Fayette County Delegates Tom Fast, Kayla Kessinger and Dave Perry introduced a bipartisan bill on Monday to block the move of WVU Tech from Montgomery.
You’ll remember we covered a couple of other Tech-related bills last week (SB 386 and HB 4310) that would remove the statutory requirements that WVU Tech be located in Montgomery.
HB 4431 is written generally to require that any relocation or closure of a state higher education institution must be pre-approved by the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability (LOCEA) under the Higher Education Policy Commission.
It would require the LOCEA to conduct economic and educational accessibility impact studies prior to any state higher education school being closed or relocated.
While the language of the bill doesn’t reference WVU Tech, the note attached to it clearly states that it is intended to stop the move of Tech from Montgomery.
This bill was introduced just days before the Montgomery City Council rejected a proposed agreement between the County Commission, the City of Montgomery and WVU to move forward the school’s relocation.
While HB 4431 is unlikely to pass, considering the significant support for the relocation and WVU’s plan outside of Montgomery, the introduction of the bill demonstrates support for the city by the local delegates, just in time for the 2016 election.