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3 Questions With House Speaker Tim Miley

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House Speaker Tim Miley, D-Harrison, is preparing for his first legislative session as speaker of the House of Delegates.

Miley was elected speaker in June after the departure of the previous speaker, Delegate Rick Thompson, D-Wayne. Miley was first elected to the House in 2004 and served as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee for two sessions. 

The State Journal: What do you think will be the most discussed topic during the upcoming Legislative session?

Speaker Tim Miley, D-Harrison: The budget. 

TSJ: Pick an issue that you feel particularly passionate about. Why do you feel passionate about it and what do you hope happens with it? 

Miley: Small business and entrepreneurial growth. They are vital to the growth of our economy.

I don't think we do enough to focus on small business needs, and I say that from the standpoint of … when we get down here, the big corporations and the organizations that represent big corporations, they have government lobbyists to be here day in and day out suggesting things we ought to be doing. And they're good ideas and good issues too, but we tend to get distracted and focused on those issues to the detriment or sacrifice of small businesses. They don't have any lobbyists other than the representative they send down here. 

TSJ: What upcoming or potential issue do you think means the most to the Mountain State?

Miley: Maximizing the recovery of our natural gas so that industry can continue to blossom as it has been doing over the past about 10 years. And I think as the Marcellus Shale continues to be developed, and hopefully the cracker that will be built and become a reality, the downstream economic benefits of that will transform, certainly the northern part of the state, if not the entire state. 

Things in West Virginia are exciting in certain parts, not so much other parts, but like a lot of things, you stretch yourself and you move … but the state, as a whole, is moving in the right direction, I believe.