H. B. 2408
(By Delegates Webster, Spencer, Palumbo,
Hatfield, Amores and Brown)
[Introduced February 16, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated
to providing a special fund for the Economic Development
Authority to address employment and economic development
problems of minority populations of this State.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated §31-15-23a
, to read as
ARTICLE 15. WEST VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY.
§31-15-23a. Targeted minority economic development fund.
There is hereby created in the State Treasury, a special fund
entitled the "Targeted Minority Economic Development Fund" to which
shall be credited any appropriation made by the Legislature to the
Authority, any funds which the Authority is authorized to receive
under any provision of this code for the purposes of this section
and other funds the board directs to be deposited into the fund.
The Authority may requisition from the fund amounts as are
necessary to provide for the payment of the administrative expenses
of this section and to fund projects targeted to:
(a) Continue to support and expand small business incubator
programs, including programs at institutions of higher education in
the State targeting minority enterprises;
(b) Encourage new and minority small business development;
(c) Undertake initiatives to encourage minority business
ownership similar to those efforts used to encourage greater rates
of business ownership among women;
(d) Assist community, faith-based and economic development
corporations to provide effective technical and business advisory
services to minority-owned and -operated enterprises;
(e) Encourage industry, banks and other private businesses to
target hiring of African-Americans and other minority persons;
(f) Encourage governmental agencies and bodies and businesses
to be more aggressive in establishing diversity-conscious practices
as employers and for their operations;
(g) Enlist traditional and nontraditional lending institutions
to be more creative and favorable to lending in minority
communities and to minority persons, especially for business
(h) Encourage small business start-up and expansion and
provide funding to assist minority vendors to meet bid bonding
(i) Encourage workforce investment boards to be accountable
for educating poor and minority persons for higher paying jobs; and
(j) Any other targeted project or activity intended to address
economic conditions of minorities and minority communities.
If the authority determines that funds held in the fund are in
excess of the amount needed to carry out the purposes of this
article, it may take such action as is necessary to release such
excess and transfer it to the General Fund of the State Treasury.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish in the State
Treasury a targeted minority economic development fund to address
economic issues of minorities and minority communities.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.