From Phil Kabler, the Charleston Gazette-Mail’s political reporter, on the ramifications of that “big” Republican win:
In his one election debate, Gov. Jim Justice said he would sign the Fairness Act, extending state anti-discrimination protections to the LBGTQ community, if it reached his desk.
No chance that happens now, with the likes of John Mandt, Derrick Evans and Robert Karnes elected to the Legislature.
More likely, a “religious freedom” bill, giving businesses and individuals the right to discriminate against the LBGTQ community based on religious beliefs, will instead arrive on Justice’s desk during the 2021 session.
Suffice to say, a campus carry law and legislation to further impose additional obstacles on women’s health rights will also be legislative priorities.
Expect a slew of bills designed to shrink government and cut taxes — or more accurately, shift tax burden from corporations and the wealthy to low- and middle-income families.
Mostly likely, we’ll see another swipe at legislation to cut income taxes, making up the lost revenue by raising and expanding sales taxes — making an already regressive tax system even more regressive.
Kabler misses what I think will be the worst consequence: the loss of health care for thousands of West Virginians when Trump's Supreme Court tosses out the Affordable Care Act. Given the legislature’s further rightward shift, does anyone seriously think that the incoming legislature will do anything to mitigate the health damage to West Virginians (beyond some Morrisey-supported, near-worthless attempt to cover those with pre-existing conditions) once Obamacare is tossed?
(Note – Here is Mountain State Spotlight’s analysis on what may happen to pre-existing condition protections.)