BY TAYLOR BENNETT, POLICY COORDINATOR, THE HUB
The gavel is down and the 83rd Legislature is in Session.
Although the Session has just begun, there was an incredible sense of forward momentum under the dome as both the House and Senate were called to order on Tuesday.
From the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce’s “Issues and Eggs” Breakfast, to the State of the State Address, WV leaders conveyed a narrative that was almost aggressively optimistic. The story focused on the dire situation that WV found itself if one year ago, and the decidedly more positive position the state [budget] finds itself in today.
In remarks to the business community and to other legislators at the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce’s “Issues and Eggs” breakfast, House Speaker Tim Armstead and Senate President Mitch Carmichael commented on the upward trend that WV is on economically. Carmichael in particular laid out some ideas for creating a new economy and pathways out of poverty for people across the state.
Some issues highlighted by all three legislators were:
- Inventory Tax
- Education (specifically teachers’ pay)
- Making Community and Technical College free
- Increasing Workforce Participation
- Keeping Young People in the State
- The Opioid Crisis
- Tourism (in particular the necessity to market WV nationally)
- Natural Gas and its role in the Energy Sector
There were 151 Bills introduced in the Senate yesterday, 12 were introduced in the House, and more bills will be introduced daily throughout the Session. There is a lot of work ahead of our legislators, and for us – the citizens, but the tone in the Capitol is a positive one of forward momentum. We’ll keep you updated on how that momentum will impact community development.
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