As Dave reports in this morning’s paper, lawmakers are set to pass this year’s budget on Wednesday, just three days into this week’s extended session. Speaking to the Daily Mail on Monday, House and Senate leaders said they were “pretty close” to finalizing the details.
Quote of the Day award goes to Senate Finance Chairman Roman Prezioso, D-Marion:
“When there’s not a lot of money, there’s not a lot to fight over,” he said.
In other news:
- As we mentioned yesterday, the Legislature is pushing Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to call a special session to discuss a bill that would create a special tax district in Morgantown, meant to help WVU build a multi-million dollar baseball stadium. Lawmakers were set to meet with Tomblin this morning to discuss that plan. It now appears the special session also wculd address the failed magistrate judge payment increase, as well as a bill to increase workers’ compensation funding for volunteer firefighters.
- Former Gov. Arch Moore is 90 years old today. I talked with his daughter, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, for this story about Moore’s political career, his family and his faith.
- After days of declining comment, Charleston Mayor Danny Jones spoke out against the Legislature’s controversial extension of the home rule pilot program. The bill, which was originally meant to give cities more sovereignty, now includes language forbidding municipal gun bans and special city rules on marriage and divorce. Daily Mail city/county reporter Paul Fallon reports on a particularly interesting exchange between Jones and House Minority Leader Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, and Sen. Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson.
Jones, who is a minister with the Universal Life Church, noted that he once discussed with House Minority Leader Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, and Sen. Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, the possibility of performing marriages in the city.
Jones said he only wanted to perform marriages as a way of promoting the city during events like FestivALL. When the topic was broached, Armstead immediately asked if Jones had any intentions of performing gay marriages.
Jones said he had no intentions of doing so and would not be permitted to do so under state law anyway. Nevertheless, he believes word spread through the Republican Party that he wanted to perform gay marriages in the city.
“I thought then that maybe I’m not dealing with rational people,” he said.
Jones, it should be noted, also is a member of the state Republican Party.