Senate Government Organization Chairman Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, said Monday he had not reviewed the bill but noted "gun ownership is alive and well in West Virginia." Snyder also mentioned he is a member of the National Rifle Association.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, said earlier this week he does not like the bill and would prefer municipalities maintain authority over local gun ordinances.
The bill passed the House of Delegates 94-4, with two delegates absent, on Monday. Three of the four delegates voting against the measure were Democrats from Kanawha County: Meshea Poore, Nancy Guthrie and Danny Wells.
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The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday passed a bill that would make permanent a public campaign financing program for state Supreme Court candidates.
The program offers state Supreme Court candidates money for their campaigns, allowing them to avoid taking donations from individuals or organizations that could pose conflicts of interest.
The bill drew bipartisan support.
Delegate Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha, urged the panel to support the bill.
"As a lawyer, there's nothing more worrisome than to stand up in front of a judge and be concerned about whether or not the lawyer on the other side of you donated to that judge's campaign," he said.
Delegate Stephen Skinner, D-Jefferson, said the bill is a "great first step" to dealing with issues of judicial independence in the state.
But he said lawmakers also should take steps to prevent outside groups from coming into the state and donating money to Supreme Court candidates without any requirements to divulge those donations.
Skinner said those donors could have cases before the high court.
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Check out the Capitol Notebook blog for more statehouse news from Daily Mail reporters Zack Harold and Dave Boucher. Follow them on Twitter at @ZackHarold and @Dave_Boucher1.