CHARLESTON — While Amendment 2 and the question of whether to eliminate taxes on tangible personal property have dominated much of the conversation over the past two months, voters made their voices heard on three more amendments to the West Virginia Constitution Tuesday night.
Amendment 4, dealing with public policy oversight on education in West Virginia, was voted down by voters 58% to 42%, with all counties reporting as of press time Tuesday. evening, according to unofficial results released by the office of the West Virginia secretary of state.
Amendment 4 would clarify that “The policy and rule-making authority of the State Board of Education is subject to legislative review, approval, modification, or rejection.” The board reviews new or changed policies submitted to it by the state Department of Education at monthly meetings in Charleston.
The state Department of Education keeps the legislature informed of its approved rules, regulations, and policies. While all other state departments and agencies must submit their rules to the Legislative Rulemaking Review Committee, the state board of education is not required to seek approval. legislators for policies and rules.
Amendment 4 was opposed by the West Virginia Association of School Administrators, the West Virginia Education Association, and the West Virginia Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association.
The state board of education also issued a statement earlier this year against Amendment 4, but new state board chairman Paul Hardesty did not sign that statement and took a stand. neutral on the amendment since his endorsement as chairman of the board in July.
“It is my desire to put this problem behind us,” Hardesty said in a statement Tuesday evening. “It is time for the (Department of Education) and the State Board of Education to work with the Governor and the Legislature to provide the best educational opportunities available to ALL children in West Virginia. More of us versus them, but we all work together every day to promote student success.
“We know that our children are behind. We know the data. No more excuses,” Hardesty continued. “It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on real solutions. We owe it to our children. »
Amendment 1, dealing with the impeachment process by the Legislative Assembly, was defeated by voters 58% to 42%.
Amendment 1 would add language to the Constitution stating that “the courts have no authority or jurisdiction to intervene or intervene in or interfere with the impeachment proceedings of the House of Delegates or the Senate.” Amendment 1 would also clarify that no judgment rendered by the State Senate in an impeachment trial may be appealed or reviewed by the judiciary.
Lawmakers passed the joint resolution for Amendment 1 after an all-appointed state Supreme Court panel of circuit court judges halted the impeachment trials of former Justice Margaret Workman in 2018. The House passed 11 articles of impeachment split between Workman and other justices sitting at the time. Workman sued to block the impeachment process, alleging the House failed to follow its own impeachment rules.
Amendment 3, dealing with liability protections for church leaders, was defeated by voters 54.5% to 45.5%.
Amendment 3 would allow churches and other religious denominations to incorporate. West Virginia was the last state in the country to ban the incorporation of churches and religious institutions. West Virginia’s ban was a carryover from Virginia’s constitution when the state was formed in 1863.