CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice has issued a proclamation calling for the West Virginia Legislature to convene in Special Session at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 10.
The proclamation lists several items for the Legislature to consider and act upon, all relating generally to economic development.
The first is a bill establishing a “West Virginia Industrial Advancement Act,” which provides certain tax incentives, based upon very significant investment and employment thresholds, for labor and capital intensive heavy industrial facilities to locate in the state.
The next five are supplemental appropriations bills.
The governor’s office says the appropriations Justice is requesting the Legislature to make will be used by the Department of Economic Development to secure tremendous private investment all around the state. These appropriations will mark the largest investment in economic development in this state’s history, and will, say officials, pay untold dividends in recruiting businesses, their employees and families, and further private investment in West Virginia.
The Governor has directed his agencies to maintain, and the Legislature has supported and passed, flat budgets for the last three years. This has resulted in surpluses available for necessary one-time improvements to infrastructure like roads and bridges and funding for other vital services.
As of today, the state has well in excess $400 million in surpluses over its estimates, say officials.
For years now, the governor’s office says they have focused on attempting to incentivize businesses to locate in West Virginia, and on attempting to retain and grow the population.
They say West Virginia is the rocketship ride and the envy of the nation.