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West Virginia

Reporter’s Notebook: West Virginia’s red wave | News, Sports, Jobs


A red wave could not have made landfall statewide after Tuesday’s midterm elections, however two states positively noticed that red wave: Florida and West Virginia.

In some methods, Tuesday’s unofficial election outcomes have been a win for each Gov. Jim Justice and the Republican-led West Virginia legislature.

It was a short-term victory for the judiciary, which may see that Amendment 2, which might have given lawmakers the facility to exempt six classes of tangible private property taxes on which counties and college methods rely, is resulting in a significant defeat would.

Justice was a notable member of a coalition of county and metropolis leaders, lecturers’ unions and a liberal advocacy group that used the state’s fashionable pulpit of barnstorming, stay YouTube streams and media protection “Budget” in its title opposing the change. There are many components why Amendment 2 failed, similar to: B. uninformed voters, frightened county employees, and a common mistrust of centralized management in Charleston, however there isn’t a doubt that the judiciary performed a task in his defeat.

I mentioned final week that if voters cross Amendment 2, the remaining three amendments are prone to be handed as effectively. The reverse of that’s that the individuals who voted towards Amendment 2 additionally voted towards the opposite three amendments. In hindsight, placing all 4 amendments to the vote without delay was most likely a foul concept. It was data overload, though all 4 amendments have been comparatively straightforward.

But regardless of shedding all 4 amendments, it was a improbable night time for Republicans within the Senate and House. That may very effectively imply a foul two years for the judiciary, so a short-term victory on the modifications may very well be a long-term drawback because the judiciary completes its remaining two years as governor.

I attempt to not make predictions, and once I do, I attempt to hold my predictions conservative. I had no method of estimating how effectively the Republicans would do within the House of Representatives since this was their first 12 months with 100 single-member districts, however I knew they’d take greater than the 77 seats that they had. But a 10-seat by 88-seat pickup truck is big.

I believed Senate Republicans would get three or 4 extra seats. I even scoffed at a Republican within the Senate management who predicted a seven-seat pickup truck. But that is precisely what occurred, taking them from 23 seats to 30 seats. The Democratic faction can now simply get a sales space at Applebee’s when there are solely 4 members left.

I spent most of my election night time with Amendment 2 supporters in Charleston, the place a number of lawmakers have been. Sure, there was disappointment that the modifications failed, however there was pleasure at Republican legislative beneficial properties. There was additionally a way that lawmakers would avenge the lack of the modifications by making the judiciary a lame duck for the subsequent two years.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Eric Tarr, R-Putnam, informed WV MetroNews Talkline host Hoppy Kercheval that Justice informed him the rationale he fought so exhausting towards Amendment 2 was to get revenge on Senate Republicans, who blocked his 10 % earnings tax minimize. I don’t know if that is true, however Tarr informed Hoppy that other than the funds invoice, the judiciary can count on his legislative agenda to be blocked.

It is obvious that Justice and his advisers are drawing on the profitable vote towards Amendment 2 and its common recognition as a hedge towards future legislative opposition. Sure, justice is standard. So what? He can also be restricted to 2 phrases and his second time period is nearly up.

Republicans now have the numbers to simply cross laws with out requiring a single Democratic vote. They have the numbers to override vetoes. They have the votes to cross payments in a single day. You have the votes to simply get your self to particular periods with out the governor.

Expect payments to finish the COVID-19 state of emergency (lastly), some type of tax reform, and should you suppose the $1 million report that got here out late final week milquetoast suggestions for modifications within the Department of Health and Human Resources happy the legislature’s want to separate DHHR in two, you would be unsuitable. This invoice is coming again, as are different reforms to its functioning.

The reality is that the Republican legislature has at all times been suspicious of the judiciary since switching from Democrat to Republican in the summertime of 2017. That suspicion eased considerably when Justice received the 2020 gubernatorial main, and the COVID-19 pandemic put that suspicion on maintain for a couple of years.

With Justice sinking not one however 4 constitutional amendments, with the non-public assaults on Republican legislative management, with linking poor and poor with the National Education Association and native Democratic leaders throughout his Anti-Amendment 2 marketing campaign, and with the Nose towards state Republican get together platform, Republican lawmakers are again in no-confidence mode.

I don’t know if Justice plans to run for the US Senate or another workplace in West Virginia, however he positively cannot run for a 3rd straight time period as governor. He will probably be gone, and most of the Republican legislative leaders he sniffed at will nonetheless be right here for years to come back. He must be taught to sink or swim on this red wave.

Steven Allen Adams could be reached at [email protected]




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