CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Legislature is almost halfway through its 60-day regular session, and progress seems promising.
So far, conservative lawmakers haven't pushed their usual attempts to prevent desperate teen-age girls from ending pregnancies -- or to revive the death penalty -- or to punish gays -- or to promote pistol-carrying, and the like. Thank heaven those emotional distractions have been avoided.
The biggest accomplishment, of course, was hasty approval of huge property tax cuts for any investors who will build a $2 billion ethane "cracker," which would spur spinoff chemical plants and create thousands of new jobs. Gov. Tomblin already signed this law arising from the Marcellus Shale gas boom.
Another hasty passage -- of political redistricting after the 2010 census -- is locked in for this year, but awaits a U.S. Supreme Court test for future elections.
Several attractive proposals are in the pipeline, and we hope they pass before the adjournment deadline at midnight March 10. Some of them:
Felon politicians -- Senate Judiciary Chairman Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, wants to block convicted felons -- such as former Lincoln County Assessor Jerry Weaver -- from running again for public office. Go for it.
Money-hustling -- Sen. Mike Green, D-Raleigh, wants to end the odious practice of legislators holding campaign fundraisers during the session -- which is almost extortion, because lobbyists feel they must cough up cash to gain support for their pending legislation. Twenty-nine other states already ban this custom, and West Virginia should become No. 30.