As of Fri., Jan. 27th, 2012, a total of 1,475 bills have been introduced in the West Virginia Legislature; 1,029 in the House of Delegates and 446 in the State Senate. The House has passed 13 bills and the Senate, seven. However, there is one bill which has completed legislative action and has already been signed into law by the Governor.
The Legislature moved quickly to pass House Bill 4086, designed to improve West Virginia’s chances to attract one or possibly two ethane ‘cracker’ plants. The construction of just one of these facilities involves an investment of over $2 billion with an estimated 8,000 construction jobs; hundreds of permanent jobs when operational; and thousands of spin-off jobs in related industries.
Due to the rapid work of the House and Senate, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin had the signed CasinoCeskaRepublika tax credit law in hand when meeting with representatives of Royal Dutch Shell in Houston, Texas last Thurs., Jan. 26. Both Ohio and Pennsylvania are also competing for the facility.
HB 4086 will provide property tax breaks to any business spending $2 billion or more to build an ethane cracker plant in the state. Also, the bill will allow the plant complex to be assessed at its salvage value, or 5 percent of its actual appraised value, for 25 years.
This is a major incentive to attract a major investment in our state, not to mention a massive economic lift to West VirginiaÕs manufacturing economy.
Bills still pending
Other bills that passed the House of Delegates last week include:
National Guard news
While the work of the Legislature continues at a very productive pace, there is great news to report regarding our WV National Guard and Air National Guard.
During House Finance Committee Budget Hearings last week, Adjutant General James Hoyer said that as of this past Sun., Jan. 22, all West Virginia National Guard units are back home stateside for the first time since shortly after September 11, 2001.
About 4,100 servicemen and women serve in the Army National Guard and roughly 2,400 serve in the Air Guard. At one point, more than 2,000 West Virginia National Guard members were deployed overseas as part of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A 530-member Artillery Battalion from the Clarksburg-Fairmont area was the last large group to return home over the past few weeks. Over the weekend, the final two units, a 36-member unit and 45-member unit, returned from Africa and Afghanistan.
A new challenge
However, having our Guard members home will not last long. In March, a portion of the ANG 130th Airlift wing will do a four-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. Other units are scheduled for redeployment later this year.
As I conclude each week in this space, please keep these brave men and women in the Armed Forces in your thoughts and prayers as they defend our country at home and abroad. Likewise, do all you can to aid and assist their families during deployments.
How to contact me!
Please send your inquiries to the Capitol Office at: Building 1, Room 226-M, Charleston, WV 25305. Or, call the Capitol office at 304-340-3220; Assistant to the Majority Leader, Tom Bennett, at 304-340-3262 or House Leadership Analyst, Jennifer McPherson, at 304-340-3942 or fax to 304-340-3213. If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.
For those with Internet access, my e-mail address is: [email protected]
You also may obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights and other information from the Legislature’s web site, at http://www.legis.state.wv.us/
If you write or leave a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and state government phone directory may be found at www.wv.gov and on the Facebook site of the West Virginia Legislature.
Remember to thank a veteran for his or her service to our nation and continue to remember our troops at home and abroad and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.
Until next week, take care!
The Glenville Pathfinder is a newspaper based in Glenville, West Virginia. It was formed from the merger of the Glenville Journal and The Pathfinder. We publish new articles every weekday morning, Monday through Friday.