Braxton Citizens' News, Opinion

Session Over…

Well, the 2023 regular Legislative Session
concluded Saturday night. Now it’s wait
and see before determining if the session
was productive or not. Several interesting
things occurred.
After a major push early in the session,
by the Republican controlled bodies, to take
legal advertisement away from pubic view in
our community newspapers. It did not happen.
Hopefully the pubic and the state’s
newspaper industry persuaded lawmakers
that this was a terrible idea.
The pressure to remove legal notices
from newspapers is stronger in the Senate. I
am not much of a fan of Senate President
Craig Blair’s leadership style. I guess I’m
not the only one. Last week Republican
Senator Robert Karnes from Randolph
County was removed from the chambers
when he found fault with Blair advancing
important legislation before senators had
the opportunity to review it. Karnes’ objection
centered around the suspension of
constitutional-rules requiring that HB 3109,
a bill which amends and supplements appropriations
to the State Board of Education, be
read “distinctly and fully a third time.” The
bill had apparently been changed substantially
when it emerged from committee
shortly before the floor session begain.
So, obviously even members of Blair’s
own party don’t particularly like the dictatorial
method in which he handles his position.
As for the legal issue, you can rest assured
that the monster is not dead. It will be
revived next session.
Brent and Lori both talk about the bills
that have passed and await the Governor’s
action in their columns this week. It will be
interesting to see exactly what some of
these pieces of legislation do.
One in particular that I find troublesome
deals with taking more money from the
public school system and giving it to charter
schools. That legislation also says, if I understand
it correctly, that those attending
charter school can play sports. I certainly
don’t see how this is fair. The sports programs
in our schools often struggle financially,
now they are going to have to take
more taxpayer dollars to accommodate those
who are taking funding from public education.
If a parent wants to put their child in
private school, by all means, they have a
right to do that. If that is their choice, I
firmly believe it has to be a give and take
situation. Parents should not expect to be
able to separate their children from the
problems association with public education
and still take advantage of the other aspects
of the system. As I see it… it’s all or nothing.
At any rate, I will wait a few weeks before
grading this legislative session on how
well they served the public!