By Steven Allen Adams, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Hoping to not make the same mistakes as the past when it comes to broadband expansion, lawmakers are looking at a bill that will give them more oversight and say in how the state spends its broadband and economic development dollars.
House Technology and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Daniel Linville, R-Cabell, is the lead sponsor of House Bill 4001. His committee learned more about the bill Monday afternoon. HB 4001 would create the Legislative Oversight Commission on Department of Economic Development Accountability.
The new commission would consist of 14 members from the House of Delegates and state Senate from all committees dealing with infrastructure and economic development, with Senate President Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, and House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, as non-voting members.
The goal of the commission would be to provide oversight for all financial investments made by the Department of Economic Development, the new state agency created last year out of parts of the Department of Commerce and led by former senate president Mitch Carmichael. The commission would create a line of communication between the Legislature and the department as it prepares to spend millions of mostly federal dollars on broadband expansion projects across the state…