Here's my quick tally of the best and worst of the WV legislature. Note: I'm speaking only about issues I worked on.
Increasing minimum wage by $1.50 over two years.
Passing the Pregnant Worker Fairness Act.
Several bills that should help reduce prison overcrowding and make it less likely that WV will ship inmates (and money) out of state to private, for profit prisons.
Passing the Future Fund, except the House threw in some unfortunate amendments. If they hadn't, I would have put it in the really good column. It will take more work to make it really reach its potential.
The water bill. I talked with several people who were very active in the fight that occurred in the wake of the chemical leak and most were fairly pleased with the bill. That is to say, they seemed to think it was as good as could have been gotten from that legislature at the time.
The state budget and especially restoring cuts to family violence and early childhood programs.
Killing Move to Improve. Shame on the House Education Committee.
Killing the bill to make non-tamper proof pseudephedrine a prescription drug. The meth lobby has more clout than the kids lobby in the House.
I was not directly involved in two high-drama issues, which involved abortion bans and guns. I will say that Senator Erik Wells, husband of Secretary of State and US senate candidate Natalie Tennant, nailed it when he courageously observed that
"We want to focus on gays, abortion and guns, and I have to wonder when that's going to change. We will never get past 50th if we worry more about the next election than the next generation."
Gazette columnist Phil Kabler had this take on the session in today's paper.