In a Jan. 21 article, published by Appalachian Views, titled “State Dems Weigh in on Proposed Legislation to Help Fund Border Wall,” two Democratic State Legislators spoke out against recently proposed legislation being drafted by Delegates Carl “Robbie” Martin, R-Upshur; Patrick Martin, R-Lewis; and Caleb Hanna, R-Webster, calling the proposal a “political stunt.”

In the original article, WV House of Delegate Minority Leader, Tim Miley, D- Harrison and Senator Stephen Baldwin, D-Greenbrier likened the new legislation, that would divert $10 Million from West Virginia’s surplus budget to Washington to help fund the construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, a political stunt and Baldwin questioned the constitutionality of proposal.

 Now, State Senator Bill Hamilton, R-Upshur, has weighed in on the debate.  In a statement to Appalachian Views, Hamilton said, “First of all, I believe it would be against our state constitution to do that, but even if it was legal, is it practical?” he questioned.

“I can name several entities that are in desperate need of funds to be spent within the borders of West Virginia,” continued Hamilton.  

“Roads, bridges, water and sewer line replacements, broadband expansion, senior meal reimbursement, hot and cold trucks for the Senior meals on wheels program, volunteer fireman and paid fire departments, providing beds for drug and alcohol rehabilitation, are just to name a few, plus many more worthwhile projects that space and time will not allow me to list,” said the delegate.

“Polls suggest that President Trump’s popularity is 42% in West Virginia. Having just completed a campaign for Senate District 11 which includes the counties of Grant (only half), Pendleton, Pocahontas, Webster, Nicholas, Randolph and Upshur the President’s popularity in the 11th District is probably somewhere in the 60% range in my own estimation. I would suggest to the three delegates that they provide the same enthusiasm for solving our revenue shortages as they have in support of our President,” said Hamilton.

However, in a request for a response to the questions of constitutionality, Delegate Hanna, one of the drafters of the proposed bill said, “The House has some of the best lawyers in West Virginia who have advised us that the legislation is indeed constitutional.”

In a statement release by Hanna, C. Martin and P. Martin, Jan. 15, the delegates said the bill would be formally introduced in the Legislature in coming days.