April 10, 2017

It's over. Ish.

The WV legislative session, one of the weirder ones in recent memory, officially ended this weekend. Sort of. There's the teeny tiny issue of the budget, where major disagreements remain between Democratic Gov. Jim Justice and the Republican legislature.

Specifically, the budget has no new revenue and deep cuts to programs like Medicaid. When you figure in the federal match, this could mean a cut of $200 million. The governor hasn't vetoed the budget yet as far as I can tell, but it seems likely to me that this will happen and the games will begin. The deadline to state shutdown is July 1.

On the bright side, the budget passed isn't as awful as some that were proposed during the session. More work is needed to pass a decent one.

On the brighter side, I'm especially happy about two victories, one of which involved killing a bill and the other involved passing one.

I'm actually gladdest about the bill that died, a mean-spirited SNAP bill that would have taken away food assistance from the poorest West Virginians while also taking millions out of the state economy.

The one that passed will give people with felony convictions the chance to petition the courts to have the offence reduced to a misdemeanor after several years. It's weaker than what we would have liked but it's way better than it was before.

Mulling over that and other limited victories has led me to formulate a maxim which I plan to copyright:

"Those who minimize hard won but limited victories for social justice tend not to be the people who worked their ass off to win them."

And you can quote me on that.

5 comments:

Rondalyn Whitney said...

I appreciate your insights on the political swill of the day

Antipode said...

So would it take $500 million or more in Medicaid cuts to be an awful budget? Perhaps ending MOE for TANF? Asking for a friend.
#hillbillyexpectations

Antipode said...

I mean. At least they didn't shut down all of the public colleges.

El Cabrero said...

Thanks, Rondalyn. As for my friendly troll Antipode, it's still bad and it isn't over. But it could have been a lot worse.

Antipode said...

Yea. They could have pulled the plug on Birth to 3. And at least Medicaid will still cover cancer screenings and CHIP is fully funded with federal money.