- Key to 2001 Votes on WVAGW Scorecard -
2001 Delegate Scorecard
1. Recording Votes on Bills on Passage
to increase accountability and public confidence in the representative form of government. The public that votes for their elected officials should know with certainty how their elected officials vote to represent them for all bills on passage, not just ones that a legislator requests to be a
recorded roll call vote. With voice votes legislators not in the House Chamber during voting would still be counted as voting in the prevailing side. On some high profile issues roll calls are requested but not on others such as the tobacco tax. A "No" vote was for recorded votes (H.R. 9) 3/8/01 RC#15 (Reject? 72-27).
2. Gas Tax Extended for Just One Year
- This amendment was to continue the temporary five cents of West Virginia’s 25.35 cents gas tax for just one year to 2002 rather than 2007/ This would have made WV more competitive with our neighboring states. A
majority of West Virginians live in a border county where the rates of neighboring states are: KU-16.4; MD-23.5˘; OH-22˘; PA-25.9˘; VA-17.5˘. (S.B. 129) 4/3/01 RC#128 (22-77).
3. Temporary Gas Tax Continued
- The "temporary" 5 cents Gas tax continued until 2007 keeping WV the 8th highest in the nation. Currently the tax on gasoline is 25.35 cents and well above most of our surrounding states - KY-16.4"; MD-23.5"; OH-22"; PA 25.9";VA-17.5". This is not a luxury tax, but a regressive tax, especially for working West Virginians who need to drive to their jobs and generally do not have public transportation. Border
counties with their local convenience stores and gas stations have trouble competing with lower gas prices in neighboring states, especially those where many customers commute to out of state jobs or shopping. A "No" vote and bill did not change the 20.35 cents, just would have eliminated the 5 cents now rather than August 1, 2007. (S.B. 129) 4/4/01 RC# 143 (88-12).
4. Exempt Small Employers from Mandated Insurance Cov-erage for Treatment of Mental Illness.
This state mandate could force some businesses of 25428 employees or less to drop their health
care coverage or increase their rates. (H.B. 2601) 4/5/01 RC#166 (20-79).
5. Restrict Fund-Raising During the 60-Day Legislative Session,
ban political campaigns or solicitations on state grounds, and limit the amount of money for the national party to the state party.
This amendment was an effort to increase the perception that the government was representing the public, not big contributors or special interest groups. (H.B. 3175) 4/4/01 RC#148 (27-72).
6 . Compensation and Expense Increase for Legislators
as well as salary for elected and appointed officials. This included a legislative pay increase of $50 per day for interim and special session compensation, going from $100 per day to $150 per day. Expense allocations were also increased. Many felt legislators were
using this bill as a backdoor way to vote themselves a pay raise, and that it might encourage special and extended sessions rather than getting the work done during the regular 60-day session. (H.B. 2912) 4/10/01 RC#230 (69-28).
7. Delay in Tax Fairness Evaluation
by extending the filing informational returns timetable. This further delays the evaluation of the changes needed to simplify and make more competitive our tax code. A "Yes" vote was to move back the timetable for the eval-
uation of the state’s tax structure and the possible adverse effect on West Virginia’s business climate. The Commission of Tax Fairness had been completed and its recommendations were to be evaluated by checking tax returns (S.B. 554) 4/14/01 RC#391 (73-24).
8. Budget Bill with Continuing Increases in Revenues
especially with gambling money expected to add over $100 million next year and over $200 million thereafter. There are, however, no major planned reductions in taxes. Nationally West Virginia ranks near the
top in regressive food and gas taxes while being at the bottom in per capita income while the state budget continues to increase. (H.B. 101) 4/23/01 RC#566 (81-12).
9. Changing the Property Tax Year
for personal income tax credit allowed for certain low-income seniors. This bill moved the effective date from 2002 to 2003, before seniors would be able to
use this homestead exemption. The means-tested additional $10,000 credit is added to the $20,000 homestead exemption all seniors are eligible to receive. (S.B.) 9/15/01 RC#636 (77-13).
10. Creating Two Additional Single-Delegate Districts,
breaking up the state's largest multi-delegate district. This amendment for Kanawha County would have changed the 7-member, 3-member and one single-member district configuration into a 5-, 3- and three single-member district configuration thereby increasing accountability. By dividing the 7-member district, areas such as Cabin Creek would be able to elect a delegate from their specific area. voters would have a greater chance of knowing their specific delegate and hold him or her accountable. With the current system the voters select 7 delegates out of the 14 in the general election and even more in the primary, in many cases voting for delegates from outside their area that they may not know. (H.B. 511) 9/14/01 RC#645 (17-77).