Charleston, WV - Another egregious affront to the legislative process took place this morning on the Senate floor. After writing what is being called the “omnibus retaliation bill” under the cover of darkness in consultation with out-of-state interests, Republican leaders today voted to circumvent the committee process of the Senate. Republican leadership, fearful that they would not have the votes needed to pass it out of Finance Committee, instead referred the bill to the Committee of the Whole — a rarely used parliamentary move that will put the bill before all 34 Senators as if they were one committee.
“We cannot allow this action to stand,” said Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso. “There is no reason Finance should not hear this bill. This bill will defund public education as we know it. It’s a slap in the face aimed at teachers and school service personnel to punish them for standing up for their rights last year.” Senator Prezioso, who has served in the legislature for over 30 years, said “I have never, in all my time in Charleston, seen such a bold-faced, self-serving, and mean-spirited political evasion. It shows total disrespect for the democratic process.”
The bill, among other offenses, mandates an increase in property tax levies without a public vote and redirects public school funds to private and religious schools. The Minority Caucus stands united in opposition to this SB 451, which will not reform education in this state, but ruin it.