Early in the week in the House of Delegates, we had a spirited debate over pay raises for magistrates. I voted against the raise. At a time when the Governor has directed cuts in state agencies, like senior services, education, and veterans assistance it just does not seem right to vote for a pay raise of over $7,000 per year, a cost of $740,000 per year to state taxpayers. The bill passed the House by a small margin. It will now go to the Senate. The bill number is HB2434.
In the Transportation Committee we advanced a bill to allow people with concealed carry permits to park on state capitol grounds and leave their firearms locked in their cars. This passed committee 24 to 1. We also allowed additional lighting on motorcycles and advanced the bill to make the mandatory seatbelt requirement a primary offense. I voted against that one; I don’t think that it’s the government’s place to protect us from ourselves. It is already a primary offense if minors are not seat belted. These bills now go to House Judiciary.
A week ago, the full House passed House Bill 2471, which will help protect our Second Amendment rights in case of a state emergency. I spoke in favor of this bill, saying that the right to protect ourselves is a natural right, guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and the West Virginia Constitution.