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Freshman delegate’s success reversed by vetoes

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Freshman Monongalia County Delegate Brian Kurcaba achieved a rare success this past session, seeing three bills pass through both houses of the Legislature and go to the governor.

That led to the equally rare letdown of seeing all three of them vetoed in two days.

The demise of one bill — a measure to prevent domestic violence deaths — took supporters by surprise, they said, and left them stunned.

The two other bills dealt with home-schooling issues.

The domestic violence bill is HB 2240. It stipulated that an act of domestic violence or sexual assault by strangling is an aggravated felony and set the penalties. It passed the House and Senate unanimously.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed it Wednesday, April 2, saying it duplicates existing laws that prohibit and punish strangulation.

“I was totally surprised,” Kurcaba, a Republican, said Thursday, April 2. The bill emerged from requests by police and prosecutors who said the current laws and penalties are too weak. “I wish he had contacted us and let us know what he was thinking. That was really painful…

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