GOP leadership deserves credit for Senate upgrades

A Daily Mail editorial from the Charleston Gazette-Mail 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — When the legislative session begins in just a few short weeks, visitors to the Senate side of the Capitol might notice some changes.

As the Gazette-Mail’s Phil Kabler wrote last week, the Senate will spend about $250,000 on upgrades to office space, particularly focused on the Senate Judiciary Committee room and adjacent offices. It’s the first time the space will have been renovated since the offices were constructed in the West Wing in 1984, Kabler wrote.

The antiquated sound system will be replaced and electrical and fiber-optic cables will be installed to accommodate new Microsoft Surface Pro tablet/laptop computers that will be assigned to all members and staff. Docking stations for those tablets will be installed in offices, committee rooms and on the Senate floor to allow attorneys to write and post amendments to bills instantaneously, eliminating so-called “conceptual amendments” which were often voted on without lawmakers seeing them in written form.

The suite of offices adjacent to the Judiciary Committee room will receive major renovations. Cubicles will be converted into closed office space and a wooden security gate will be installed that requires an electronic swipe key to open.

Senate Clerk Clark Barnes said the gate will keep lobbyists and others from entering the work area…

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