That potentially meant only one of the two lame-ducks in the 35th -- Bonnie Brown or Bobbie Hatfield -- would have been allowed to participate in interims, but there's nothing in House rules to spell out who would be in and who would be out under that scenario.
As it turned out, Raines was among a whole bunch of Republicans who got sworn in Sunday evening, meaning neither Brown nor Hatfield could take part in interims.
For all the annoyances it causes, there's no benefit for newly elected delegates to rush to get sworn in early since, unlike Congress or public schools, the Legislature does not operate on the seniority system.
Technically, there are only two positions in the Legislature assigned based on seniority, president pro tempore and speaker pro tempore, and those titles are good for about 10 minutes of presiding over the Senate or House at the start of the session every two years.
Of course, other than collecting per-diems and getting one more trip to Charleston, one could question whether there's any point in having lame-duck legislators attend interims.
Lame-duck Delegate John Doyle, D-Jefferson, made the argument that there is, since those legislators have worked on the issues assigned to interim committees for the past eight months, and in most years, December interims are when committees finalize draft legislation for the upcoming session.
In fact, Doyle made some cogent amendments last week to the proposed outcome-based funding formula for higher education.
However, his final presentation as a legislator, promoting expansion of the ski industry in West Virginia, went over like the proverbial lead balloon.
Doyle said there are some 60 locations in the state that have elevations and vertical drops that are equal to or better than Snowshoe Ski Resort, and developers just need a little incentive to build additional ski resorts.
Doyle's proposal, to allow casinos at those resorts, was met with dead silence during the joint meeting of interim committees on Economic Development and Finance.
Given that the state's racetrack casinos are fighting for survival against new gambling outlets in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland, and with The Greenbrier reduced to busing in locals to gamble at its casino, it's no wonder Doyle rolled snake eyes with his proposal.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.