By Charles Young, The Exponent Telegram of Clarksburg
CHARLESTON — The House of Delegates on Friday concurred with a minor title amendment to a bill creating the West Virginia Impact Fund, completing legislative action on the measure.
The bill now goes to Gov. Jim Justice for his signature.
In his State of the State address in January, Justice signaled his support for the measure.
“You have a fund that becomes the bank that you can loan money and inspire people to invest within the state of West Virginia, and you can give all kinds of great return on their money that they invest, and you can bring money to our state like you can’t imagine,” Justice said. “It is an ingenious idea, and I absolutely will fully support it.”
House Bill 4001, creating the West Virginia Impact Fund, passed the Senate on Thursday by a vote of 30-3, with one senator absent or not voting.
The House passed its version of the bill Feb. 21 by a 94-to-4 vote, with two delegates absent or not voting.
The bill would create the West Virginia Impact Fund, a special revenue fund overseen by the state treasurer, and the Mountaineer Impact Office, according to Senate Finance Chair Craig Blair, R-Berkeley.
The two entities would seek out potential capital investors from around the world for projects with a minimum investment of $25 million in West Virginia, with the goal of “furthering economic development, infrastructure development and job creation,” Blair said.
The assets in the fund will managed by a seven-member Investment Committee, consisting of a representative of the governor, a representative of the state commerce secretary and five members appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate.
House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, the main sponsor of the legislation, said the fund will allow West Virginia to serve as an official partner in potential investments in the state. Hanshaw said he believes the fund will help bring large projects and employment opportunities to West Virginia. …