Key to West Virginia Legislature
Select 2002 House Roll Call Votes
2002 Delegate Scorecard
1. Restricting Public Hearing Requests
- Changing House of Delegates Rule 84 so that public hearings would only be required for bills “on the official agenda” of the committee rather than “pending before” the committee. This raised the question of how much advance notice would be provided for a bill being added to the agenda by the committee chairman so that the public in turn would have advance notice and to be able to plan to attend and participate. Other concerns dealt with public hearings calling attention to a problem that needed to be addressed but the chairman not putting the bill on the agenda and thus no public hearing. Since no one expressed any problem with the status quo, the question was raised why this needed to be “fixed”. Opponents, expressing WVAGW’s views with a “No” vote, felt this could restrict the ability to have public hearings; that more debate, discussion and public involvement would benefit the process. (HR 6) 1/24/02 RC#6 (69-29).
2. Amendmenet to require a statewide public vote before the issuance of the $4 billion in bonds
for the unfunded liability in the three state pension funds. Before the state can incur debt the constitution calls for an amendment by a vote of the public for new debt. Regardless the public should have direct input on this decision that will require payments by the taxpayers for decades. (HB 4021) 1/29/02 RC#10 (27-69).
3. Sales tax holiday for back to school purchases
for three days in August 2002. (H.B. 4017) 2/28/02 RC#125 (94-0).
4. Broadnax decision clarification
- Clarifying a court decision requiring insurance companies are required to show specific premium reductions for exclusions included into insurance policies. This legislation effectively reverses a state Supreme Court decision that will increase insurance cost of West Virginians and lead insurance companies to avoid or restrict doing business in the state. The state trial lawyers, seeing opportunities for profitable lawsuits, aggressively opposed this clarification. (H.B. 4670) 3/07/02 RC#203 (89-5).
5. Eliminating the health care provider tax
on in-home community care services (S.B. 651) 3/07/02 RC#220 (98-0)
6. Amendment eliminating the mandate in the bill that all counties have pre-kindergarten program
for four-year olds within a decade at a cost of tens of millions of dollars. This mandate/jobs program for WVEA was to offset loss of teacher jobs as the state continues to lose thousands of students. Head Start and other federally funded programs would be replaced by state dollars and state teachers. Four-year old children would be placed on buses with kids two and three times older. Teachers with BA’s and MA’s will be taking care of kids with naps and play time. Resources for K-12 would be siphoned away, including funds for additional pay raises or tax cuts. Growth counties would have problems keeping up the demand for new schools. (S.B. 247) 3/09/02 RC#270 (23-75).
7. Amendment to require further legislative action before implementing the program for four-year olds.
Next year’s new legislators may feel differently about this huge expansion, especially since it was not discussed in depth by the legislature in advance and will siphon off needed tax dollars (S.B. 247) 3/09/02 RC#272 (24-73).
8. Raising salary of the Racing Commission
members from $5,000 to $12,000. (S.B. 690) RC#344
9. Taking $19 million from future infrastructure funds
including $5 million from the SBA, $4 million from State Parks, and $10 million from water and sewer infrastructure needs to fund special projects such as Wheeling’s Victorian Outlook Mall. These projects will divert money from needed infrastructure projects giving them to projects that if fully viable in the private sector would not need state subsidiary. The projects will be decided by a nine member board without full disclosure and with possible political consideration. (H.B. 4005) 3/09/02 RC#360 (82-16)
10. Increasing the maximum number of years
for an excess levy from three years to four thereby reducing accountability (H.J.R. 104) 3/09/02 RC#393 (92-5).