There has been great progress in many towns across the state of West Virginia, as well as institutions like West Virginia University and the State Board of Education in regard to inclusion. However, today, WV HB2881 was introduced by the House Government Organization Committee. The bill will invalidate all city and town policies across West Virginia that have implemented nondiscrimination ordinances and resolutions. The Bill will also invalidate policies like the ones held by institutions like West Virginia University that includes sexual orientation and gender identity in their nondiscrimination policy. The Bill would also affect the West Virginia State Board of Education who has surprisingly some of the strongest policies across the nation in protecting LGBT students against harassment and bullying. The HB 2881 is masked as an attempt to create more uniform protection for West Virginians and increase intrastate commerce.
House Bill 2881, sponsored by Del. Lynn Arvon, R- Raleigh, was approved 16-8 by the House Government Organization committee on Wednesday. It will be the subject of a public hearing in the House chamber of the state Capitol at 8 a.m. on Friday.The bill would strip away the ability of counties, municipalities and other political subdivisions to prohibit discrimination against a class of people not already protected by state law.While lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender West Virginians can now marry in West Virginia, it is still legal to fire or evict a person based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the state. The West Virginia Human Rights Act does not mention sexual orientation or gender identity.
In another salvo against the federal Affordable Care Act, some Republicans in West Virginia’s House of Delegates want to make it a crime for state and federal officials to enforce the health-care law.Under the GOP-backed bill (HB2509), federal employees would face felony charges, while state workers would be arrested for a misdemeanor offense, if they try to administer any federal regulations under the Affordable Care Act. The legislation also declares the federal health-care law “invalid” in West Virginia.
The West Virginia Legislature likely will pass a bill this session creating a drug testing program for welfare recipients. One version (HB 2021), which cleared the House Health and Resources Committee last week, requires drug testing for adults receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) if they have a drug conviction or if there is a reasonable suspicion that the individual is on drugs.
According to state data gathered by ThinkProgress, the seven states with existing programs — Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah — are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to ferret out very few drug users. The statistics show that applicants actually test positive at a lower rate than the drug use of the general population. The national drug use rate is 9.4 percent. In these states, however, the rate of positive drug tests to total welfare applicants ranges from 0.002 percent to 8.3 percent, but all except one have a rate below 1 percent. Meanwhile, they’ve collectively spent nearly $1 million on the effort, and millions more may have to be spent in coming years.
A Republican state lawmaker who owns a heating, ventilation and cooling business in the Eastern Panhandle is pushing a bill that would repeal all state laws that regulate HVAC technicians.Delegate Eric Householder, R-Berkeley, sponsored the repeal bill and voted for it at a House of Delegates committee meeting last week.
“Just looking at the bill, it doesn’t pass the smell test,” Fluharty said. “To have somebody to come in here and try to repeal a law about public safety, while they’re going to benefit from the repeal, I think that’s an injustice. We shouldn’t be here for personal gain and put personal profit over the people.”
on non-discrimination ordinances
There's "no way" the West Virginia Senate will consider a proposal to erase local ordinances that protect gay and transgender people from housing and employment discrimination, the second-ranking senator said Thursday.Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael made the remarks Thursday, a day after a panel in the House of Delegates approved the bill.
on repealing regulations on HVAC technicians
The complaint was filed by Steve Hancock who belongs to the Sheet Metal Workers union in Wheeling.A union worker has filed an ethics complaint against Delegate Eric Householder, R-Berkeley, alleging that Householder’s heating, cooling and ventilation business stands to profit from legislation the GOP lawmaker is pushing through the West Virginia House of Delegates.Householder’s bill, which does away with all state laws that regulate HVAC technicians, would allow him to gain financially because he could pay lower wages to his workers, according to the complaint filed this week with the state Ethics Commission.
Surrounded by Republican legislators who are pushing for West Virginia to pass a “right-to-work” law, Ohio’s Republican governor said last week that a similar move was not necessary in his state.There is no indication that businesses are staying away from Ohio just because it has not passed a right-to-work law, Gov. John Kasich said. “No, we don’t see that in our state, I don’t have any evidence of it,” Kasich said.
Kasich said that when a huge energy construction project was considering coming to Ohio, they met with the state Building and Construction Trades Council, which coordinates local unions, to “assure them that that project would be done on time; it would be done in a manner that everybody would be proud of.”
More broadly, groups like al Qaeda and ISIL exploit the anger that festers when people feel that injustice and corruption leave them with no chance of improving their lives. The world has to offer today's youth something better.
Jobs for Jihadists? Will that be President Barack Obama's new strategy for battling Islamic terrorists? It is a real possibility, in view of Obama's thinking.Yet Obama apparently believes resources and attention should be diverted from that to provide feel-good programs targeting young Muslims.
What slogans will he devise? "Cash for Kalashnikovs"? "Reform, Not Rockets"? "Just Say No to Beheadings"?
An American who dedicated her life to helping people in the Middle East, especially children, was in the news recently.
Her name was Kayla Mueller.
The fight is tough elsewhere, except in the Marcellus, where the natives are considered “passive” by drillers and the governments with “eyes wide shut” do all that they can to export whatever is saleable.
Just like all the great tricksters of the past and the present, he and his ilk will frame the debate as the safest of two options, while omitting the third (and ONLY SAFE) option: leave the tar sands in the ground.
The leaders of our armed forces know what's coming next – but deniers in Congress are ignoring the warnings.
In January, the planet continued the warming trend that made 2014 the hottest calendar year on record. NASA reports that last month was the second-hottest January on record (after 2007), while the Japan Meteorological Agency ranked it the hottest.
The 2014 rankings, released Thursday, are based on over 176,000 phone interviews with people in all 50 states. The Index measures how people feel about and experience their daily lives, and looks at their health across five categories: purpose, social, financial, community and physical.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich will visit West Virginia on Thursday as he continues to push for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution - and, some speculate, gauge support for a 2016 presidential bid.Kasich's stop in Charleston comes at the invitation of state Sen. Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, who hopes West Virginia will join the call for a constitutional convention to propose a federal balanced budget amendment.
Kasich aide: Telephone call for you.Governor Kasich: Tell them I'm busy contemplating a run for president.Aide: But its Ryan, sir.Kasich: Why didn't you say so in the first place? Of course, put him on.Ryan Ferns: Governor, I'd like to personally invite you to a private strategy session with our legislative leaders and then we can have a press conference afterwards.Kasich: Excellent. Can I depend on you to get the word out - you know I may be running for president?Ferns: Don't worry, sir. Ogden newspapers cover everything I say and do!
“We’ve already given 6,600 American lives trying to liberate and help that part of the world; we’ve spent about 2- to 3-trillion dollars,” Manchin said. “Under no circumstances do I believe us getting engaged in a ground war over there is going to change that part of the world. Hasn’t done it yet, and I don’t think it will.“When you put American troops in there, it’s like throwing gasoline on the fire.”
CHARLESTON (AP) - West Virginia House lawmakers have approved a bill opening up teacher certification to more people without education degrees.The push is aimed at allowing programs like Teach For America to start up in the state.On Tuesday, the Republican-led House of Delegates voted 60-35 in favor of the reform.Bill proponents said the option would be essential to fill hundreds of teaching vacancies across the state.Opponents said formal education training prepares teachers for situations they otherwise may not be able to handle.Some delegates who voted "no" said it'd be more productive to focus on getting raises for teachers, so their pay is more competitive.The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
They haven't studied pedagogy, educational psychology, learned how to make lesson plans, deal with difficult students, etc. Compared to a real teacher who spends at least 4 years in college studying these topics as well as his or her teaching concentration, TFA recruits get 5 weeks of training.
This move will only weaken the teachers' union with the threat of hiring non-teachers to fill teacher positions.
The proposal, which is making its way through the House (HB 2566) and the Senate (SB 357), would give coal operators a shield against citizen lawsuits over Clean Water Act violations and a long-sought change in the state’s pollution limit for aluminum.The bill also would remove several longstanding safety protections for West Virginia’s coal miners. It would eliminate a labor-industry panel that reviews underground diesel equipment to ensure that miners are safe from toxic fumes. It would push back, from 500 feet to 1,500 feet, the maximum distances work areas can be from tracks that miners might have to use to escape in an emergency. It would remove language that ensures workers are kept in safe locations during potentially dangerous moves of mining equipment from one work area to another.
“As long as miners continue to die in West Virginia’s mines,” he said last week, “we need to be looking for ways to strengthen health and safety protections — not gut them.”
A bill banning abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy was approved Wednesday by the House of Delegates and will now be taken up by the Senate.The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would prohibit abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy, the time in which advocates of the ban say a fetus can feel pain. After nearly two hours of debate on the House floor, delegates voted 87-12 to pass the bill.
West Virginia’s legislature sure is focused on fixing the state’s biggest problems. Like the problem of women having abortions after 20 weeks, which happened all of six times in 2011, and is a constitutionally protected right? Yeah, the state is totally going to fix that.On Wednesday, the House of Delegates passed a bill, HB 2568, that would ban abortions at 20 weeks because, well, they just think that sounds like a good idea. At 20 weeks, according to the legislators, fetuses can feel pain. According to actual doctors, however, that is completely wrong. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists sent a letter to West Virginia’s legislature, spelling it out for them, with science and medical facts and everything:
The statement “substantial medical evidence recognizes that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain by not later than 20 weeks after fertilization” is not accurate.
But what do a bunch of obstetricians and gynecologists know about babies and lady parts and pregnancy anyway, huh?
Sen. Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, said Tuesday his bill had been laid over, meaning a vote had been taken to stop debate on the measure until a later time. He said talk is expected to resume this week.
There’s a new poll of West Virginia’s registered voters by Mark Blankenship Enterprises that says that over 66% of WV’s registered voters support the creation of a right-to-work law in West Virginia. Although I haven’t seen a reference to it in either of our local "newspapers," the poll’s results have gotten wide coverage in WV media.
The majority of online media that I have seen take the poll at face value despite the fact that the poll was commissioned by Americans for Prosperity – West Virginia, the Koch brothers political influence group. Spokesperson for the poll is Wendy McCuskey, who is state director of AFP West Virginia. (McCuskey and her Koch group, if you remember, got in trouble prior to the last election when they sent mailers to registered WV voters questioning whether they were actually registered.) Additionally, McCuskey’s background (her previous job was president of the West Virginia Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors) also ought to have been mentioned by the media so that their viewers/readers would have the necessary information to decide whether this was indeed an unbiased poll of what West Virginian’s think about right-to-work laws.
The poll may be correct that a majority of West Virginians support right-to-work. Still, I find it appalling that the state’s media do not raise any questions regarding the fact that an avowed anti-union organization sponsored and disseminated the poll.
I’m sure we will soon read the results of the poll in our local "newspapers" although I’m sure it will not question its credibility.