Legislative proposals (bills) now have begun to be introduced in the 2014 West Virginia Legislature. This will continue until February 17th.
However, Mountaineers lost much of their voice on Thursday, January 9th, when the leadership of the House of Delegates pushed through a parliamentary rule change (House Resolution #2, Roll Call #3).
This change makes it much more difficult for Delegates to act on behalf of their constituents and on issues of conscience. In essence, it gives a small, internal "Rules Committee" power to block the consideration of legislation from a vote on the floor of the House of Delegates. The vote was 53 yeas to 45 nays in favor of this change.
Among the Eastern Panhandle delegation, Delegates Skinner, Barrett, and Lawrence voted yea. Delegates Kump, Cowles, Householder, Overington, Faircloth, Espinosa, and Folk voted nay.
Meanwhile, I have introduced HB 4007, Sewage & Water Property Rights (Political Subdivisions Committee), to prohibit public utility districts from forcing owner-occupied residences to participate in a water or sewer system, except when when the private systems are proved unsafe or a public safety hazard
Many more bills will forthcoming from me, both as a sponsor and cosponsor.
My legislative efforts will continue to focus on being an independent voice on behalf of the principles of individual liberty, personal accountability and personal empowerment.
All bills must first be heard and voted upon in their assigned committee before receiving further consideration.
Legislative committee membership and individual legislator contact information is available at www.legis.state.wv.us.