Exponent View, Saturday, Feb. 27, 1999
We'd be better served by a Legislature that works in timely manner
It just doesn't make any sense.
With just over two weeks remaining, the West Virginia Legislature has accomplished little, sending just 23 bills to Governor Cecil Underwood for his approval. And most of those bills have been minor in nature.
That leaves major issues to be decided under the gun of a March 13, midnight deadline. Issues still to be addressed include:
-Revamping of the workers' compensation law.
-Proposed smokeless tobacco tax.
-Cable industry regulation.
-Eliminating nude dancing.
-Hospital rate legislation.
-Aerospace tax breaks.
The argument can be made that lawmakers spend the first half of the session studying the issues before voting on the bills. But that doesn't seem to be the case this year. "The real serious stuff is still out there," Delegate Barbara Warner, D-Harrison, said. "Why aren't they moving on some of this stuff? We all know it's coming, but nobody's talking about it."
Of course, this year's Legislature is just carrying on the tradition. Last year, the House and Senate passed 343 bills, many in the final days of the session.
To pass the same number of bills this year, legislators would be acting on more than 300 bills the next two weeks.
This uneven pace leads to confusion during the final weeks and greatly increases the chance for mistakes. It also gives senior legislators who know the process the ability to railroad controversial bills past their peers and special interests to have an unfair advantage during the key decision-making process.
We believe the people of West Virginia would be better served by a Legislature that balances it workload better instead of putting off the important issues until the final minutes.
Today's editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial
board, which includes William J. Sedivy, John G. Miller, Julie R. Cryser,
James Logue, Kevin Courtney and Cecil Jarvis.
Sedivy Column, Feb. 27, 1999
Please, may I rant for a while?
Alas, there's so much to rant ... er, write about,
but so little time! So, while I prefer to write columns that stick to one
theme, how about a hodgepodge today?
Next- Tinky Winky the Teletubbie and the Rev. Jerry Falwell's magazine,
the National Liberty Journal.
Executive Editor Bill Sedivy's column appears every Saturday in
Saturday, Feb. 27, 1999 Telegram View
Fed chairman's talent, intelligence, competence put him above politicians
Sometimes talent, intelligence and competence outweigh politics, even in our nation's capital. Alan Greenspan is the consummate example. He is a real American hero who has contributed to obtaining a better lifestyle for the vast majority of his countrymen.
As chairman of the Federal Reserve, Greenspan has deftly made moves to keep the American economy on its longest peacetime growth cycle in history. He has been a fixture in Washington since he served from 1974-77 as President Gerald Ford's chief economic advisor. President Ronald Reagan made him chairman of the Federal Reserve in 1987 and he has continued to be reappointed to four-year terms by Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton.
He is described as possibly the second most powerful policy maker in Washington (trailing only the president himself) and his every uttered or written word is examined by government and business leaders for his insights on future economic shifts.
Greenspan is not a politician. He is a numbers guy. He is a human computer that seems to have a real gasp of what can keep the economy ticking. He has made bold moves with interest rates to fight off inflation and to stoke the fires of the economy.
He has both a doctorate degree and huge amounts of common sense. And underpinning that is a philosophy of a free market, laissez faire capitalism and minimal government regulation of the economy. Those are elements usually associated with the Republican party. They are also historical elements that are the cornerstones of the economic success of our country.
It is a credit to President Clinton that he quickly saw the wisdom of staying the course with Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve. His current term expires in June.
We hope Greenspan wants another four years and we would hope the president is wise enough to grant another term.
Telegram editorial board member
Clarksburg Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302