GOP takes control of W.Va. Legislature for 1st time in 8 decades

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The Charleston Gazette

After more than 80 years of being on the outside looking in, Republicans officially took control of the West Virginia Legislature on Wednesday, promising to bring prosperity to the state.

During floor sessions that began at noon, Delegate Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, was elected House speaker and Sen. Bill Cole, R-Mercer, was elected Senate president.

After being elected on a 19-15 vote, and a second ceremonial vote by acclamation, Cole said in a brief acceptance speech that it is time for the Senate to get to work to improve the state.

“To put it bluntly,” he told the Senate in a call to action, “the time for studies is over.” While noting that “the voters of this state demanded a change in November,” Cole reached out to Democrats, saying, “I am confident we all want the same thing, and that is a brighter future for our state.”

ysis to take into account seniors, veterans and children. Delegate Kelli Sobonya, R-Cabell, scolded House Democrats, saying they were spending too much time trying to add amendments to the proposed rule change, which later passed in its original form. “The people of West Virginia have spoken,” said Sobonya, referring to the Republican landslide in the November election. “They want change. They want a pro-growth agenda.”

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