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WV Legislative Update

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Hit and miss local downpours seem to be the norm in explaining our current weather patterns this summer.  The storm that hit a corridor from approximately Belfont – Gassaway – Sutton was exceptional in the amount of rainfall in a relatively short period of time.  It once again exposed the frailty of a century old storm water system that is plagued with blockages, reduced capacity and causing repeated damage to property, roads, homes and businesses. In areas in and out of towns, culverts and ditches proved insufficient for the volume of water produced by the storm.

The National Guard Armory had substantial water damage again.  Some businesses were hit, causing some temporary closures.  Rt. 4 was temporarily impassable to most vehicles near Kroger.  At least one church was affected.  Third Street, Rt. 4 and Elk Street once again sustained damage from a storm drain that overwhelmed previous repairs and fixes.  Damage occurred in Sutton and the surrounding area.

The day afterwards, I called State OES Director Jimmy Gianato to make a preliminary request for assistance.  While there is little doubt the damage does not meet any FEMA threshold for federal assistance, the fact that these local events happen again and again must be addressed.  DOH, already overwhelmed with a decade worth of major slips and slides this year alone, is continuing to help bring things back to normal.

Therein is the problem.  “Normal” is costing us millions across West Virginia by applying band-aids instead of receiving sufficient assistance to going in and actually fix some of these recurring problems.  Every county and every town – especially our small communities – is experiencing similar issues with outdated storm water plans and no funds to secure engineering expertise or a permanent repair. 

Natural disaster will always be a threat.  We cannot prevent every event.  However, we can begin to respond in a proactive manner that attempts to fix rather than patch and move on.

On a somewhat related matter, I’m receiving and acting on numerous road concerns on our state-maintained roads over the past several weeks.  While I take each of these up with county, district and state DOH officials in a timely manner, neither I nor any other member of the Legislature control the scheduling of paving or maintenance.  What we do control is the annual budget, including highway dollars for construction and maintenance on the state level.  DOH determines what level of funding each county receives.

A few days ago, Governor Justice announced he formed a Highway Response Team called SWAT (Safety With Action Today).  According to his press release, requests for roadwork can be reported by one of these three methods:

  • Call 1.800.WV.ROADS
  • Complete an on-line form at: transportation.wv.gov/wvroads
  • Submit by email to: ‘

The press release further states that someone from WV DOT will respond within one business day; they will investigate the problem and send a response within one week.

I’m keeping an open mind on this, but I have concerns that expectations generated by this program may be higher than the actual results obtained.  With material and maintenance budgets; the available DOH workers on any given day; and the unexpected events that occur (as in last week’s flood, etc.), the intent to reply within a business day and receiving a written response within a week is a worthy goal but does not necessarily get the job done.

I encourage you to give the Governor’s SWAT program a try and please let me know the results so I can relate to the DOH officials and the Governor how it’s being received and what results we’re seeing in central West Virginia.

Finally, as I write this week, the full House of Delegates has been called into session on Monday, August 13 at 10 AM to take up the articles of impeachment regarding the four remaining Supreme Court justices.  The House of Delegates’ role in the process is to determine if there is sufficient evidence presented to refer it to the State Senate for an actual impeachment trial.

As I’m not a member of the House Judiciary Committee that has been conducting the legislative investigation for several weeks, I am waiting to hear the evidence submitted on the fourteen articles submitted by the committee.  I’ve had quite a bit of input from several constituents on this issue, which I appreciate.  With fourteen articles of impeachment to consider, some appear to rise to the constitutional definition of an impeachable offense.  As with any bill or resolution, I intend to listen, ask questions and make an informed decision, based on the evidence submitted.  Actual removal from office will fall to the Senate, as prescribed by the State Constitution.

I’ve written much about this topic in recent weeks; much more than I’d like.  However, the impeachment of a statewide elected official is a rare event, last occurring in the late 1980’s.  However, in debating and considering the possible removal from office of all the remaining elected justices of the State’s highest court is both monumental and unprecedented.  Impeachment is basically overturning the results of a previous election and thus, the will of the people.  I do not take this lightly, as it is a sad event for West Virginia and all West Virginians.

Equally troubling is that the Governor will likely appoint the replacement of any removed justices until the May 2020 primary election.  With such an unprecedented situation hanging in the balance, I’d like to see both the majority and minority in the House and Senate agree that any vacancies would be put on the ballot in a special election for our citizens to decide who holds these important, non-partisan positions.

In the interim between sessions, please send your inquiries to my home office:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.  My home number is 304-364-8411.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

Please send your inquiries to my home office:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.  My home number is 304.364.8411; the Capitol office number is 304.340.3142.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

You may also obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and leave me a message on the Legislature’s web site at www.legis.state.wv.us/.  When leaving a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and the state government phone directory, may be found at www.wv.gov. Also, you may follow me on Facebook at “Brent Boggs”, Twitter at “@DelBrentBoggs” , as well as the WV Legislature’s Facebook page at “West Virginia Legislature” or on Twitter at twitter.com/wvlegislature.

Continue to remember our troops - at home and abroad - and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.  Until next week – take care.

If misconduct being reported about WV Supreme Court justices is truthful there could not be better way to cast suspicion on top-to-bottom corruption within WV’s legal system including what the State Bar is supposed to do to protect the public from unethical lawyers.

The justices should receive the highest punishment allowable. What a black mark on WV. Couldn’t make it up.

Comment by Smelly Legal System  on  08.14.2018

In a couple years we will be right back where we are today.
Here come the payback and favorites appointments.
Several are all ready lining up for a gig even be it a short one.
Nothing changes in West Virginia.

As far as the ones run off.  They will get a bonus, maybe even a cush job, as well as sweet
retirement deal.
Its the West Virginia way.

Comment by Bill.H.  on  08.14.2018
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