Please read on about 2 BAD BILLS moving in the Legislature and contact your legislators and tell them to vote NO. Each legislators’ phone number and a link to email can be accessed at https://www.wvlegislature.gov/Senate1/roster.cfm and https://www.wvlegislature.gov/House/roster.cfm
SB565 pertains to elections and has passed the Senate and will move to the House. The worst aspects are that it includes none of the reforms that contributed to the high turnouts in 2020, such as no-excuse absentee voting or having drop boxes for absentee ballot requests and ballots, and worse, it pretty much guts the Automatic Voter Registration at DMV bill that passed a few years ago but has yet to be implemented. It also moves the dates for early in-person voting back so that the Saturday before Election Day, the most popular day for early voting, is eliminated. This bill reflects the wish list of the Secretary of State and includes a few acceptable changes, but the bad far outweighs the good. The League has been involved in discussions along with other pro-voter organizations with the Secretary’s election staff advocating for voter-friendly changes, to no avail. The LWVWV priority on taxation for this session was that the LWVWV Supports measures that modernize the elections process, allow more efficient procedures for election officials, and give voters easier access to voting such as making permanent the expanded voting options that were available during the pandemic in 2020.
HB3300 is the House’s version of the governor’s plan to phase out the state income tax. It is on second reading in the House today. While the House’s bill phases the tax out more gradually than the governor’s plan, there is no way it could make up for the lost revenue without drastic cuts in funding to already strapped agencies and programs. Many West Virginians earn too little to pay income taxes and will see increases in sales taxes. Cutting and eliminating the state income tax will benefit the well-off while raising taxes and cutting services for people who are struggling. The LWVWV priority on taxation for this session was that the LWVWV Supports reforms of the West Virginia tax system that are broadly based, rely on diverse revenue sources, provide adequate, stable yield sufficient to provide essential services, and treat taxpayers fairly.
For more information on both bills, Citizen Action Group has up-to-date information: wvcag.org or type in the bill number (digits only) at the Legislature’s Bill Statue site: https://www.wvlegislature.gov/Bill_Status/bill_status.cfm