LWV of West Virginia urges voters to vote NO on Amendment 1

PRESS RELEASE

The League of Women Voters of West Virginia urges voters to say NO to Constitutional Amendment 1 on November 6.

If passed Amendment 1 would add the following language to the WV Constitution: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”

Amendment 1 eliminates a woman’s right to privacy when making reproductive choices. The LWV believes a decision to terminate a pregnancy should be a private decision done in consultation between a woman and her doctor. The WV State constitution should protect this right of privacy.

Amendment 1 provides no exceptions in the case of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger. The amendment denies the right of women to terminate any pregnancy under any circumstances.

This amendment also denies poor women access to government funds for abortions, including instances of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

The full weight of Amendment 1 will be realized if federal safeguards (provided by Roe v Wade) protecting a women’s right to privacy when making decisions regarding abortion are removed. Laws approved in years past by the state legislature made abortion a felony. Court injunctions prevented their implementation but if Roe vs. Wade is overturned, they could easily resurface. If Roe is overturned, the passage of Amendment 1 would mean the state constitution would provide no protection for West Virginia women. Desperate women attempting to terminate their own pregnancies because medically safe procedures are unavailable would be subject to criminal prosecution. So would any medical personnel who assist in abortion procedures.

The League of Women Voters believes public policy must affirm the constitutional right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices. We urge voters to vote No on Amendment 1. 

***END***

For further information contact
Lyn Widmyer
lynwidmyer@gmail.com

304-279-3201

League Urges Senators to vote NO on Kavanaugh

JUDGE DOES NOT POSSESS FAIR AND UNBIASED JUDICIAL TEMPERAMENT
10/4/2018
Washington, DC – The League of Women Voters President Chris Carson and CEO Virginia Kase issued the following joint statement:

“We urge the Senate to reject Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“Judge Kavanaugh has shown the country that he does not possess fair and unbiased judicial temperament. Indeed, he engaged in unprovoked, partisan attacks, and treated United States Senators—the people conducting his job interview—with shocking disrespect. Senators have the right to ask questions of nominees. In fact, it is their responsibly to ask them on behalf of the American people.

“In addition, troubling allegations about his past and misleading if not untruthful testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee cast further doubt on his judicial credibility. Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist Papers that “all judges who may be appointed by the United States are to hold their offices during good behavior.” That’s not what we saw from Judge Kavanaugh during the confirmation process.

“We urge Senators to vote NO on Kavanaugh.”

Contact: Sarah Courtney | 202-263-1332 | scourtney@lwv.org

Legislative Priorities – 2018

The League of Women Voters of West Virginia has adopted the following issues as its legislative priorities for the 2018 session of the West Virginia Legislature. We hope you will support measures that advance these goals.

LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES FOR 2018

The League of Women Voters of West Virginia:

  • Supports maintaining West Virginia’s water quality standards to protect this valuable resource.
  • Supports strengthening disclosure requirements for the sources of political campaign expenditures, including independent expenditures and election-related communications.
  • Supports establishment of an independent commission to draw up redistricting plans for representatives to the US House of Representatives and the WV Legislature.
  • Supports measures that encourage investment in energy efficiency in West Virginia’s homes, businesses, and industries such as the LEEP program.
  • Supports maintaining expanded Medicaid coverage for the hundreds of thousands of West Virginians who rely on it for health care.

In keeping with its goal of encouraging participation by citizens in their government, the League will continue to monitor election laws and oppose measures which limit access to voting.

Our members will be following action on these and other issues during the 2018 session. We appreciate your willingness to undertake public service and work toward our shared goal of creating a better West Virginia for all of its citizens.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Rosenbaum, President
LWVWV

EPA Funding Letter to Senators Capitol and Manchin

The LWV-WV and other organizations sent the following letter urging our Senators to support the continuation of the 2017 appropriations for key EPA programs that help West Virginia’s rivers and streams.

October 16, 2017

The Honorable Joe Manchin III                                   The Honorable Shelley Moore Capito
306 Hart Senate Office Building                                  172 Russell Senate Office Building           
Washington DC 20510                                                   Washington DC 20510                    

Dear Senators Manchin and Capito,

West Virginia Rivers Coalition and the undersigned West Virginia organizations, are concerned about the federal appropriations that designate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s allocations for state programs that manage the protection of water quality. We urge you to support the continuation of the 2017 appropriations for key programs that help West Virginia’s rivers and streams.

The U.S. House of Representatives appropriation for the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies bill reduced funding for EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program. The Bay Program is significant in its six-state cooperative effort that affects 180,000 miles of streams and rivers and 18 million people. We are pleased that West Virginia, which comprises the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, is part of that effort. We are also cognizant of the benefits of water clean-up programs in West Virginia supported by Bay Program funds. We believe the reduction of support for the Bay Program in the House appropriations bill will be detrimental to West Virginians in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. We request that you maintain the 2017 funding level of $73 million in the 2018 appropriations, and support last year’s requirement that $6 million of this allocation go for Small Watershed Grants and $6 million for Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants. These grant programs alone have brought in approximately $5 million since 2010 for projects in West Virginia.

We also are concerned about policy “riders” added to the bill in the House. Restricting efforts to clean up our waters is not a benefit for our citizens and may cause costly future clean ups for the public to bear.  Here are a few examples that stand to place West Virginia’s waters at risk:

  • Prohibiting EPA from enforcing the Chesapeake Bay TMDL on states that are not implementing their own clean-up plans. This would shift pollution reduction responsibilities from states like PA to headwater states, such as WV.
  • Prohibiting EPA from ensuring mining companies are financially capable of cleaning up pollution that operations cause to the land and water.
  • Prohibiting the use of funds to issue any regulation under the Solid Waste Disposal Act that applies to an animal feeding operation.
  • Prohibiting the use of funds to require permits for the discharge of dredged or fill material for certain agricultural activities.
  • Authorizing the withdrawal of the Waters of the United States Rule without regard to any provision of statute or regulation that establishes a requirement for such withdrawal.

Thank you for considering these concerns. Please fully fund essential EPA programs and reject riders that put the future quality of our water supplies at risk.

Angie Rosser, Executive Director
West Virginia Rivers Coalition

George Santucci, Executive Director
New River Conservancy

Cynthia Ellis, President
West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

Charles Marsh, President
Sleepy Creek Watershed Association

Gary Zuckett, Executive Director
West Virginia Citizen Action Group

Sherry Evasic, President
Blue Heron Environmental Network

Julie Archer, Co-founder
West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization

Natalie Thompson, Executive Director
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

Judy Rodd, Executive Director
Friends of Blackwater

John Bird, Conservation Chair
West Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club

Brent Walls
Upper Potomac Waterkeeper

Jonathan Rosenbaum, President
League of Women Voters of West Virginia

 Senate EPA Funding Letter 10.16.17

LWV Statement on Charlottesville

League of Women Voters Condemns White Supremacists in Charlottesville

 
Washington, DC - League of Women Voters president Chris Carson issued the following statement following the horrific acts by white supremacists in Virginia this weekend:

“Yesterday the world watched in horror as white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia. There is no place for hatred and violence in our democracy and all leaders must condemn these acts of domestic terrorism. We must send a strong message that while the freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly are some of our most cherished rights and must be protected, those rights do not extend to what we witnessed yesterday. The League of Women Voters stands in solidarity with the victims of violence in Charlottesville and against white supremacism.”

http://lwv.org/press-releases/lwv-statement-charlottesville

 Contact: Sarah Courtney | 202-263-1332 | scourtney@lwv.org

Morgantown-Monongalia 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up!

Event is now postponed until the special session is over, and a replacement date can be determined. Please check back for a new event date announcement due to the special session of the legislature.

Morgantown-Monongalia 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up

April 12 Morgantown City Council Candidate Forum

April 12 Morgantown City Council Candidate Forum

League Opposes Pleasants Power Station Boondoggle

The State Board invites you to support this opposition.  Please sign the petition at http://energyfreedomwv.org/take-action-1-1/,  and/or send your own letter to the PSC.

Statement Opposing Pleasants Power Station Boondoggle

In 2013, the League of Women Voters of West Virginia opposed Mon Power and Potomac Edison’s proposed purchase of 80% of the Harrison power plant.  At that time we sent a clear message to the West Virginia Public Service Commission:

Customers should not be forced to pay for a  purchase that will raise the costs of their electricity. Furthermore the purchase of the Harrison power plant would lock in costs for many generations, so that better alternatives would be precluded. 

Rather than paying for the high costs of the Harrison power plant, Mon Power and Potomac Edison could bid for cheaper power from other sources and install more energy efficiency into its production. Also they could lessen demand by aiding customers in energy efficiency means as many power companies have done. All would result in smaller energy costs to ratepayers.

Once again, we are confronted with a similar  situation, this time involving the purchase of the Pleasants Power Station that is currently operating in a deregulated electricity market where it is struggling to compete against less expensive power sources.  The League firmly opposes this new attempt by FirstEnergy Corp. to offload this plant to our regulated market because of debt the company has acquired due to its own lack of foresight in the transitioning energy markets.

The state of West Virginia is a net exporter of electricity, providing almost 5% of the nation’s total energy, largely because of its coal production.  However, many states receiving our electricity from the grid are phasing out coal generated electricity.   It is time that West Virginia does the same. Even as this statement is being written, a massive iceberg the size of Delaware is very close to breaking free from Antarctica, due to a huge, widening crack in the 10,000 year-old Larsen ice shelf.

The financial costs for West Virginians from climate change will vastly exceed any profits for FirstEnergy Corp. shareholders.  Switching the power station’s financial risks from stockholders to ratepayers will not benefit the people of West Virginia, and in the final analysis they will be the net losers.

Therefore, we ask the Public Service Commission not to approve passing the costs from FirstEnergy’s own boondoggle to the ratepayers of West Virginia

League of Women Voters of West Virginia 

CONTACT:
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Board Member

Nancy Novak, President

October Candidate Forums for Monongalia County

Press Release from the League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County

September 28, 2016

The League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County is hosting two forums in October. The first on Thursday, October 13 is a candidate forum for candidates running for WV State Senate (Districts 2, 13 and 14) and WV House of Delegates (Districts 5, 49 and 51) will be held at South Middle School from 7 to 9 pm.

On Thursday, October 20, a candidate forum for candidates running for County Clerk, County Commission and Sheriff will be held at South Middle School from 7 to 9 pm.

The public is encouraged to come and ask questions and inform themselves before the election on November 8.

State Candidate Forum – October 13, 2016
County Candidate Forum – October 20, 2016

April Candidate and Levy Forums for Monongalia County

Press Release from the League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County

April 7, 2016

The League of Women Voters is sponsoring three forums in April. On Wednesday, April 13 a candidate forum for candidates running for Circuit Judge, Magistrate, and Conservation District Supervisor will be held at South Middle School from 7 to 9 pm.

On Wednesday, April 20, a forum with a panel discussing the six levies which will be on the ballot will be held at South Middle School from 7 to 9 pm.

On Wednesday, April 27, a candidate forum for candidates running for the House of Delegates and the State Senate, as well as those running for Sheriff and Prosecuting Attorney, will be held at South Middle School from 7 to 9 pm.

The public is encouraged to come and ask questions and inform themselves before the election on May 10.

Nonpartisan Candidate Forum – April 13, 2016
Levy Forum – April 20, 2016
Partisan Candidate Forum – April 27, 2016