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As governor hints at announcement, lawmakers embrace bill to prepare development sites

WV Press Legislative Lookahead Coverage

By Brad McElhinny, WV Metro News


As Gov. Jim Justice and state development officials hint at a significant upcoming announcement, state lawmakers will swiftly consider a site readiness bill.

“We don’t often like to admit it in West Virginia, but the reality is, in large part, economic decisions about the future of our state are made outside the borders of West Virginia,” said House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay.

“So one of the things we have to be mindful of is, are we doing what’s necessary to provide the right kind of package to make it attractive for business that’s operating outside our state to flow into West Virginia. So, our site selection bill, our site readiness bill, will be one of those that will advance early on in the process.”

Economic development is an early theme of this year’s legislative action. Justice called a special session for Monday to consider a bill “to provide certain tax incentives, based upon certain investment and employment thresholds, to promote development and expansion of new labor and capital intensive heavy industry in this State.” …

Hanshaw said that bill will help the state Department of Commerce and state Department of Economic Development to tout more marketable sites and facilities to business prospects considering West Virginia for investment.

He was speaking Friday at the annual Legislative Lookahead sponsored by the West Virginia Press Association, AARP and West Virginia University’s university relations office.

“Time matters as much as money. So it’s not enough for West Virginia to be the cheapest place for a potential target to invest. It also matters that it be the most accessible place for an investment to be made. That means having a ready-made site on which a particular target might locate,” Hanshaw said. …

Read more: https://wvmetronews.com/2022/01/09/as-governor-hints-at-announcement-lawmakers-embrace-bill-to-prepare-development-sites/

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