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Senate passes Emmaleigh’s Law

The Dominion Post
CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — The Senate unanimously passed Emmaleigh’s Law on March 22. It increases the penalties for child abuse causing death by a parent or guardian.

And two local senators took time Wednesday to address Gov. Jim Justice’s March 21 taunts of the Legislature and his lighting of the emergency beacon atop the Capitol dome.

Emmaleigh’s Law is found in SB 288. Current law sets a fixed prison term of 10 to 40 years for the crime. Judiciary chair Charles Trump, R-Morgan, said the bill makes the penalty the same as for first-degree murder: 15 years to life.

Freshman Sen. Mike Maroney, R-Marshall, criticized Justice for his Tuesday actions, when he called legislators idiots and cowards and ordered the lighting of the red, state-of-emergency lamp atop the dome.

“There’s 34 idiots in here and 100 idiots across the hall,” Maroney said. “That’s a strong word. … I feel like there’s games being played” and that’s the wrong way for a governor to act.

Minority Leader Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, defended Justice to some degree. He noted Justice is new to his office and has a lot of responsibility.

“Right now we’re in a crisis situation” with the budget, Prezioso said.

“He has a deep, deep feeling that he was elected to get the job done.”

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