BY TAYLOR BENNETT, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT POLICY COORDINATOR, THE HUB
January 10 was the first day of the 2018 legislative session in Charleston – and that means it’s time to bring back the Legislative Hubbub.
The Legislative Hubbub is a weekly email that puts a spotlight on community development policies moving through the West Virginia Legislature, and gives a clear-eyed, straight-forward explanation of what’s happening in the Statehouse, how things are working — and how they sometimes don’t work.
We will be sending out the Legislative Hubbub each Thursday during the session.
Our goal is to create a better understanding of the processes and people who craft the policies which impact our lives the most – and to give community members the knowledge necessary to participate in guiding policies that will shape the future of our state.
You can count on us to:
- Track bills that relate to community development and that we think may have a significant impact on issues facing WV communities;
- Provide updates on bills we’re paying special attention to as they move through the legislative process;
- Offer “how to’s” so that you can take action on issues that you feel strongly about – including sharing information on how to follow bills that you’re interested in + how to encourage your legislators to take the action;
- Explain the legislative process plainly, in a way that’s easy to understand.
This session, a number of issues with far reaching impacts will be brought to the floor. What can we expect?
What to Expect from the 2018 Legislative Session
2017 saw lots of shake ups in the legislature and Governor’s office – and with an election looming on the horizon, it’s unclear exactly which proposed bills will rise to the surface as the most impactful, particularly among those related to community development. Even in years that haven’t been influenced by such dramatic power shifts, understanding the legislature and making sense of the legislative session can be a tall order.
So, I suppose the short answer to the question is, I’m not exactly sure yet. But we’re going to figure it out.
As The Hub’s Community Development Policy Coordinator, I’m working hard with our team to make sense of a legislative process that can often be difficult to follow and feel like it’s happening a million miles away.
We already know though that while it takes some work to engage in the process, engagement is absolutely possible. We’re approaching this session with the goal of educating ourselves and others, and illuminating the ways our political leaders choose to focus on community development over the next 60 days.
Even in this very first week, we’ve already noticed ways that we can help everyone in WV to better understand the government and its processes as well.
We’re rolling up our sleeves and getting to work, and we’re excited to work with you.