Phil Kabler of the Charleston Gazette-Mail recently reported that West Virginia legislative floor sessions in the House of Delegates have averaged 26 minutes a day thus far in 2019. Keep in mind, West Virginia legislative sessions only last 60 days a year, so nearly 1/4 of the 2019 legislative session has already been wasted.
Just two years removed from West Virginia taxpayers footing the bill for "special legislative sessions" in 2016 and 2017 with a price tag in the millions, the West Virginia Legislature's inability to put in a full day’s work is insulting to West Virginia citizens. With state legislators earning nearly $30,000 a year for only 60 days of work, it's time for them to buckle down and get to work.
West Virginia needs safeguards in place to ensure lawmakers are getting in a full day's work each day of the 60 day legislative session. Additionally, lawmakers should not earn "bonus" income for their inability to wrap up their work during the 60 day legislative session, especially when they are putting in 26 minute work days.
If West Virginia legislators don't start showing up for work every day like the rest of our citizens, they better be prepared to face our wrath at the polls in 2020.