CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The House of Delegates and state Senate moved quickly Friday to override Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s vetoes on bills that will repeal the state’s prevailing wage and make West Virginia a right to work state.
The Republican-controlled Senate overrode both vetoes on an 18-16 party line vote, while the House voted 55-44 to override prevailing wage and 54-43 to do the same with the right-to-work bill.
On July 1, West Virginia will become the 26th right-to-work state. The current prevailing wage will be repealed in about three months.
After debating the right-to-work bill for more than five hours last week, House members were mainly quiet before nixing the veto.
“These are two bills that clearly, clearly the majority of West Virginians that we represent don’t believe we need,” Del. Mike Caputo (D-Marion) said.
Among a handful of speakers in the Senate, Minority Leader and gubernatorial candidate Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall) reminded fellow senators of Tomblin’s veto message on right-to-work.
“Not one, not one company has ever said, ‘West Virginia we’re not interested because you’re not a right to work state,'” Kessler said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson) countered that agreeing with the governor would keep West Virginia at the status quo.
“That is not the approach that will turn this state around and revolutionize our economy and create jobs, hope, growth and opportunity for all our citizens,” Carmichael said.