Times West Virginian – Jeers to the GOP Supermajority in the West Virginia Legislature for disregarding the facts and plain, simple history. They listened to anti-tax proponent Grover Norquist to inform how they want to cut the state’s income tax, the same architect behind Kansas’ failed tax cuts of a decade ago. According to research from the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, “HB 2526, looks very much like the plan they passed earlier this session (SB 424). Both versions overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy, contain a workaround for the tax cuts rejected by voters via Amendment 2, and contain automatic triggering mechanisms that would ultimately eliminate the state’s personal income tax at the cost of needed budget investments.” The voters spoke, but now the Republican-led Legislature is taking away their voice. Of course, these bills are being drafted with zero plans on how to recoup the revenue that will be lost from eliminating the state income tax. That is simply bad governing.
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Jeers to state lawmakers again for doubling down on the failed policies that gave America “The War on Drugs.” At the present, under West Virginia Code, simple possession of a controlled substance is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail. In comes Senate Bill 547 that would make simple possession of drugs such as heroin, opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine a felony offense and bump the possible prison sentence to one to five years. Where is the state going to house these inmates? In the same prisons that are understaffed by underpaid corrections officers? SB 547 would also create mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, which is bad policy because every individual’s case is unique. Man-mins, as they are often referred to in such states as Florida, do not allow judges any flexibility in sentencing. The cookie-cutter effect does not work.
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