We expect to see fireworks on July 4th, but it is July 1st that is causing a commotion both in West Virginia and around the country. That is because two laws are set to take effect on July 1st - if they can overcome legal challenges.
Governor Tomblin has vetoed Senate Bill 1, the "Workplace Freedom Act," and House Bill 4005, an act that would have repealed the state's prevailing wage law. It only takes a simple majority vote of the members of both the House and Senate to override a veto. Since a majority of the legislators desire the enactment of both bills, it is likely that West Virginia will soon repeal the prevailing wage law and will also become the 26th state in the nation to adopt a right-to-work ("RTW") law.
On January 21st, the West Virginia Senate passed the "West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act" by a 17 to 16 vote. The Act, part of Senate Bill 1, will prohibit employment agreements that require membership in a union as a condition of employment as well as employment agreements that require non-union employees to pay union dues or fees or to make equivalent contributions to a charity.