By JUSTIN MARCUM
I was very pleased with the turn out for Mingo County Day at the Legislature. Tuesday, Feb. 14. Del. H.K. White and I were proud to welcome so many of our constituents to the Capitol, including two young ladies, Gabrielle Toller and Rachel Fox, who served as pages in the House Chamber.
Additionally, during the past week I was able to meet with students from Mingo Central High School and Tug Valley High School who were visiting with the Capitol with the GEAR UP program. The program allows low-income high school students the opportunity to become familiar with various colleges and pursue a postsecondary education. I had a great time meeting with all these students and I will fight for them while serving on the Education Committee.
I recognize the importance of a strong education system that benefits students, teachers, parents and our tax payers. I believe that everyone has the upmost right to an education and I support lifelong learning for all of our citizens.
Senate Bill 436 was referred to the House this past week and is under consideration in the Education Committee. The bill would encourage collaboration between the public school system and public higher education in order to promote programs of study and seamless curiculum and would assist in the establishment of the “Earn a Degree-Graduate Early” initiative also known as the “West Virginia EDGE.” The bill would also address the needs of our non-traditional students through the development of collaborative programming for adults between our community and technical colleges and our public career and technical centers.
A bill was approved by the House Education Committee yesterday that would award high school diplomas to veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam Conflict. House Bill 4433, also ensures that the diplomas would be provided regardless of whether the veterans were attending high school before serving in the military.
I am a supporter of House Bill 4345, which would prohibit the unauthorized sale of scrap metal belonging to railroads or other business entities. The bill would also include procedures for the businesses to recover scrap metal that was unlawfully sold. This bill was passed by the House Wednesday and has been referred to the Senate for consideration.
As always, mine safety remains high on the legislative agenda. House Bill 4351 would create a comprehensive plan to regulate mine safety and is currently under consideration in the House Judiciary Committee. With my experience as a former underground coal miner, I represent our miners and will keep their best interests in mind when supporting any and all legislation that would affect them.
As always, I am proud to represent the residents of Mingo and Logan counties and I have their best interests in mind as I consider legislation. I ask my constituents to please contact me with any questions or concerns regarding the issues and bills presented in the Legislature. My capitol phone number is (304) 340-3126 and my email address is email@example.com. Letters should be addressed to Delegate Justin Marcum, State Capitol, Building 1, Room 229-E, Charleston, WV 25305.