CHARLESTON, W.Va. Monday afternoon, House Democrats presented what they wanted and didn’t want in the proposed May special session.

House Minority Leader Sean Hornbuckle, D. Cabell, 25, said the special session should not be a second attempt for Republicans to pass measures related to their cultural agenda. Hornbuckle said too much time was wasted debating Senate Bill 601, the Women’s Bill of Rights, and House Bill 4654, the measure holding some criminally liable for obscene material in public libraries or museums.

“Let me repeat, it is not a do-over for red meat bills, culture wars, or divisive bills that pull West Virginians apart,” Hornbuckle said.

Minority Leader Pro Tempore, Kayla Young, D. Kanawha, 56, said seven bills to help children and families were under consideration during the most recent legislative session, but none of them made progress. She said Democrats provided what the governor asked for during the session, but no progress was made in a state she said has been reducing support for childcare for the past ten years.

“We fought for those all session, and we didn’t see any of them,” Young said. “In fact, we saw a massive cut in child care funding. In the last ten years, there has been a 50 percent cut in child care funding in West Virginia.”

Delegate Joey Garcia, D. Marion, 76, and also Minority Chairman of the Committee on Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services said these two people have died due to substandard emergency medical response. Garcia said one fatality in Wayne County and another in Mingo County were due to inadequate service.

“We had too long of a wait time, and someone who could have otherwise lived didn’t make it,” Garcia said. “That’s a crisis that can’t wait until the 2025 special session.”

Delegate Mike Pushkin, D. Kanawha, 54, also Minority Chairman of the Health and Human Resources Committee, wants to address cuts in Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities Wavier (IDDW) funding.

John Williams, D. Monongalia, 80, wants Democrats to push for the reinstatement of about $150 million in cuts to state Medicaid.

“When you have such a high population relative to any other state that receives Medicaid and you think we’re playing with those benefits, There’s no good reason for that,” Williams said.

Lowering the electric bill and increasing the availability of solar electricity are priorities for Evan Hansen, D., Monongalia, 79, Minority Chairman of the Energy and Manufacturing Committee. Hansen said electric rates are going up faster than any other state in the country because we rely too heavily on coal. Hansen said passing House Bill 5528 would have raised the cap for utility company solar fields. Raising that cap would draw companies that have renewable energy requirements, and those companies could have suppliers and employees that use coal-generated power. According to Hansen, the net effect would be more electricity and cheaper rates.

“And by the way, when manufacturers come to the state who require renewable energy, they may buy a lot of solar electricity, but they’re also going to buy coal-based electricity,” Hansen said.

The special session is planned for May, but no agenda or dates have been set.