Editorials, Opinion

The Good, the Bad and the Stupid 8

The ‘last bills standing’ edition

There are two days left in the 2022 regular legislative session. Anything that doesn’t pass the Legislature tomorrow is effectively dead, assuming it isn’t resurrected in a special session. In our The Good, the Bad and the Stupid round-ups, we’ve talked about roughly 50 different bills. Of those, two have become law and only three have the potential to still end up on the governor’s desk before the session expires. So here are the last bills standing:

Good: HB 4252 — to limit the copay for a 30-day supply of insulin to $35; to limit the copay of a 30-day supply of devices to $100; and to limit the copay for an insulin pump to $250, but only for one insulin pump purchase every two years. Despite multiple attempts to kill it, HB 4252 finally made in onto the Senate calendar for a second read. Thank you to everyone who has called or emailed your senators to help push this one through.

Hopefully, you’ll help us get it over the finish line by reaching out to your representatives one last time. You can call the following senators to ask for their support: Charles Clements, District 2, 304-357-7827; Mike Maroney, District 2, 304-357-7902; Bob Beach, District 13, 304-357-7919; Mike Caputo, District 13, 304-357-7961; Randy Smith, District 14, 304-357-7995; and Dave Sypolt, District 14, 304-357-7914.

Bad: SB 498 — the “Anti-Racism Act” that will irrevocably destroy our education system without “fixing” any of the so-called problems its sponsors insist exist (which they don’t). Critical race theory is not taught in West Virginia public schools. All this bill will accomplish is to make teachers hesitate to teach the truth of American history — the good (fighting for democracy), the bad (slavery), the inspiring (become a world leader) and the shameful (cruelties committed against our citizens) — for fear of running afoul of the new law. We can’t learn from the past’s mistakes if we don’t know them. SB 498 is up for passage today.

While you’re on the phone calling your senators, perhaps you can spare a moment to call your local delegate as well. As most of the votes have been along party lines, here are the delegates you should call if you don’t support SB 498: Amy Summers, District 49, 304-340-3220; Joe Statler, District 51, 304-340-3153; Terri Sypolt, District 52, 304-340-3160; and Buck Jennings, District 53, 304-340-3396.

Stupid: SB 268 — to create an exemption from compulsory school attendance for a child who participates in a learning pod or a microschool. For some unfathomable reason, the West Virginia State Legislature despises public schools. At every turn, it has sought to undermine and defund the institutions that ensure that every child, regardless of race, religion or socio-economic status, has access to the education they need to be a functioning member of society. There is no guarantee that a home-schooled child (or one in a learning pod or a microschool) is learning the same things, to the same standard as kids in an actual public school classroom. Some parents and guardians do a fantastic job educating their children; others do not. For a bunch of people who lambasted online learning during the pandemic, our legislators sure are anxious to make it easier for kids to be plopped down in front of a computer, learning from a cut-and-paste robo-course. SB 268 is also up for passage today.