Senate Judiciary Committee members approved a bill on Thursday to allow the Parkersburg South High School mascot, The Patriot, to carry a musket on school property while acting in an official capacity.
Sen. David Nohe, R-Wood, said the musket is a source of great school pride for Parkersburg South students.
While there was little discussion on the measure, it did not pass committee unanimously. It received a tongue-in-cheek “nay” vote from Sen. Art Kirkendoll, D-Logan. Parkersburg South beat Logan High School earlier this month to become the state AAA girl’s basketball champions.
The bill now will go to the full Senate for a vote.
Also Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to amend a 60-year-old law forbidding automobiles from having video devices that are visible to the drive.
Committee counsel Leah Macia said the current law, which has not been updated since 1951, forbids cars from having video devices that can be seen by the driver while the car is in motion. The law requires any such devices be located in the automobile’s back seat.
That means, technically, any West Virginia driver with a GPS unit or a back-up camera is violating state law.
Macia said the existing code is not enforced. The existing statute doesn’t even list any fines for breaking the law.
The current bill would keep the law banning video devices, but remove the provision requiring all devices to be in the back seat.
The legislation also would carve out exemptions for certain devices in the front seat, including GPS units, back-up cameras and even DVD players…as long as they are equipped with an inter-lock device that prevents videos from being displayed while the car is in motion.
Macia said it’s unclear if any cars actually had television screens back in 1951.
“I guess it’s the Jetsons. God only knows,” she said.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, also was perplexed.
“Wasn’t that when TV was getting started?” he said.