WV Delegate Josh Nelson to introduce ‘Warrior/Legislator Act’ - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV Delegate Josh Nelson to introduce ‘Warrior/Legislator Act’

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Delegate Josh Nelson, R-Boone, is being placed on active military duty for the second time in as many years.

The Air Guard officer announced Sept. 12 he will be sent to required training at a military installation with the West Virginia Air National Guard, but if the Air Force allows time, he will participate in the upcoming legislative session.

He also has plans to introduce a bill that would allow lawmakers who become activated to continue to participate in the legislative process.

His proposed bill is already nicknamed the "Warrior/Legislator Act."

Nelson's proposal would allow lawmakers who are absent due to active military service to vote by electronic teleconferencing device.

Sen. Erik Wells, D-Kanawha, cast his vote for Senate president in 2011 while he was serving overseas in Afghanistan. Members of the Senate allowed his vote by phone through a special roll call vote.

Nelson said the legislature's procedure needs clarification, and it could allow for more veterans to run for office.

"Employers do this," Nelson said. "They allow for members to be away to serve their country, and I believe it's important that we, as a Legislature, do the same."