CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The bill to establish 100 single-member House of Delegates districts is up for a final vote in the state Senate Friday.
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill Thursday.
It was met with opposition by Senator Bob Beach (D-Monongalia, 13). He told the committee he appreciates working with others to accomplish a task, adding there’s “strength in numbers.”
“When you’re working on a project, it’s nice to have somebody working with you to try to get something accomplished. I’m from a multi-member district and have been since the day I came in office. It’s always been nice to rely on those other legislators who are in my district on projects that we need in our community,” Beach said.
One example Beach mentioned is when his district got together to address concerns with road projects following the passage of the road bond.
“Having six people sitting around that table just a few months ago with the DOH and protecting those corridors that we were getting new highways in — that was a good feeling. We walked out of there and we were successful,” he said.
Right now, there are 67 House districts. Eleven of those have two members, six districts have three members, two districts have four members, one district has five members.
Senate Judiciary Committee Vice Chair Ryan Weld (R-Brooke, 01) rose in support of the bill saying it helps improve relationships within the community.
“I think this is a good idea. I think it moves to a more equitable distribution of your delegate districts, being closer to the people and maybe evens things out with trying to get things done for everybody’s district in the House,” Weld said.
The bill could help candidates in future campaigns, said Senator Robert Karnes (R-Upshur, 11).
“It’s going to make it easier for the average person to pursue political office at the state Legislature and have a fair chance at winning,” he said.
The bill has already cleared the House.