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The Winners and Losers of CPAC’s 2023 State Ratings: West Virginia



Of all the states CPAC rates, West Virginia certainly takes home a trophy as one of the most conservative in the nation.  


Twenty Republicans earned CPAC’s highest honor, the Award for Conservative Excellence, in the Mountain State. These legislators earned this recognition for their outstanding voting record that upheld the conservative position at least 90% of the time.  


Many more representatives earned CPAC’s Award for Conservative Achievement by voting with the conservative position at least 80% of the time. Even the few Democrats in the West Virginia legislature scored higher than those in other states, garnering a 29% average in the House and a 48% average in the Senate.  


The commitment of West Virginia lawmakers to conservative principles is apparent in the laws they passed. They executed a well-rounded, freedom-forward agenda in 2023 that protected life, limited government, and asserted constitutional freedoms.  


CPAC recognizes two bills in 2023 that created substantial protections in defense of life. SB 552 expanded informed consent requirements and required state health agencies to establish a 24/7 resource hotline and publish information on abortion on their official website. SB 613 advanced the pro-life cause by lifting requirements for certificates of need for birthing centers. It now allows birthing centers to acquire necessary equipment more easily, helping them thereby improve service in their communities and offer more options for childbirth.   


West Virginia legislators further executed a series of bills that limited government spending and improved the education system. HB 2526 now allows West Virginians to keep more of their hard-earned dollars by lowering the state income tax rate. SB 1009 and HB 2862 prevent the tax dollars that the state does collect from being used to promote ESG and protect state funds from poor, politically-motivated investments. HB 3084 established safeguards against government regulations on charter schools, advancing school choice and supporting improvements to the quality of public education.  


Most of all, legislators championed constitutional freedoms by passing at least six laws that protect religious freedom, parental rights, the right to bear arms, and freedom of speech. SB 10 prohibited universities from preventing students from carrying a concealed firearm. HB 204 prevents mischievous financial institutions from sharing personal financial records with the state government for the purposes of surveilling gun owners.  


HB 3042 prohibits the disproportionate regulation of religious services and is a victory for freedom of religion. Legislators also encouraged school choice, parental rights, and transparency in education with SB 422 requiring schools to publicly post their curricula on their websites.  


All in all, West Virginia's dedication to preserving the rights of its constituents helped it stand out as an encouraging beacon of freedom.  


Learn about West Virginia’s victories for liberties and more at CPAC.org.  

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