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West Virginia House Judiciary Committee flips on provision of bill to check governor’s authority

By Lacie Pierson, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two days after the House Judiciary Committee passed a bill meant to give the West Virginia Legislature a bigger check on the governor’s executive powers during a state of emergency, the committee flipped on a key provision in the bill.

In the span of about 15 minutes Monday afternoon, committee members voted to reconsider House Bill 2003 and overturned an amendment that clearly stated the bill was applicable to the current state of emergency Justice declared in March.

In response, two Democratic lawmakers on the committee, Minority Chairman Chad Lovejoy, D-Cabell, and House Minority Whip Shawn Fluharty, D-Ohio, chided committee members, saying Gov. Jim Justice’s use of executive authority under the state of emergency, as well as a lack of cooperation between the House and Senate, had stripped the Legislature of its ability to check the executive branch and help West Virginians in their districts.

The bill, Fluharty said, was meant to provide that check on the governor.

“[The bill] made somebody upset in the executive office, the old king himself,” Fluharty said. “So we came back in here, and we’re reneging on promises made to our constituents.” …

To read more: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/legislative_session/house-judiciary-committee-flips-on-provision-of-bill-to-check-governors-authority/article_cce41a1f-bbe6-5b02-8f09-05c0e11c4da6.html

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