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WV Senate unanimously passes bill to request job impact statements

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Some say all legislation should come down to jobs, and a bill unanimously passed by the Senate March 26 would zero in on the effect potential legislation would have on jobs.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin proposed Senate Bill 187, the Jobs Impact Statement Act.

The bill unanimously passed the full Senate March 26.

It would allow the governor, speaker of the House of Delegates or the Senate president to request a jobs impact statement of the West Virginia Development Office for potential legislation.

Sen. Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, explained that the office would then have 20 days to prepare the statement to detail the impact the bill might have on jobs – the number of jobs created, retained or eliminated along with the net impact of the legislation on the state's employment level and the impact on each industrial sector, such as coal or natural gas.

A committee amendment would have changed who would be permitted to ask for the statements, allowing minority leaders and a few committee chairmen.

But during the bill's second Senate committee reference, a few lawmakers had a change of heart and worried that requesting jobs impact statements could be used to delay or kill legislation. So another amendment adopted in that committee set the bill back to its original requirements for the three legislative leaders to be able to request the statements.

The bill will now go to the House for its debate.