By Steven Allen Adams, The Journal
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With the West Virginia Senate passing multiple bills in one day and the House of Delegates changing rules to control debate, the Democratic minority in both chambers raised concerns Thursday about having their voices silenced.
The House adopted House Resolution 1 Wednesday, setting forth the rules that will govern the 100 delegates over the next two years. The new rules include a limitation on debate, allowing members to speak only once on a bill, except when asking or being asked questions of another member.
During a press conference Thursday after the House floor session, the 12-member House Democratic caucus expressed concern about the new rule that will further curtail the ability of the minority caucus to debate the merits of legislation and influence Republican lawmakers.
“I’m really concerned about the process. By having supermajorities in both chambers, the process is what we need to be concerned about,” said House Minority Leader Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha. “They wanted to stifle debate. They wanted to limit debate. That makes it a little harder for our voices to be heard and to get your point across.” …