I happen to stumble across a post written by a Lithuanian blogger, Gabrielius Blazys, about buying a car in the former Soviet Union. He actually quoted an old Ronald Reagan joke: “This man laid down the money, and the fellow in charge said to him: Come back in 10 years and get your car. The man answered: Morning or afternoon? And the fellow behind the counter said: Ten years from now, what difference does it make? And he said: Well, the plumber is coming in the morning.”
Blazys continued: “It’s funny because it’s basically true. Getting a car was a real challenge in the USSR. It wasn’t a matter of visiting a local dealership, choosing the right colour and right gadgetry. It was a little more complicated than that.”
When you get behind the wheel of a car you need to be responsible as to how you drive. If not you can get pulled over. The same is true of journalism. Journalists need to be responsible in their approach to their trade. Earlier this month Ryan Quinn wrote an article that was printed in the Charleston Gazette Mail accusing Senator Patricia Rucker of plagiarism. Out of context, that sounds like a serious charge and it can be. But within the context of what Quinn alleges, it is much ado about nothing, unless Mr. Quinn would like to accuse me of plagiarizing Shakespeare.
The legislation that made share rides legal in West Virginia, HB 4228, was signed into law by then Governor Tomblin in March of 2016. The law went into effect July 1st of that year. Ride sharing services are provided by companies that have been classified as Transportation Network Companies. The two best known TNCs are Uber and Lyft. In March of this year Lyft went public and Uber is planning to do the same later this year.
Previously I discussed Governor Justice’s vetoes of a number of bills that passed through both houses of the West Virginia legislature in the recently concluded session. Although more than half were vetoed for “technical” reasons and appear to be on track to become law eventually, perhaps even in the upcoming special session, there were a dozen bills that did not fit into this category. Among those bills were several that indicate that Governor Justice is against giving more control to local jurisdictions.
In the recently concluded session, there were more than 1800 bills introduced in the West Virginia legislature and more than 260 passed in both the Senate and the House of Delegates. Those were sent to the Governor. In West Virginia there is no pocket veto. If a bill passes through both houses of the West Virginia legislature it gets sent to the governor who then has three options. The governor can sign it into law or not sign it. Either way it becomes law. However, if the governor vetoes the bill, it does not become law. Unless the legislature overrides it.
There’s a timing element as well. If the governor vetoes the bill and there is enough time left in the session, the legislature can override the veto with a simple majority vote of both houses. While the legislature is in session, the governor has 5 days to veto it or it becomes law - 15 days if the legislature is not in session. The legislature can override the veto with a simple majority. It is therefore important for the legislature to act on bills as quickly as possible if there is the potential for a veto so that there is enough time left in the session to override it.