Celebrations of a man's legacy and joyous notes of "Country Roads" filled the Capitol this week as we drew further into our second week of legislative session. Monday was spent honoring the great Martin Luther King Jr., with lawmakers and social activists alike taking part in the annual Bell Ringing Ceremony on the Capitol steps. Visiting school children, along with the governor and several other attendees, were given the task of ringing the bell.
Though celebrations were ensuing on Monday, the second week of the 80th Legislature proved to be another busy one for the House, with the introduction of several bills that my fellow legislators and I are working tirelessly to pass. I am paying specific attention to House Bill 2435, which I am sponsoring. If the House passes the bill, it will allow for funding to be dedicated to the construction of our school's playground facilities. According to current legislation, the building of playgrounds is not currently included in the construction and improvement projects' fund designation, but it is my goal to change that. It is important to keep in mind that the young minds of our children must grow not only through education gained in the classroom, but also socially during times of relaxation and play.
I am also very anxious about the potential passage of House Bill 2111, which would allocate a portion of receipts from the tax on food products to the construction and maintenance done by the West Virginia Division of Highways. Money would be distributed annually and equally to the districts, and would be extremely beneficial to the maintenance of secondary roads for road repair, tarring and chipping, and the replacement of gravel, among other things.
My fellow associates in the Education Committee have been pushing for the passage of a bill that would vastly affect the rate of pay among our state's teachers. House Bill 4027 would ensure that the salary equity for teachers and service personnel would not differ by greater than 10 percent across counties and districts.
The bill is also taking into account the varying levels of qualifications among teachers, such as degree classifications, through doctorate, and years of dedication to the position.
As always, I welcome any and all feedback from my constituents, though I will not be available through any social media outlets including Facebook and Twitter. If you should have any questions or comments regarding any issues or bills before the Legislature, please feel free to contact me. My address is Delegate Stan Shaver, State Capitol, Building 1, Room 204-E 1900 Kanawha Blvd., East Charleston, WV 25305, or call me at 304-340-3146. You can also email me at email@example.com.