Statehouse Beat: Legislative leaders passed their bill, no matter what

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By Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail

Legislating shouldn’t be this hard.

In the textbook version, one identifies a problem, comes up with a series of possible solutions to the problem, and determines which solution has the best chance of gaining consensus among members.

Legislating shouldn’t require stealth, sleight-of-hand, intimidation, deception, arm-twisting and manipulation.


Still, you’ve got to hand it to House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, who pulled one of the greatest bait-and-switches in legislative history.

Going into the House’s resumption of the special session Monday, most members believed they would be breaking up into four select committees to take up a series of individual education bills. Yes, the Senate’s omnibus education 2.0 bill was in the House’s possession, but Hanshaw had been quoted as saying he didn’t think there were enough votes in the House to pass it.

Of course, it was all a masterful set-up.