Tomblin’s vetoes short-lived; right to work, repeal of prevailing wage now law
By Jeff Jenkins, WV Metronews
The House of Delegates and state Senate made quick work of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s vetoes on the bills that will repeal the state’s prevailing wage and make West Virginia a right to work state in votes taken during Friday’s floor sessions.
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.
Both now will become law. On July 1, West Virginia will become the 26th state to become right to work while the current prevailing wage will be repealed in about three months.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 the veto override vote.
“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.
There were 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.
Agreeing with the governor would keep West Virginia at the status quo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson) said.
“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.