant handful of non-emergency and narrowly focused proposals, that previously failed to pass the just adjourned regular legislative session.
The prison legislation was helpful in that it expanded the drug courts, but it also failed to address the major issues of sentencing and prison overcrowding that gives West Virginia the highest rate of incarceration in the country.
The education legislation included some good stuff, but mostly nibbled around the edges of our ongoing education crisis and did not take much of a bite out of our problem of too much bureaucratic control over our local schools by the State Department of Education. It simply did not empower local school boards and parents to be more engaged on behalf of our children.
Municipal Home Rule legislation was a step forward, and it also included some important protections of our Constitutional 2nd Amendment rights. A further step forward would be to further encourage voter participation, by requiring municipal elections to be held at the same time as state and federal elections. This also would save tax dollars.
However, little progress was made in improving our judicial process and reforming our state government taxing and regulation.
We should and must stem the flight of West Virginians to other areas, as they desperately search for good jobs and prosperity for themselves and their families.