Bill Raises Questions

Editor, News-Register:

I’m writing this letter to inform your readers about the West Virginia Senate Bill No. 1039, also known as “Omnibus 2.0.”

Here is a link to read the full bill: http://www.wvlegislature.gov/Bill_Status/bills_text.cfm?billdoc=sb1039%20ENG.htm&yr=2019&sesstype=1X&i=1039.

Some questions and concerns that have been raised about this special session being called at this unusual time include:

What is the rush on this special legislative session? Most of the items in this bill don’t go into effect until the 2020-2021 school year. It seems a little odd to me that a special legislative session is needed in June 2019 if items in the bill are not going into effect until the 2020- 2021 school year. Why could they not handle this legislative bill in the next regular session?

Why are many of the same items from the education bill that were voted down during the regular session back on this current bill? The bill sponsors couldn’t pass the Omnibus Bill in the regular session when they knew we were watching things closely. Maybe the bill sponsors thought since it’s summer, people wouldn’t be paying attention, and they could pass their bill through unchallenged.

If it’s truly a good legislative bill, why would the bill sponsors be concerned with having open and fair discussion on it?

Is the timing of this special session a form of passive retaliation to public education employees who banded together and stood up for public education?

Why are so many unrelated items in the same bill? I thought it was against the West Virginia state constitution to lump many unrelated items in the same legislative bill.

Why are charter schools back on this bill? Open public education reform forums and public hearings were held across the state this spring, and 88% of the attendees were against charter schools.

There are probably many more questions to ask about this special legislative session, but, lastly, how much is this special legislative session costing the taxpayers?

Now, I would like to urge folks to contact the representatives in the West Virginia House of Delegates as Senate Bill 1039 will be discussed and likely voted on on Monday. Please ask them some of these questions and more.

Here is the link to contact our WV House of Delegates:

http://www.wvlegislature.gov/House/roster.cfm.

From what I understand, the House of Delegates could vote it down or even vote to adjourn.

Furthermore, I urge you to make a visit to the state Capitol on Monday, and be a part of democracy in action. There is great power in people uniting together. Remember government is, “for the people, by the people.”

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Erin Bowers

Wheeling

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