WV House Passes Shareholder Approval Bill

House Bill Raises Another Red Flag
By State Journal

Some members of the Legislature want to do what the U.S. Supreme Court has already declared to be unacceptable.

All too often, the state Legislature has a habit of raising red flags that show West Virginia is prepared to stand apart when it comes to its relationships with corporations.

Take House Bill 4646, for example.

Passed 61-34 by the House of Delegates and awaiting Senate action, the bill would require a corporation to receive shareholder approval if it plans to spend $10,000 or more a year on “political activities.” Interestingly, the legislation, which would apply only to businesses incorporated in West Virginia, would not require a union to have its members vote to allow it to spend money for political purposes. That means corporate leaders would have fewer rights than union leaders.

The legislation is a response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United decision, which said corporate funding of independent political advertising in elections cannot be limited under the First Amendment.

And what do we do here in West Virginia?

Eight House of Delegates members — Tim Manchin, John R. Frazier, Clif Moore, Bonnie Brown, Mike Caputo, William R. Wooton, Michael T. Ferro and Danny Wells — sponsored legislation that would do what the Supreme Court has declared unacceptable.

How can West Virginia stand apart from American law and expect to compete for business investments that lead to job creation?

Again, West Virginians will have a better chance to live the American dream when their state behaves like the rest of America.

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