The Minority Leader for the state House of Delegates says Republicans will have a list of issues to address when the 2013 Regular Legislative Session begins next month.
This week, legislators were in Charleston for the one day, formal opening to this year’s session. The start of the 60 day session, though, will not come until Wednesday, February 13th.
House Minority Leader Tim Armstead says changes to the education system, based on the results of the Governor’s Education Efficiency Audit, must come out of the Legislature this year.
He says, among other things, he wants to see the number of bureaucrats in education reduced and a fair teacher evaluation system implemented.
“There are a lot of things in this audit that, I think, we need to move on and not just keep talking about, but actually have some action on,” he said.
Delegate Armstead, a delegate from Kanawha County, says he also supports a voter ID law that would require photo identification to vote. Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, though, has said such a law change is not needed.
“I am disappointed that she is not open to discussing, at least, this issue of voter ID because a number of states are already doing it,” Armstead said on Monday’s MetroNews Talkline.
“You show ID to do all kinds of things like to open a checking account, cash a check, use a credit card if you don’t already have it signed, to go into sporting events, to go into other events.”
Armstead says he also will be pushing, this year, for the elimination of the business inventory tax. It will take a Constitutional Amendment to cut the annual tax businesses pay on inventory, machinery and equipment.
“It (the business inventory tax) puts us at a competitive disadvantage,” he said.
This year, the House of Delegates has 46 Republican members because of Republican gains in the 2012 General Election. It’s the largest number of GOP members in decades.
The legislative session usually begins in January. The start of the session, though, is pushed back a month in years after a governor is elected or reelected.
An inauguration ceremony for Governor Earl Ray Tomblin is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the State Capitol on Monday, January 14th.