When I was a kid, good news/bad news jokes were popular. One that I remember my old man telling involved a general telling his soldiers that the good news was that they got to finally change underwear today. The bad news was "You change with you, you change with you, you change with you..." and so on.
I guess the good news at the WV legislature is that Governor Tomblin has introduced mine safety legislation, at least partly in response to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch disaster which killed 29 miners in April 2010.
The bad news is that a big part of the legislation has to do with drug testing coal miners, which, as mine safety expert Davitt McAteer testified today, had absolutely nothing to do with the disaster. Or the Sago disaster. Or the Aracoma mine fire. It appears that drug testing is the drug of choice this year under the dome.
To be fair, there are some good things in the governor's bill. There are probably some better things in a bill that has been introduced in the house. It would be nice if something would get through this time that would address the real issues. It's too soon to tell whether that will happen.
More on all that here from the one and only Ken Ward at the Charleston Gazette here.