Thursday, February 27, 2014
The 2014 WV Legislature - a Retrospective
Watching our state elected officials at work is not for the faint of heart.
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.