Kearneysville, WV: Delegate Larry D. Kump delivered a $1000.00 contribution from the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC) PAC to 2nd Congressional District Candidate Alex X. Mooney. The RLC officially endorsed Mooney in April.
"Having known Alex X. Mooney for many years, it was both a pleasure and a privilege when the West Virginia Republican Liberty Caucus asked me to present a campaign contribution to him," said Delegate Larry D. Kump.
"The West Virginia Republican Liberty Caucus enthusiastically endorses the election of Alex Mooney as West Virginia's next Congressman.
"We also endorse and applaud Alex's principled commitment to individual liberty, personal accountability, and personal empowerment for all Mountaineers," Kump stated.
The Republican Liberty Caucus is a 527 voluntary grassroots membership organization dedicated to working within the Republican Party to advance the principles of individual rights, limited government and free markets.
Founded in 1991, it is the oldest continuously-operating organization within the Liberty Republican movement. Further information and membership to the Caucus may be obtained by visiting www.rlc.org .
Stephanie E. Butcher
Monday, October 6, 2014
Saturday, October 4, 2014
The recently received and following email message simply was too gratifying and uplifting to refrain from sharing, done with the permission of the author:
I have looked forward to the information you put out to the people you represent.
I have looked forward to the correspondence, back and forth, with you.
I have come to know you on simple terms as down-to-earth, straight forward, and sincere towardsthe area and people you represent.
All of these are very rare qualities for someone in your position, by far.
In today's society, it is almost unheard of for anyone to care at all about much.
For one person to care so much, about so many, is more than commendable.
I only hope the residents for whom you worked so hard for are lucky enough to have another representative of your caliber.
You will be missed!!! Greatly!!!
Please don't quit writing.
The information you share with me and the friends I talk with are of great importance to all of us.
It would be a shame not to have your wisdom and experience anymore.
As retired law enforcement, we have had to deal with so much loss throughout our lives. Constants are few and far between.
Like the North star, you are a constant to me and the few friends still left around.
Always, always be safe in future journeys and please don't ever stop your communications.
Support and Prayers Always,
Friday, October 3, 2014
Often, when elected and wanna-be elected officials advocate their position(s), they profess that they merely are responding to the voices of their constituents.
Which therein begs the question: Which constituent voices should matter the most?
My simple solution to this cipher is to carefully consider the merits and consequences of all constituent concerns, and then also be diligent to uphold the Oath of Office, sworn to by all elected officials.
This Oath of Office is to understand, uphold, and defend the principles and provisions of our Constitution.
This sacred vow is made, not only to ourselves and our citizens, but also to God.
Truly, doesn't our Constitution mandate that the first principles and practices of our government are the pursuit of individual liberty, personal accountability, and personal empowerment (i.e., the "Pursuit of Happiness")?
After all, is it not us but our Constitution that is the well-spring of our unique American Excellence?
Yours for better governance,
West Virginia Delegate Larry D. Kump
Please share this message with others and visit www.LarryKump.com for more legislative news and views.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
When Gina served that tasty corn dish, when I was at her family's home the last time, it reminded me of my Mom's baked corn dish.
This morning, I finally remembered to ask Mom for the recipe and here it is:
Baked Corn Recipe
two tablespoons butter (the real stuff)
two tablespoons flour
two tablespoons sugar
two beaten eggs (or at least roughed up slightly, but not as bad as in the NFL)
salt & pepper to taste
Can of creamed corn
Garnish with ground nutmeg and bake about one hour at 400 degrees F, or until golden brown on top.
It's ready when a knife comes out clean after insertion.
Note: Mom usually doubles or triples the recipe.
Monday, July 21, 2014
Last Saturday at 9:00 AM, I was a guest on Elliot Simon's "Common Sense" radio broadcast from Shepherd University, and also had accepted his invitation to join him earlier that morning for breakfast at "Betty's" restaurant.
And so it was that morning, while walking through the West Virginia village of Shepherdstown, that an elderly couple crossed my path.
They were holding hands while they were taking their morning stroll, which prompted me to compliment them on their mutual affection.
With a twinkle in his eye, the old gentleman smiled, then gently pointed out to me that they held hands to keep each other from stumbling.
What a wondrous example they were and are, a life lesson for all of us to "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel" and simply "Do What is Right" in all of our activities and relationships.
West Virginia Delegate Larry D. Kump
Friday, May 23, 2014
In the aftermath of the recent West Virginia Primary elections, lots of friends and associates have asked me, "What now?".
Truly, it has been both a sacrifice as well as a privilege to serve as a citizen legislator in the West Virginia House of Delegates.
It also will continue to be my duty and responsibility to serve the remainder of my term of office, throughout the rest of 2014.
And, after then?
The opportunities to continue to serve are too numerous to count.
However, it simply is not true that I plan to organize a "Boy Band" and go on a world tour.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Friday, May 2, 2014
The Contractors Association of West Virginia political action committee (HUB/PAC) has endorsed Delegate Larry D. Kump (District #59, Berkeley-Morgan Counties) in the May 2014 West Virginia Primary Election.
Please contact Contractors Association of West Virginia Executive Director Mike Clowser at (304) 342-1166 for further information.
Footnote: Please share this message with others, ask them to visit www.LarryKump.com for additional legislative news and views, and send contributions for the re-election of Delegate Kump to "Friends of Larry D. Kump" (P.O. Box 1131, Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419-1131).
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
The West Virginians for Manufacturing Jobs (WVMJ) Political Action Committee has endorsed the candidacy of Delegate Larry D. Kump (District #59, Berkeley-Morgan Counties) in the May 2014 Primary election.
WVMA President Rebecca McPhail Randolph praised Delegate Kump for his "support for manufacturing, general business and development growth in West Virginia".
For further information, please contact WVMJ President Randolph at (304) 342-2123.
Footnote: Please share this message with others, and visit www.LarryKump.com for other legislative news. Please send contributions for the election of Delegate Kump to "Friends of Larry D. Kump", P.O. Box 1131, Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419-1131.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
The West Virginians for Life Political Action Committee (WVL PAC) has endorsed Delegate Larry D. Kump, District #59 (Berkeley-Morgan Counties), in the 2014 Primary Election for the West Virginia House of Delegates.
According to Dr. Wanda Franz, WVL PAC President, "Larry D. Kump has distinguished himself during the recent legislative session by voting to discharge the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" from Committee and subsequently voting for its passage. We commend Larry D. Kump for being a pro-life hero for his willingness to challenge the status quo in order to bring the bill to a vote. His commitment to the pro-life cause, especially in protecting the unborn from pain has made a difference in West Virginia".
For further information, contact: Mary Ann Buchanan, West Virginians for Life Program Director), at (304) 594-9845 , and for more information about Delegate Kump's legislative news and views and to view a photo of him with "The League of Liberty", visit www.LarryKump.com.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
In 2014, I introduced and/or co-sponsored the following legislation:
· Defending our 2nd Amendment Rights against Obama and his DC gun grabbers.
· Protecting & Preserving our Private Property Rights.
· Restoring our rights to personal privacy, as outlined by the 4th Amendment of our Constitution.
· Ending the practice of forcing us to pay for our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
· Requiring independent performance and program oversight audits of our state agencies.
· Reducing gasoline and home heating fuel prices.
· Eliminating government bureaucracy in our personal and family health insurance.
· Streamlining drivers’ license renewal requirements.
Of course many of these and other efforts were derailed by a legislative leadership who refused to support legislation to protect the Constitutional Rights of West Virginians and lead us to personal prosperity.
After the 2014 elections, we at long last will have the opportunity to be able to stand strong and united on behalf of our God given right and responsibility for individual liberty, personal accountability, and personal empowerment.
After all, it is the primary role of government to protect and preserve the rights of all of our citizens, including the yet unborn.
Please share this message with others, and visit www.LarryKump.com for more of my legislative news and views.
Delegate Larry D. Kump
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
The National Rifle Association (NRA), the West Virginia Automobile and Truck Dealers Association (West Virginia Car), and West Virginia Coal Association all have endorsed Delegate Larry D. Kump (District #59, Berkeley-Morgan Counties) in the Tuesday, May 13th Primary Election. (Early voting begins at local county voter registration offices on Wednesday, April 30th, from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM every day, except Sunday, through and including Saturday, May 10th).
NRA spokesperson Daniel Carey further explained that Delegate Kump's NRA "A" Rating and endorsement is "well-deserved".
West Virginia Car President Ruth Lemmon pointed out to Delegate Kump that "We applaud your efforts" and that "We will notify our members of our support of your candidacy and ask that they communicate to their employees, family, and friends that you need their votes and support".
Chris Hamilton, West Virginia Coal Association, told Larry to "add the West Virginia Coal Association to that list" of supporters, as Delegate Kump continues to work on behalf of energy independence and personal prosperity for all Mountaineer families.
Footnote: Donations for the re-election of Delegate Kump should be sent to "Friends of Larry D. Kump:, P.O. Box 1131,Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419-1131. Please share this message with others and encourage them to visit www.LarryKump.com for his legislative views and news.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Farm Bureau President Charles Wilfong has notified membership of the Farm Bureau of this endorsement via the "West Virginia Farm Bureau News".
West Virginia Hospital Poltical Action Committee(HOSPAC) Treasurer Joe Letnaunchyn pointed out that their endorsement was based on "voting records...and recommendations from hospitals".
Business & Industry Council Chairman Chris Hamilton lauds Delegate Kump as "a champion of ideas to improve the state's economy and social well-being".
Contributions for the re-election of Delegate Kump should be sent to "Friends of Larry D. Kump", P.O. Box 1131, Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419-1131.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
The Berkeley Council has agreed to the request from West Virginia Delegate Larry D. Kump and put him on their agenda for Thursday, April 10th, 2014, in order to make a presentation in regard to ongoing concerns about residential property rights.
Delegate Kump will present testimony regarding the issues involved with the previous 2013 legislative attempt (HB 4007) to protect the rights of citizens, in owner occupied residences, from forced participation in public sewer systems, as well as ongoing efforts to pursue and protect property rights. (See "Legislative Review Proposed on Property Rights" entry at www.LarryKump.com).
While the Council has not authorized other individual testimony or public "Q & A" during Delegate Kump's presentation, Council President Copenhaver has pointed out that individuals are welcome to make brief statements on this (or any other issue) during the "Items from the Public" part of the agenda at 9:30 AM. Delegate Kump's presentation will follow shortly thereafter.
The Berkeley County Council meeting location is the County Council Chambers, 400 West Stephen Street, 2nd Floor, Martinsburg, West Virginia (the former "Dunn" building).
Citizens who are concerned about the protection of their property rights are encouraged to not only attend the Thursday, April 10th county council meeting, but to also make brief statements during the "Items from the Public" part of the agenda.
Please share this message with others.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Have you ever noticed that, when the subject of politicians comes up, people immediately voice negative thoughts?
It may be that many seek political office for all the wrong reasons--power, prestige, personal agendas, etc.
And, when the less-than-sincere politician is exposed, we are quick to voice our unfavorable opinion.
Conversely, how often do we voice our enthusiasm or praise hard-working civil servants?
Is it any wonder when many are asked to consider running for political office, the response is "absolutely not!"?
The harsh criticism, scrutiny, unfair attacks, and unrealistic expectations that are virtually unavoidable in the current political landscape would cause many of us to turn away from contributing in this way.
My question today is, How do we promote and encourage good people, those with ethics and a sincere desire to preserve our rights, to run for office?
We only can do this by supporting those who do serve with our best interest in mind and by voicing the positive.
For that purpose, I write today to strongly encourage voters to support Delegate Larry D. Kump of the 59th District in the Eastern Panhandle.
Having known Larry for 25 years, I can personally attest to his integrity, personal accountability, work ethic, love of liberty, and sincere desire to preserve the fundamental rights afforded to us by our Constitution.
Larry is not your run-of-the mill politician.
He understands his role and takes seriously his responsibility in being the voice of the citizens he represents at the State House.
Larry listens to his constituents and is not afraid to take on the establishment.
He will not pander for votes and is not self-serving.
He is genuinely interested in preserving our freedoms, fighting for our rights, and giving his all regardless of what personal criticism he may face from the opposition, even within his own political party.
How I wish we had more politicians like Larry!
And maybe that is possible IF we show our support for Larry, vote for him, acknowledge the excellent job he has done in representing West Virginians, and thereby encourage others with this same selflessness to run for office.
A vote for Larry is a vote for what is best for West Virginians!
Let's all do our part!
Friday, March 21, 2014
It's not often that the National Association for Gun Rights praises politicians for their actions.
The truth is, many supposedly "pro-gun" politicians want to wave the white flag and just accept President Obama’s anti-gun agenda.
But in West Virginia, thanks to your phone calls and emails, 6 Delegates took a firm stand for gun rights: Mike Folk, Larry Kump, Jim Butler, Larry Faircloth, Cindy Frich and Eric Householder.
As you know, these Delegates introduced HB 4472, the Firearms Protection bill to safeguard the Second Amendment rights of West Virginia citizens from anti-gun zealot Michael Bloomberg and President Obama.
But what you don't know is how leadership in both parties made personal attacks on the sponsors of HB 4472 and demanded they help kill their own bill.
Or how establishment gun groups cut dirty deals and joined party leadership in trying to punish supporters of this strongly pro-gun bill.
That's why West Virginia Gun Rights, and our friends at the National Association for Gun Rights, mobilized thousands of West Virginians in support of HB 4472.
And thanks to your calls to action, bill sponsor Mike Folk and the 5 co-sponsors stood up to Obama and moved the bill forward.
They forced the bill to a vote and every Delegate in West Virginia is now on record.
The bad news is the bill was defeated by a vote of 90-10, so now we know who is genuinely pro-gun, and not just a dimestore cowboy.
This is a huge step toward protecting the state from Obama and Bloomberg’s radical anti-gun agenda.
Executive Director, West Virginia Gun Rights
Thursday, March 20, 2014
A letter to the editor, as published in the "Journal" newspaper in Martinsburg, West Virginia:
by David L. Woods, Hedgesville, West Virginia
I've long wondered how one qualifies to endorse any political candidate. Yet if one has visited all 50 states (while living in a scattered dozen), before settling for two decades in West Virginia, as I have - one might qualify as knowing our nation.
Or if one had worked his way through a number of colleges and universities earning an AB, MA, MBA and Phd., and later taught communication and management (mostly as adjunct professor in more than a half-dozen major universities for 50 years) - one might qualify as knowing academics.
And if one began work as a printer's devil at 14, enlisting in the Naval Reserve at 17, serving nearly 40 years, retiring as a captain, also retiring as a Navy civilian director, while serving as Washington D.C., professional for 31 years - one might qualify as knowing American government.
Meeting these three standards, I've chosen to submit this endorsement of my local West Virginia delegate, Larry Kump - one of the finest men I've ever known, and a true representative dedicated to serving the interests of all his neighbors (rather than pet personal projects).
Larry's open mind, his grasp of logic in the midst of chaos and his constant optimistic drive to make things better for all of us - seem to set him apart from fellow politicians.
We are indeed fortunate in our Hedgesville district to have a representative like Larry - truly qualified to represent us as state delegate!
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
During the recently concluded 2014 session of the West Virginia State Legislature, I joined seventy-four other Delegates in sponsoring various and sundry legislative proposals on a number of issues.
This session, in particular, was one of conscientious concern about our individual and collective Mountaineer well-being, that occasionally even careened into contentious calumny.
The principles of individual liberty, personal accountability and personal empowerment were uppermost in my thoughts then, as well as now.
During this legislative session and as the filing deadline approached for the 2014 election cycle, the multitude of candidates vying for voter approval in various government offices also were a matter of deep reflection for me.
Thinking about my own bid for re-election and doing my best to resist the clamor from some politicos, who were urging me to "fudge" my political principles and pander to the lowest common denominator, an envelope arrived in the mail.
Enclosed therein was a personal check for two dollars on behalf of my re-election, including a personal note from a lady in my district.
She apologized for the amount of her contribution, explaining that it was "all that she could afford" from her limited budget but wanting to do all she could do to support me and my efforts.
This "Widow's Mite" from this lady of most infinite worth is, and always will be, my personal "Pearl of Great Price".
Friday, March 14, 2014
As the Governor continued to ponder a veto of Pro-Life and 2nd amendment bills passed by the Legislature, the State Budget was a major source of legislative angst.
In order to meet our Constitutional requirement to balance the budget, the Legislature finally dipped into our "Rainy Day Fund" to meet that mandate.
What does that say about West Virginia's future?
Instead of seizing the opportunity to address bloated bureaucracy and run away entitlement spending, the Legislature instead obsessed about a huge pay raise for county elected officials and defending more "business as usual".
One Delegate did admit "disappointment", but another Delegate (from the Eastern Panhandle) quickly and defiantly counter-claimed that he is "proud".
I'm mostly embarrassed.
What about all of those otherwise overlooked and forgotten legislative proposals to lift West Virginia out of our national bottom ranking in regard to personal prosperity, individual liberty, and job growth?
Will Mountaineer voters endorse more of these same shenanigans in our 2014 elections?
Footnote: Contributions for the re-election of Delegate Kump should be sent to "Friends of Larry D. Kump". P.O. Box 1131, Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419-1131.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Confusion stalks the Democrat majority, and there seems to be conflict between the Democrat leadership in the House of Delegates and the Senate, as the Budget continues to be a major point of contention.
Meanwhile, the Governor ponders a veto of both pro-life and 2nd Amendment bills that have been passed by the Legislature.
It now appears certain that the Legislature will continue spending pretty much as usual, requiring dipping into the previously established "Rainy Day Fund", in order to meet our Constitutional mandate to balance the budget. How big of a dip is the question, and what does that say about West Virginia's future?
Speaking of dippy, the Senate President has been strangely advocating the resurrection of the consideration a of huge pay raise for county elected officials.
And, will the "Sudafed" prescription controversy once again find its way back into legislative contention?
Finally, what about all those overlooked and forgotten proposals to lift West Virginia out of our bottom ranking in regard to personal prosperity and economic growth?
And so it goes.
Monday, March 10, 2014
I wish we had more people like you running for office.
P.S.: I like the way you think.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
The West Virginia Legislature did not resolve ongoing residential property rights conflicts and hardships during this session, but the issue continues to be under review.
To that end, I have drafted and submitted House Concurrent Resolution # 133.
This resolution requests that a post legislative session interim review by the Legislature's Joint Committee on Government & Finance "study the impact upon property rights of owners whose residences are being mandated to connect to public sewer systems, including, but not limited to, comparing findings across West Virginia to examine the need for standards regarding conflicts between private property owners and public service districts, examining the feasibility of implementing a dispute resolution process, examining the appointment and oversight of public service district board members and examining the Public Service District Sewer Ordinances of Jefferson County as potential model standards.".
HCR 133, if approved by legislative leaders of the House of Delegates and Senate, would establish that:
" * The Legislature recognizes the paramount importance of private property as one of our essential rights; and
* The Legislature and the courts of West Virginia agree that this important right should be protected; and
* The Legislature recognizes that private property rights may only yield to overwhelming public need; and
* The Legislature recently has been reminded of the need for diverse water and waste services; and
* The Legislature seeks to address the need to bring the procedures of mandatory subscription to sewer services in line with best practices in order to achieve maximal results for our children and families; and
* A greater benefit would accrue to the public if the issues surrounding private property rights and public sewer systems were examined."
A post legislative session decision by legislative leaders of the West Virginia House of Delegates and Senate on whether or not to authorize this interim legislative study with be forthcoming at a later date.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
"SNAFU" (Situation Normal - All Fouled Up) has been the mantra, in the soon to be concluded session of the West Virginia Legislature.
In the last few days of the session and before the final decision will be made on legislative approval of bills that have been contested between the House of Delegates and the Senate, here's just a couple more examples of what the two chambers of our Legislature thought was important:
HB 4490 was passed by the House of Delegates. It is an attempt to hobble the Constitutional authority of our Attorney General to represent us on behalf of our 2nd Amendment rights, energy needs, consumer complaints, and much more.
SB 6 was passed by the Senate. It is an attempt to crack down on illegal "Meth" drug manufacture, with a well intentioned but ill-conceived proposal to force law abiding citizens to get a doctor's prescription for over-the-counter "Sudafed" cold medication.
The Legislature also will be continuing, beyond the Midnight Saturday adjournment, with an extended session to pass the final West Virginia budget.
This budget will include more welfare programs, state funding of Obamacare, and continued authorization to abort the lives of unborn children.
What about the multitude of legislative proposals to increase our economic prosperity, decrease bureaucratic regulations, and protect our individual liberty?
Why were most of these good governance proposals not even given committee hearings and votes by the leadership in the House of Delegates and Senate?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
The end product of our legislative process far too often demonstrates why West Virginia's standard of living recently was named the worst in the nation. It also gives concerned citizens pause to ponder why Mountaineers are fleeing and our population is dwindling.
The following is only a partial list of dubious legislative proposals (bills) that survived "Cross-Over" Day (the last day for legislation to be approved by the originating Legislative Chamber) and which still are under consideration by the Legislature in the last few days of this year's 2014 session, which ends on Saturday, March 8th:
HB 4393 is one example of more bureaucratic legislation that already has passed the House of Delegates. Purporting to protect the public safety of citizens from dangerous animals, it would set up a complex system of registration and fees for owners of "exotic" pets. If it was a late night cable television show, it would be titled "Bureaucrats Gone Wild!". Tell the Senate that we need less meddling bureaucracy, not more.
Another legislative proposal passed by the House of Delegates is HB 4304. It is seemingly benign and bicyclist friendly, mandating the creation of bicycle lanes on public roads, However, West Virginia currently has a severe highway funding crisis. We can't even properly maintain and repair our current transportation system. Let's tell the Senate to fix the potholes before we worry about bike paths.
HB 4490 is yet another bill approved by the House of Delegates. It is an attempt to hobble the Constitutional authority of our Attorney General to represent citizens on behalf of our 2nd Amendment rights, energy needs, consumer complaints, and much more. Tell the Senate that HB 4490 would be a giant step backward for the rights of West Virginians.
And then there's SB 6, that was passed by the Senate. It's an attempt to crack down on illegal "Meth" drug manufacture, but does so by requiring citizens to get a Doctor's prescription for over-the-counter "Sudafed" cold medication. Punishing the many for the illegal activities of the criminal few is a travesty of justice. The House of Delegates needs to have a clear head when we vote on this one.
Why were much more vital legislative proposals (to increase our economic prosperity, decrease bureaucratic regulations and taxes, and protect our individual liberty) not even given legislative committee hearings and votes by the leadership in the House of Delegates and Senate?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Participating in the Monday morning, February 24th, 2014 meeting of the West Virginia Eastern Panhandle Legislative Delegation (Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley, & Jefferson Counties) at the West Virginia State House were Delegates Larry D. Kump, Mike Folk, Paul Espinosa, Larry Faircloth, Daryl Cowles, John Overington, Steven Skinner, and Ruth Rowan, as well as Senator Don Cookman.
West Virginia Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox and Highways Chief Engineer Robert Pennington were guest participants. They discussed road conditions and needs within the Eastern Panhandle. Secretary Mattox said that West Virginia is spending about $162 million per year on road re-surfacing, using a 28 year cycle, although the preferred cycle is 12 years. It also was reported that pot-hole repairs will begin with the advent of warmer weather. In 2015 or 2016, work will begin on widening the rest of I-81 in West Virginia, in tandem with Maryland and including a widening of the I-81 bridge of the Potomac River (the Potomac River is owned by Maryland). Delegate Kump strongly urged that more intensive coordination be done with law enforcement during this project. He also pushed for improvements on Route #9 in Western Berkeley County and in Morgan County.
The constitutional deadline now has passed for all legislative proposals (bills) to have been reported out of their originating committees within the House of Delegates and the Senate. The end of the 2014 Legislative Session will be at Midnight, Saturday, March 8th. Nevertheless, the Legislature will meet for a few days or more after their March 8th adjournment, in order to give final consideration and approval of the budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1st of 2014.
Delegate Kump reported on HB 4007 (Protecting the Property Rights of Homeowners with residential Septic Systems). Although not on the original agenda of the House of Delegates Political Subdivision Committee that was posted on Wednesday morning, February 19th, it was later included as an agenda item for that day's committee meeting. However, the committee was not able to get to HB 4007 and one other bill within the remaining committee time available. Delegate Kump now is working with Delegate Tiffany Lawrence, Committee Chair, to draft and cosponsor a special legislative resolution that will authorize the creation an interim legislative study of this issue by a joint interim committee of the House of Delegates and Senate. He also will be pursuing this issue at the local county levels within his district.
Senator Cookman urged support for SB 378, which would allow waste service vehicles to be equipped with yellow or amber flashing warning lights.
Delegate Rowan urged support for HB 4137, to improve funding for special needs students. HB 4137 subsequently was passed by the House of Delegates, and now is pending consideration by the Senate.
Please share this message with others.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Some of you have asked me for a little more information about the Church hymn, "Do What is Right", which also mirrors my political perspective. This musical prayer was written in 1857 and was a comfort and an inspiration to our pioneers in our American West. It simply counsels us to "Do what is right. Let the consequence follow. Battle for freedom in spirit and might...Do what is right, be faithful and fearless...". And so, my personal pledge to all Mountaineers continues: to always do my best to do what is right, regardless of consequence.
In consequence of Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 being the last day for legislative proposals (bills) to be reported out of their originating committee, most bills will not pass that hurdle (as always is the case in every state legislative process throughout our nation). The Legislature's time and attention subsequently will focus on those bills which have survived passage in the originating chamber (House of Delegates or Senate).
One of these bills, HB 2364, "The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act", was among those bills which so far had failed to get committee hearings. A concerted effort, to discharge this Pro-Life bill out of committee and be voted upon by all Delegates, failed on a tie vote of 48-48. Eastern Panhandle Delegates voting in favor of HB 2364 were Delegates Cowles, Espinosa, Faircloth, Folk, Householder, Kump, Overington, and Rowan. Voting against HB 2364 were Delegates Barrett, Lawrence, and Skinner. (Roll Call vote #57, February 11th, 2014. For information about how all the other Delegates voted on HB 2364, visit www.legis.state.wv.us, click on "Bill Status, and then enter "bill number" 2363).
However, after that failed vote by the entire House of Delegates, there was continued controversy, which culminated in contentious confrontations and calumny on the floor of the House of Delegates during the Friday, February 14th floor session. During that discussion, the House of Delegates Health & Human Resources Committee Chairperson announced that he had decided to add HB 2364 to his committee's hearing agenda. He did not do that, but instead substituted a quickly drafted new bill (HB 4588), on the same issue and with different sponsors. The committee subsequently voted in favor of HB 4588, on a voice vote and with no recorded dissent, and HB 4588 went on for further consideration by the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee approved passage of HB 4588 on Friday afternoon (February 21st). It now is awaiting further consideration by the entire House of Delegates.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Delegates working to revitalize forced hook-up bill - journal-news.net | News, sports, jobs, community information for Martinsburg - The Journal
CHARLESTON — A bill to address property rights involving sewer and water hookups will have to wait until the next legislative sessio.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Participating in the Monday morning, February 17th, 2014 meeting of the West Virginia Eastern Panhandle Legislative Delegation (Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley, & Jefferson Counties) were Delegates Larry D. Kump, Paul Espinosa, Larry Faircloth, Daryl Cowles, Mike Folk, John Overington, and Ruth Rowan, as well as Senator Don Cookman.
Reverend J. Charles Riecks updated legislators about commuter rail access issues.
Art Thomm and about twenty Eastern Panhandle members of the West Virginia Citizens Defense League also participated in this legislative meeting.
Delegate Kump reported that HB 4007, which would protect the property rights of residential home owners who have private septic systems and wells, had not yet received a hearing or vote before the House of Delegates Political Subdivisions Committee. He also reported that he will not be giving up on this issue.
Some, but not all, legislative proposals which have been co-sponsored by Delegate Kump and are still awaiting committee action, are HB 4250 2nd Amendment "Constitutional Carry" Rights (with Delegate Folk, Berkeley County), HB 4479 Voter Identification (with Delegate Ireland, Ritchie County), HB 4219 Audit Highway Division Policies & Practices (with Delegate Gearheart, Mercer County), HB 4447 Increased Competitive Bidding by State Agencies (with Delegate Howell, Mineral County), HB 4464 Enhanced Freedom of Information Act Rights (with Delegate Armstead, Kanawha County), HB 4273 & HB 4274 Allow Sale of Raw Milk (with Delegate Sobonya, Cabell County), HB 4546 Rural Water Pipeline Construction (with Delegate Cadle, Mason County), HB 4569 Requiring law enforcement agencies to publicize reports on seizures of private property (with Delegate Cowles, Morgan County), and HB 4145 Crossbow Hunting (with Delegate Faircloth, Berkeley County).
Delegate Folk reported on HB 4216 (and SB 529), which would protect property owners regarding aircraft operations on private property. He also discussed HB 4378, which would streamline the permit process for dealing with wildlife that damage cultivated crops.
Senator Cookman reported that there has been no action on SB 368, which would reform wholesale gasoline pricing practices.
Delegate Faircloth provided a progress update on SB 373, which would further regulate public water resources and which has passed the House of Delegates Health &
Human Resources Committee.
A representative of the Highway Division will participate in next Monday's meeting
of Eastern Panhandle legislators.
Delegate Kump again noted that all legislative proposals must be reported out the committees in their originating body (House of Delegates or Senate) no later than Sunday, February 23rd. After that date, legislators will concentrate their attention on legislation which already has passed the other originating body (House of Delegates or Senate).
The above summary includes only highlights from the meeting.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
HB 2871,Drivers' Licenses (Judiciary Committee), is my proposal to roll back the provisions of the federal "Real ID Act of 2005", which West Virginia subsequently also adopted into state law. This has caused many drivers' license renewal problems for Mountaineer motorists (especially women). Although West Virginia was among the first to make this federal law also into a state law, the United State Department of Homeland Security repeatedly has put off enforcement. Moreover,Seventeen other states have passed laws restricting or banning its implementation within their borders. Federal enforcement of Real ID has been delayed four times since it was supposed to go into effect in 2008. Alaska, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, and Washington still have not met these federal standards. Another fifteen states do not yet meet these standards and have received federal extensions until October to do so, and can ask for more extensions after that. (Source: National Conference of State Legislatures)
As this year's Legislative Session quickly is coming to a close, a Church hymn, "Do What is Right", comes to my mind. This musical prayer counsels us to "Do what is right. Let the consequence follow.". My personal pledge to all Mountaineers is to always do my best to do what is right, regardless of the consequences.
And so it goes...
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Monday, February 10, 2014
Delegate Kump reported on the public hearing held last Thursday night on HB 4007, his proposal to protect the property rights of owners who have private residential septic systems and wells. United States Senator Joe Manchin also sent a representative to observe the citizen testimony at that hearing. The Falling Waters legislator has followed up on that public hearing, with a request to the House of Delegates Political Subdivisions Committee Chairperson (Delegate Tiffany Lawrence), asking for a committee hearing and a vote to pass HB 4007 out of that committee.
He also reported that he is cosponsoring HB 4396 (Finance Committee) with Delegate Joe Ellington (Mercer County), to begin a trial program to reduce gasoline prices, by lowering gasoline taxes in border counties. If successful, this trial program then could be expanded to apply to all of West Virginia.
Delegate Kump is cosponsoring HJR 105 (Judiciary Committee)with Delegate Gary Howell (Mineral County). HJR 105 is an amendment to the West Virginia Constitution, which would further protect our 2nd Amendment rights, by prohibiting the state or any of its subdivisions from maintaining any registry of firearms owned by Mountaineer citizens.
He also reminded fellow legislators that Monday, February 17th, is the last day in which to introduce new legislative proposals (bills).
Delegate Folk announced the endorsement of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) of HB 4216 (Judiciary Committee), which would extend liability protection to land owners for aircraft operations on their property. Delegate Folk also reported that HB 4378 (Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee), which would help farmers deal with destructive wildlife that destroy cultivated crops, is undergoing further revision prior to a committee vote.
Delegate Espinosa reported that he is introducing legislation to tighten up the financial and performance audits of all state government agencies and also audit the State Legislature.
Delegate Householder announced that he is introducing legislation to nullify "Obamacare" in West Virginia.
A request for the Attorney General and also a representative from the Department of Transportation to meet with Eastern Panhandle legislators still is pending.
Note: The above is a partial report of the highlights of the meeting.
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Saturday, February 8, 2014
HB 4007, is my proposal to prohibit public service districts from forcing those living in owner occupied residences to participate in a public water or sewer systems, except when those private septic systems or wells are proven unsafe or a public safety hazard. If passed and signed into law, HB 4007 also would protect us from being required to pay thousands of dollars and ongoing service fees for these mandated public utilities. This proposal had a public hearing last Thursday, wherein public testimony was received in the Chamber of the West Virginia House of Delegates. A follow-up request, to schedule an official committee hearing and vote on HB 4007, has been made to the Chairperson of the House of Delegates Political Subdivisions Committee, Delegate Tiffany Lawrence (Jefferson County).
I also have introduced HB 2871 (Judiciary Committee), my proposal to roll back the implementation of the federal "REAL ID ACT of 2005", which West Virginia also has adopted and which has caused so many drivers' license renewal problems for many Mountaineer motorists (especially women).
I am a cosponsor of HB 4396 (Finance Committee) with Delegate Joe Ellington (Mercer County), to begin a trial program that would reduce gasoline prices, by lowering gasoline taxes in West Virginia border counties. If successful, this trial program then could be expanded and applied to all of West Virginia.
Also cosponsored by me is HJR 105, with Delegate Gary Howell (Mineral County), which is a proposed amendment to the West Virginia Constitution. This would further protect our 2nd Amendment rights, by prohibiting the state or any of its subdivisions from maintaining any registry of firearms owned by Mountaineer citizens.
Footnote: Contributions for the re-election of Delegate Kump should be sent to "Friends of Larry D. Kump:, P.O. Box 1131, Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419-1131.
Friday, February 7, 2014
by Erika Elaine Wells
CHARLESTON - A proposed bill became a matter of property rights versus public health at a meeting at the Capitol.
A public hearing was held Thursday in the House Chamber to discuss legislation to protect the property rights of residential homeowners who have private septic systems and wells.
Delegate Larry D. Kump, R-Berkeley, introduced a bill, H.B. 4007, to prohibit state public utilities from forcing owner-occupied residences to hook up to a public residential water or sewer system, unless a private system is deemed unsafe for human use or is a public safety hazard.
"There are two opposing sides," Kump said. "Both issues are fairly plain. How to resolve them without causing further distress to private property owners, who feel like their rights are violated, is the question."
A few citizens in attendance talked about topics including the financial impact on owners; failure of water systems; water quality issues; health problems; placing the ability to connect into code; and the rights of property owners, said Assistant Majority Whip Tiffany Lawrence, D-Jefferson, chairperson of the House Political Subdivisions Committee.
Kump said each person was given a few minutes to speak. Those who opposed the bill said banning a forced hook-up would impede on the expansion of sewer and water systems, and public water and sewer systems are safer than private wells and septic tanks. Those in favor of the bill said they did not want to discontinue using septic tanks and wells, which they invested in, that were cleaner than the public water systems.
Kump said he drafted the bill as a result of complaints from Eastern Panhandle citizens, but this is a statewide issue. Co-sponsors include Eastern Panhandle Delegates Michael Folk, Eric Householder and Larry Faircloth, all R-Berkeley.
"The water crisis we had in the Charleston area emphasized that there is value in having a diversification of our waste and water systems," Kump said. "If we have all of our systems under one roof, and it goes bad, it causes a crisis."
In Berkeley County, which has limited water mains, residents are not required to hook up to public water systems. Residents with property within 300 feet of a public sewer line are required to hook up. If the county expands a sewer line, residents are required to connect to the public system. Otherwise, residences incur a monthly fee, regardless of whether a private septic tank is in use.
Kump said public utilities services representatives have said if too many people opt out, residents who are connected to the public system will have billing increases.
If the bill becomes a law, it would not apply to residents who are currently connected to the system. If a resident is exempted under the new law, but their septic system or well become unsafe or stop functioning, the resident would not be eligible for exemption.
Lawrence conducted the meeting, which was attended by a representative sent by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va, to observe the hearing, Kump said.
Lawrence said she will consult with committee members to decide if they will formally take up in the bill. The committee will review documents they received at the public hearing.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Click on the link below for the answer to that question:
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901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066
If you feel the same, please send contributions for my re-election to
Friends of Larry D. Kump
P. O. Box 1131
Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419-1131
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Monday, February 3, 2014
Delegate Kump reported that HB 4007, his proposal to protect the property rights of residential homeowners who have private septic systems and wells, now has been rescheduled for a public hearing at 5:30 PM, Thursday, February 6th in the Chamber of the West Virginia House of Delegates.(The previous public hearing on January 21st had been postponed, due to the sudden and unexpected illness of the Political Subdivisions Committee Chairperson.) This rescheduled public hearing is open to all interested individuals to testify. This is a public hearing and a vote on HB 4007 will NOT be held at that time. HB 4007 also is awaiting a hearing and a vote by the House of Delegates Political Subdivisions Committee. Delegate Kump also discussed HB 2871 (Judiciary Committee), which is his proposal to roll back the implementation of the federal "REAL ID ACT of 2005", which West Virginia also has adopted and which has caused so many drivers' license renewal problems for many Mountaineer motorists (especially women). Eastern Panhandle Delegates Folk and Householder are cosponsors of HB 2871. Finally, Delegate Kump also announced that he and Delegate Folk are cosponsoring a proposal with Delegate Joe Ellington (Mercer County), to begin a pilot program that would reduce gasoline prices.
Senator Blair led discussion on SB 365, which as passed the Senate Government Organization Committee and is pending a hearing by the Senate Finance Committee. This proposal would exempt the elected members of Conservation Districts from the State Ethics Law, in order to enable them and their families to be eligible to receive agriculture grants. He also is continuing to work on gasoline fuel price issues.
Delegate Folk reported on HB 4378, which is pending a hearing in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. It would make it easier for farmers to get permits to control crop damage caused by deer.
Delegate Overington advocated on behalf of HB 4378 (Judiciary Committee), which would further restrict bar closing times.
Delegate Faircloth reported that legislation allowing cross-bow hunting in West Virginia has passed the Agriculture Committee and now is pending a hearing before the Finance Committee.
Delegate Cowles discussed the ongoing difficulties in obtaining state bond funding for sewer plant upgrades and improvements at Cacapon State Park.
Delegate Rowan reported that HB 4137, to address special need student funding allocation issues, has passed the Education Committee and is awaiting a hearing before the Finance Committee.
Delegate Espinosa announced that he soon will be introducing legislation to require an audit of all state agencies. Delegate Kump and others have agreed to be cosponsors.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has been invited to participate in next week's meeting.
Representatives from the Division of Highways and also the State Police will be requested to speak at future meetings.
Friday, January 31, 2014
Due to the sudden and unexpected illness of the Political Subdivisions Chair, the previous public hearing on January 21st was postponed, but now has been rescheduled for 5:30 PM, Thursday, February 6th. (Read on for further details)
Delegate Larry D. Kump has introduced HB 4007, Sewage & Water Property Rights (Political Subdivisions Committee), to prohibit public utility districts from forcing those living in owner-occupied residences to participate in a water or sewer system, except when those private systems are proved unsafe or a public safety hazard.
At 5:30 PM, Thursday, February 6th, 2014, a rescheduled public hearing on this issue will be held in the Chamber of the West Virginia House of Delegates (1900 Kanawha Blvd East, Charleston, WV 25305). Citizen public testimony is invited.
"I am hearing from homeowners across West Virginia about being forced to hook up to public sewer systems," said Kump.
"This is a violation of our personal property rights, not to mention the fact that, in this economy, it can bankrupt those forced to do so. This is especially true for those on fixed incomes, as well as so many others who are having such a hard time providing for their families."
With price tags in the multiple thousands of dollars, these mandatory "hook up" orders even has caused some homeowners to take out a second mortgage on their homes.
"Life, liberty and property are three basic principles that our founding fathers held most sacred. It is the duty of our West Virginia elected officials to protect the property rights of our constituents", continued the Falling Waters legislator.
"These intrusions into our very homes violate our most basic rights, which are enshrined in both our Federal and State Constitutions.
I call upon other elected officials and citizens to join with me in this fight to protect the property rights of West Virginia home owners."
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014
HB 4118 (Political Subdivisions Committee) Would create smaller and single member State Senate districts, instead of the current practice of having two Senators for each large district.
HB 4120 (Education Committee) Would require the State School Superintendent to be elected on a non-partisan basis in the General elections.
HB 4121 (Government Organization Committee) Would require the Public Service Commission Chairperson to be elected on a non-partisan basis in the General elections.
HB 4123 (Political Subdivisions Committee) Would move the non-partisan local school board elections from Primary to General elections.
HJR 2 (Judiciary Committee) Establish term limits for state legislators (no more than eight years in any office).
HJR 35 (Education Committee) Move the election of county school boards from the Primary to General elections.
HJR 101 (Judiciary Committee) Allow the Legislature to increase the "Homestead Act" tax exemptions for senior citizens.
HJR 102 (Judiciary Committee) Allow local county commissions to determine the salaries of local elected officials, BUT ONLY if changes in local officials' salaries are approved by the county voters in the next General election.
Footnote: "HJR" denotes a proposed amendment to the West Virginia State Constitution.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Participating in the January 27th Monday morning meeting of West Virginia Eastern Panhandle legislators were Delegates Larry D. Kump, Paul Espinosa, Eric Householder, Larry Faircloth, Ruth Rowan, John Overington, and Daryl Cowles plus Senators Craig Blair and Don Cookman. Morgan County Commissioner Stacy Dugan also was in attendance.
Delegate Kump further discussed HB 4007, his proposal to protect the property rights of those Mountaineers who have residential septic systems and wells. It still is waiting for a hearing before the Political Subdivisions Committee. He also discussed his proposal, HJR 101 (Judiciary Committee), to allow the Legislature to increase the "Homestead Act" tax exemptions for senior citizens as well as his concerns regarding those who want the Legislature to increase the salaries of county elected officials by 12%. As an alternative, he has proposed HJR 102 (Judiciary Committee), which instead would allow local county commissions or councils to determine the salaries of local elected officials, BUT ONLY if their proposed changes in local elected officials' salaries are approved by the county voters in the next General election.
Delegate Faircloth discussed his HB 4295 (Judiciary Committee), which would require uniform enforcement standards on environmental issues and HB 4334 (Small Business & Economic Development Committee), which would give small businesses tax credits for hiring additional employees.
Senator Cookman discussed his concerns about the funding requirements for local counties to finance regional jails.
Senator Blair spoke about efforts to eliminate "zone pricing" and other factors which contribute to high retail gasoline prices in West Virginia. He and Senator Cookman also are sponsoring legislation, SB 382 (Military Committee), which would exempt veterans and fraternal organizatins from non-smoking regulations.
Delegate Householder spoke about his pending legislation to nullify the "Affordable Care Act". A bill number and committee assignment still are pending on this legislation.
Delegate Rowan gave an update on efforts to help the School for the Deaf and the School for the Blind in Romney, West Virginia.
Delegate Overington reported that his HB 2477, to allow auxiliary safety lighting on motorcycles, has passed the House of Delegates and is pending further consideration by the Senate.
Delegate Cowles reviewed the Supplemental Budget Appropriation, which would provide funding for medical services and help volunteer firefighters.
Morgan County Commissioner Dugan expressed concern about the need to approve funding for Cacapon State Park improvements.
Friday, January 24, 2014
CHARLESTON - Property rights of water and sewer systems have caused controversy for West Virginians.
Delegate Larry D. Kump, R-Berkeley, has introduced a bill to prohibit any municipal or state public service district from forcing those in owner-occupied private residences to participate in a water or sewer system, except when private systems are proven unsafe or a public safety hazard.
"Berkeley County has this problem, but it's a statewide issue," Kump said. "The feedback I'm getting from people in my district and across the state is that they think that their septic systems are performing, by and large, on a higher level of efficiency than the public sewer systems."
When the public sewer district expands into a jurisdiction, the residential homeowners are not given a choice as to whether they want to hook up to the public sewer district, Kump said.
"This is not legislation on the whole issue of eminent domain," Folk said. "This legislation is just on the issues of these mandatory sewer hook-ups."
Under the law, if the bill becomes a law, it would not apply to residents who are currently connected to the system, Kump said. He said residents that have been exempted, but their septic systems become unsafe or stops functions, would not be exempt anymore.
In Berkeley County, if expansion occurs, residents maintain upkeep on what they own unless water or sewer was newly brought to the area. If a resident is within 300 feet, they have to hook on, residents are required to connect if it is not cost prohibitive, said Jennifer Hutson, sanitarian supervisor at the Berkeley County Health Department.
Kump said residents are concerned about the hook-up fees, which may costs thousands of dollars, followed by monthly fees.
"If they have a perfectly functioning and safe septic system, they don't feel like they should be coerced to hook up to a public system and pay a lot of money out of their almost empty pockets," Kump said. "A lot of people live from paycheck to paycheck. They just are terrified that they're going to be forced into these sewer hookups. They don't know where the money is going to come from."
Residents have taken out second mortgages or abandoned working, safe systems that they purchased during the public hookup transition, Kump said. He said there have been complaints that developers of small townhouses who do not have enough property to sustain a sewer system push for the public sewer system.
Kump said he decided to draft the bill when the sewer issue caught his attention, but the legislation affects homeowners and renters also with wells.
"The recent water crisis we've had-and are still struggling through the dregs of in the state capitol area- wouldn't have affected people that have private wells," Kump said. "That's not an indictment of the public water system, if people would have been on private wells."
The Berkeley County Public Service Water District does not force anyone to make a water connection, said Paul Fisher, executive director of the public service district.
"We can run a water line in the front of your house, and if you have a well, you just can use your well," said. "There's nothing in place that forces that issue. It's strictly voluntary."
Kump said some residents who have been required to hook up have taken legal action, such as one man who claims his property was damaged during the construction process and regulations were disregarded. He said some argue that participating in the public system makes it more cost efficient for those who hook up.
"Of all the responses I've gotten-and I've more than I can count-I did receive (responses) from two attorneys that were taking the other side that said that this would create a hardship if people were allowed to opt out."
Kump said there has been controversy regarding the efficiency and cleanliness of the public system in the past few years and strain on public sewage districts.
"Our public sewage districts are under tremendous pressure from the federal government-the Environmental Protection Agency-to upgrade what they are already doing," Kump said. "They are in a pinch financially. It's a mess."
Kump said he suggested West Virginia take a cue from the Washington Suburban Sanitary District, which serves Prince Georges and Montgomery counties in Maryland and does not require hookups to water or septic systems.
The WSSD held a public meeting before recently running a water line down a street in a residential area, said Jerry Irvine, public affairs manager for the WSSD.
"People were upset, but the short answer was, 'No,'" Irvine said. "Half of the people wanted to tie in, and the half wasn't required to. ... They make the judgment on whether it's a better value for them."
The WSSD, which has 1.8 million customers, has more than 11,000 miles of water and sewer pipes, Irvine said. He said the mandates depend on the area of each county.
"It's really about what residents in that area and/or legislatures do or do not want," Irvine said. "Folks who run septic and sewer (systems) feel like that's their system. They want to maintain it, and they don't want to tie it into a larger system. They have those rights. They pay their own maintenance fees."
Kump and Delegate Tiffany Lawrence, D-Jefferson, scheduled a public hearing for Jan. 21 in Charleston before the bill goes before the Political Subdivision Committee, chaired by Lawrence, Kump said. The public hearing was postponed due to the illness of Delegate Lawrence, Kump said. A new date has not been scheduled.
"This is a basic issue of citizens' property rights," Kump said. "If you live in a home, and what you're doing-whether it's with your septic system or anything else-and it's not a danger to your neighbors or yourself, then I don't think the government should have the prerogative to tell you to do otherwise, and in doing that, cause you to spend thousands and thousands of dollars that is hard to come by in these times."
Kump said if he has to move forward, he will make adjustments to the bill, which is pending.
Visit www.LarryKump.com for my other legislative news and views.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
(Note: Please also see the previous entry on "Salaries, Schools, & Sewers")
CHARLES TOWN - Elected officials in West Virginia may see a salary increase, but due to budget concerns, the raise will not likely happen this year.
According to Vivian Parsons, executive director of the County Commissioners' Association of West Virginia, it has been eight years since elected officials in the Eastern Panhandle got a raise.
"In October, the county commissioners' association board of directors met, and we brought the issue (of a possible pay raise) to our membership," Parsons said. "Seventy percent of our members opposed the raise happening in 2014. We feel they work hard and deserve a raise, but the consensus was that this just isn't the right time."
Parsons said the salary of elected officials is set by the state legislature. Jefferson County commissioners and Berkeley County council members currently receive an annual salary of $36,900.
Parsons cites economic issues, local as well as state, as the reason the potential raise has been put on hold.
"We've received warnings from state leaders about the economy," Parsons said. "Some counties also have concerns with their own budgets."
Jefferson County commissioners have found themselves in a tight financial spot, and faced a $3.9 million deficit in December, but Jefferson County commissioner Dale Manuel remains in favor of a raise.
Manuel said in December that he believes the responsibilities that come with being a county commissioner are increasing, and the commissioners' pay should reflect the hours they put into their work.
"It's more and more work," he said during a legislative summit. "I know it is in Jefferson County, and I know it is in Berkeley County, too. You're constantly going to meetings, you're constantly working on the budget and so forth."
Delegate Larry D. Kump, R-Berkeley, is working on legislation that may give elected officials in the state a raise.
Kump said there is a proposal to increase elected officials' salaries by 12 percent, an idea he disagrees with because, he said, elected officials knew what their salary would be when they got into office.
Rather than a set increase, Kump is proposing a voter referendum in which county commissions would set a desired amount and county residents could vote on the salary increase proposed by their commission.
"I think these types of determinations ought to be local, based on voter input," Kump said. "This way, authority can be given back to local counties."
Manuel said he still supports the proposed legislation but understands that Jefferson County is not ready for pay raises since it is in the midst of financial problems.
"I support the (12 percent salary increase) legislation being there, which would increase the salary of county commissioners to $42,000 if it's passed," Manuel said recently. "Just because the legislation is there, it doesn't mean we can do it. We definitely can't do it now because of our budgeting issues, and maybe not even next fiscal year. The problem is the economic growth money just isn't there and we still need $1.2 million."
Footnote: In response to the attempt to have the West Virginia State Legislature increase the salaries of county elected officials by 12%, Delegate Kump proposed (HJR 102) that the salaries of county elected officials instead be determined by the county commissions or council BUT that those salary determinations be conditional on a referendum approval of local county voters in the following General election.
From the Hagerstown, Maryland "Herlad-Mail" newspaper:
by Matthew Umstead
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Republican state lawmaker from Berkeley County has introduced legislation to cut his own salary by $2,000 and begin to eliminate the pension benefit for new legislators, starting in 2016.
“Times are hard ... people are struggling,” said. Del. Larry D. Kump of his proposal to reduce legislators’ annual salary from $20,000 to $18,000.
Although not “a princely sum,” the pay cut would convey to the public that lawmakers recognize the struggles of residents and are going to make a similar sacrifice, Kump said.
House Bill 4119, if passed, would not reduce the reimbursements that lawmakers receive for meals, travel and lodging for the regular 60-day session, which continues through March 8.
Kump, R-Berkeley/Morgan, said eliminating the pension benefit as proposed in House Bill 4117 could only be done for future legislators, not for current lawmakers who were automatically included in the pension plan. “It encourages people to stay for longer than they should,” said Kump, who is serving his second, two-year term and filed for re-election last week. “They shouldn’t look at (serving in the legislature) as a career.”
Joining Kump in support of both bills are Berkeley County Republican Dels. Larry W. Faircloth and Mike Folk.
Faircloth said Wednesday he supports the salary reduction given that the state is in “economic duress,” with more than 50,000 people out of work and thousands more struggling to pay their bills.
Faircloth said a pay raise proposal for county elected officials was pushed the hardest during recent interim meetings, and state lawmakers need to set the example that now is the time for belt-tightening.
As for the pension benefit legislation, Faircloth said he simply doesn’t believe any elected official should be privileged or entitled to a pension for essentially providing a community service in an at-will position.
“Why should we receive a pension check for volunteering to help our state?” Faircloth asked.
No other delegates joined in support of Kump’s pension bill, and only one other lawmaker, Del. Roy Cooper, R-Summers, signed on as sponsor of the salary bill, according to the Legislature’s website.
Kump said the salary reduction bill is something he has considered since he was elected in 2010.
Although the bill could be amended and used as a vehicle for a salary increase, Kump said it is far less likely that lawmakers who might want to increase their salary will propose such a change in an election year.
Kump said the pension bill wouldn’t be an issue if there were limits in place on how many terms in office lawmakers can serve, which is something he also supports.
Home-school tax credit
Among other bills, Folk and Faircloth also signed on as sponsors of Kump’s bill to provide a $500 per child tax credit to parents or guardians whose children are home-schooled or attend a non-public school.
Dubbed the Educational Equality Act, House Bill 4136 would provide a tax credit that would be effective upon the completion of a school year.
Kump said the amount of the tax credit he proposed is a number he just “picked out of the air” and was meant to give families who devote a lot of resources to home-schooling their children a little bit of a break.
Kump said the credit is based on the principle of equity given that these families are also still paying property taxes that go toward the funding of their community’s public education system.
The cost of the tax credit hasn’t been figured, and Kump readily acknowledged that any bill with a fiscal note is going to have a tough time getting passed this year.
Joining the three Republican Berkeley County lawmakers in sponsoring the bill are Dels. Cindy Frich, R-Monongalia, and Gary G. Howell, R-Mineral.
Forced sewer hookup
While concerns over the public water service contamination crisis in the Charleston, W.Va.-area linger, Kump said he is pushing for legislation that would allow residential property owners to keep their septic systems and wells and not be forced to hook up to public sewer or water systems.
Kump said other large public service districts outside of West Virginia have allowed for such exemptions.
It would be the burden of the utilities to prove that a homeowners’ well or septic system was unsafe, and thus required to hook up to a public sewer system, if House Bill 4007 were adopted, Kump said.
“People who would have had a well (here in the Charleston area) would not have been affected by the water crisis,” said Kump.
He also cited the financial struggle that a Falling Waters, W.Va., couple has faced since being forced to pay for the cost of hooking up to the public utility system by taking out a loan on their property.
“My goal (here in the Legislature) is to give people a little bit of choice and not have things rammed down their throats by the government,” Kump said.
Faircloth, Folk and Dels. Eric Householder, R-Berkeley, Ray Canterbury, R-Greenbrier and William R. Romine, R-Tyler, signed on as sponsors of the bill, according to the Legislature’s website.