Reading Between the Lines in Charleston
It has been a long-standing joke between older members of the West Virginia Legislature and legislative staffers who are also veterans of the system that fiscal notes attached to proposed bills indicating the potential costs of that particular piece of legislation are often designed to reflect the desires of the bill’s sponsors. Read
In other words, if the lawmakers who are sponsoring a bill really want it to become law, then the suggested fiscal note is calculated as a modest sum. But if the legislative bill sponsors are merely offering the bill to appease some constituents and really would prefer it die in committee, the estimated costs of implementation of this new law are inflated to make sure the bill has no hope of passage.