The Parthenon

Filed under OPINION

EDITORIAL: W.Va. Legislature is failing the people its supposed to be serving

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As West Virginians shout, state legislators cover their ears. As protestors march through the capital streets, our lawmakers turn a blind eye. West Virginans have elected politicians who do not listen  and that do not understand the issues they are voting on.

Although university presidents say no to a conceal carry bill, the bill moves forward. Although West Virginia teachers flooded the capital, the senate recessed early without reaching a decision regarding pay and medical benefits. Although the West Virginia Supreme Court has officially opposed the proposed new intermediate appeals court, which could cost the state millions more dollars a year, the lawmakers continue.

Our experts in our state are being ignored. And even more so, the citizens are being ignored. When overwhelming majority of the state opposes measures and the government continues, we have to worry that this state is not acting as a democracy. Voices are silenced.

“What we appear to have here…is a giant disconnect between our legislative leadership and the public they were elected to serve,” wrote Phil Kabler of the West Virginia Gazette-Mail.

This disconnect that Kabler mentions is dangerous to the progress of our state, but is creating a government that it is not in harmony with the state’s values and culture. West Virginians should be really angry about the past month in our state politics.

Teachers are, as they tend to do, opening our eyes and showing the rest of the state how its people are not valued. On Friday, Senate President Mitch Carmichael posted on Facebook a response to critics of his smiling at adjourning early.

“In my humble opinion, the most recent and vitriolic critics are completely ridiculous and without any substance to their remarks,” Carmichael wrote.

Carmichael antagonizes his critics, in this case, his constituents, and only makes this political disconnect larger.

West Virginia legislators need to wake up and do their jobs. They are voting on policy that the people don’t want. They are  abusing their power, and they either need to shape up or get out. West Virginians have been silenced for far too long. We certainly don’t need to be silenced by our own state government.

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