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3/10/2003 4:41:00 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
West Virginia--VICTORY--Legislature Abolishes Four-Year Rule

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 10, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

With only eight minutes left in the legislative session on Saturday,
the West Virginia legislature made history and overwhelmingly voted
to abolish the four-year rule. Senate Bill 206 passed the Senate
unanimously and passed the House with only two nay votes. This is a
crucial victory for freedom!

The bill now goes to Governor Bob Wise for his signature.

The passage of SB 206 is the culmination of three years of tremendous
sacrifice and hard work from West Virginia homeschoolers (especially
John Carey, legislative coordinator for CHEWV). It is a testimony to
the good working relationship between CHEWV and HSLDA, and an answer
to many prayers.

BACKGROUND

After passing the Senate on February 3, SB 181 went to the House
Education Committee, which added four unacceptable restrictive
features on March 3. With hundreds of calls pouring into the
legislature, the committee on March 6 deleted the features it had
just added and restored the bill to the version in which it had
passed the Senate. The bill emerged with a new designation, SB 206,
and on March 8--the last day of the session--the House passed the
bill overwhelmingly.

It was immediately sent to the Senate. The Senate adopted an
inconsequential amendment and passed the bill unanimously. Because of
the amendment, however, it was necessary for the bill to go back to
the House for a final vote. It was now 9 p.m.

Forty home school families waited and watched. By 11:15 p.m., the
House still had not taken the final vote necessary to pass the bill.
Worse yet: the bill was simply missing. In the rush and confusion of
the waning minutes of the session, the bill had been misplaced and no
one knew where it was.

Delegate William F. Stemple (Dist. 33, Calhoun County) led a search
for the bill in the House chamber. It could not be found. He left the
chamber and went to the office of the House Clerk. There he found the
bill lying upside down on the clerk's desk!

He immediately brought it to Delegate Jerry Mezzatesta (Dist. 50,
Hampshire County), chairman of the House Education Committee, who
made sure it was brought to a vote. With only eight minutes left in
the session, the bill passed the House overwhelmingly.

There were only two "nay" votes. One was delegate Lidella Wilson
Hrutkay (Dist. 19, Logan County). She could not be reached for
comment and her voicemail box was full. The other was Delegate Greg
Butcher (Dist. 19, Logan County). He promptly returned a call to me
and explained that he intended to vote in favor of SB 205, but
accidentally hit the wrong button. When he tried to correct his "nay"
vote to "aye," the voting machine had already been turned off. He had
voted in favor of the bill earlier in the day.

God is good!

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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