Controversial discrimination bill sent back to committee, dead for session

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The leadership in House of Delegates killed the controversial West Virginia Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act Thursday night when it recommitted the bill to the Government Organization Committee.

The bill (HB 2881), which would prohibit West Virginia cities and counties from enacting or enforcing non-discrimination laws that do not already exist on the state level along with invalidating ordinances in a half-dozen West Virginia communities that prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation, created a firestorm at the statehouse among those with the LGBT community and others.

Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall) tweeted Thursday night “HB 2881 Re-Committed to House GO Committee. Ding Ding the Bigotry Protection Act is Dead! Who’s responsible for this #RadicalAndWrong bill?”

The bill’s lead sponsor, Delegate Lynne Arvon (R-Raleigh) issued a statement Thursday that said the bill is an attempt to bring uniformity to discrimination laws across the state and “does not contain language that in anyway demonstrates discrimination against any individual or class of people.”

Re-commitment is often used as a tool to kill pieces of legislation. The House Government Organization Committee followed through and took a vote to indefinitely postpone action on the bill at Friday afternoon’s meeting.





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