CHARLESTON – The Legislature will hold a three-day interim session in North Central West Virginia in August, providing lawmakers with greater insight into the unique qualities and factors that feed the region’s economic successes.
“I am extremely pleased at this opportunity to showcase North Central West Virginia,” said House Speaker Tim Miley, D-Harrison. “Rather than gathering in Charleston as is typical, legislators will hold many meetings, which are open to the public, at the Bridgeport Conference Center and other area locations. Just as importantly, lawmakers will also travel to a variety of sites along Interstate 79 and throughout Harrison, Marion and Monongalia counties to see how our businesses, local governments and communities are driving our economy.”
With more than 1,700 job openings within a 25-mile radius of Clarksburg and more than 2,200 within that distance of Morgantown, the area has a lot to offer, Miley noted.
“This visit is a great opportunity for legislators from throughout the state to gain a greater understanding of the workings of our community and region, from our navigation through the oil and gas boom here to the technology innovations and the growth around the FBI Center and West Virginia University,” he said. “We want legislators to see what we are doing here to create those jobs that can be applied in other regions of the state.”
Legislators will arrive in North Central West Virginia on Sunday, Aug. 24, and begin attending meetings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Committees and their staff members – which are expected to total approximately 150 people – will visit sites that pertain to their study topics, such as growth businesses, projects under development, schools and/or health care facilities.
House Majority Whip Mike Caputo said he is eager to connect people from Marion County with legislators from around the state.
“North Central West Virginia, in particular Marion County, is a great place to live, raise your family and do business,” Caputo said. “We look forward to showing off our home county and giving residents the opportunity to convey their views and concerns to lawmakers.”
Delegate Tony Barill noted that his district of Monongalia County includes one of the major population and economic growth areas in the country, and Morgantown is often ranked a top metropolitan area in the country
“We have some great experiences in terms of laying the groundwork for a successful business climate and responding to the specialized needs of our citizens that we would like to share with lawmakers from other parts of the state,” Barill said.
By traveling the state and reaching out to members of different communities, legislators are gaining a better perspective of the specific qualities of various corners of the state, Delegate Richard Iaquinta of Harrison County added.
“That experience better equips us as we consider legislation of both local and statewide importance,” he said. “On this visit, I think we as a legislative body, and as individual legislators, will get ideas of how to help all of West Virginia prosper as North Central West Virginia has.”