By Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. —
Just 16 days after Gov. Jim Justice called on the Legislature to elevate the West Virginia Development Office and Division of Tourism to Cabinet-level departments, the bill doing so is headed to his desk.
The Senate on Friday approved House Bill 2019 on a 34-0 vote, completing a rapid path to final passage that included single-committee references in the House of Delegates and Senate, with no amendments along the way.
“This is merely a recognition. It really just changes the titles,” Senate Finance Chairman Eric Tarr, R-Putnam, said of the legislation.
He said having the title of department secretary will give Economic Development Office Director Mitch Carmichael and Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby greater stature. …
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