New West Virginia State Sen. Puts Right-to-Work, Prevailing Wage Repeal in Motion

West Virginia State Senator Sue Cline (R-Wyoming) was sworn into office on Jan. 25 following a Jan. 22 court decision requiring Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D- W.Va.) to appoint a Republican to fill a vacant seat. Sen. Cline was appointed to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Sen. Daniel Hall (R-Wyoming), who was elected as a Democrat but switched parties prior to resigning.

West Virginia’s ABC-supported right-to-work legislation, the “West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act” (SB 1) passed the state Senate on Jan. 21, however, Gov. Tomblin has promised to veto the bill. Sen. Cline’s appointment gives the Republicans a veto-proof majority in the West Virginia Senate and guarantees West Virginia will become the 26th Right to Work state, barring unusual circumstances.

In addition, West Virginia’s House of Delegates is expected to vote on passage of repealing the state’s prevailing wage on Jan. 27, once the bill passes the House of Delegates it will head to the Senate. West Virginia’s prevailing wage law was mired in controversy following the passage of a reform bill in 2015 and ABC’s West Virginia Chapter has been a vocal supporter of repealing the state’s prevailing wage.

Updates on West Virginia’s right-to-work status and prevailing wage repeal will be covered in Newsline.