BECKLEY, W.Va. — Special Legislative sessions can cost West Virginians thousands of dollars, but Delegate Mick Bates wasn’t willing to cash in at the expense of Mountain State taxpayers.
Bates, D-Raleigh, donated his nearly $1,000 in special session pay to the Susan Landis Youth Philanthropy Fund. Bates picked the fund because he believes in its mission to help promote giving in the Raleigh County community.
He not only believes that the cause is worthy of the donation, but it is about the principle of taking pay for the special session.
“I don’t believe we should be paid twice for what should have been done once,” Bates emphatically stated.
Bates was referring to the fact that the special session had to be called in order for legislators to pass a budget. Bates added that the budget should have been passed during the regular session, and that it he thought it was unfair for him to take payment for a job that was not completed.
The fund of Bates’ choosing was named in honor of the work accomplished by Susan Landis when she retired from the Beckley Area Foundation. Landis passed away suddenly in July.
“Susan’s passing left a hole in the collective heart of this community,” he noted. “Her lasting legacy will be felt for generations to come.”
Bates added that Landis’ spirit of “giving and community” lives on in the youth who participate in projects developed by the Beckley Area Foundation and the Susan Landis Youth Philanthropy Fund.
“I am pleased to be able to support these community efforts in memory of my dear friend, Susan,” Bates declared.
The Susan Landis Youth Philanthropy Fund operates under the umbrella of the Beckley Area Foundation. The philanthropy fund board consists of children 14 to 18 years old who directly work on issues affecting youth in Raleigh and surrounding counties. Participation in the program gives the next generation a voice and the skills to create change.