Saturday, February 22, 2014
"Do What is Right" & "The Unborn Child Protection Act"
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.