A special session addresses economic development and unemployment fraud issues

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) — Lawmakers addressed 17 agenda items Monday during a special session at the West Virginia Capitol.

By 7:30 p.m., 14 of the 17 items had passed, most by wide margins. Proposals included legislation allowing the use of air rifles when hunting, additional funds for water and sewage projects and other measures affecting public pensions.

The special session largely focused on bills that enjoyed broad support this winter, but either failed to pass before the end of the regular session or contained errors that forced a veto from the governor. Jim Justice.

A $600 million proposal to boost economic development is still pending. The money is – already designated – in the state budget, and a similar measure was passed in March, however, errors in the original bill forced a veto and therefore the need for a special session .

Senators quickly passed the corrected legislation.

The House of Delegates wanted to investigate further and referred the matter to its Finance Committee.

“Anytime you have that amount of money, it’s always good to have 25 committee members look at the bill and make sure it’s okay,” said Assemblyman Eric Householder, R-Berkeley.

“It allows our economic development office to have the power of any other state in the country to attract business to West Virginia, and we can do that with an economic development team that has demonstrated results,” said Sen. Eric Tarr, R. – Putnam.

The economic development bill made it to committee without amendment, however, the full House could not clear a procedural hurdle to expedite the economic development bill on Monday night.

Among the stories that came through early Monday was an unemployment fraud unit. A similar bill received strong support earlier this year. However, delegates were unable to consider a Senate amendment before the end of the regular session.

“We’re trying to look at unemployment as a whole, and we’re trying to solve it like we have a lot of other things in state government,” said Senate Majority Leader Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha. . “We want to streamline this as much as possible to get help to people who need it, and at the same time stop fraudulent or abusive activity.”

The House and Senate meet again Tuesday at 8 a.m. Plans call for the session to end no later than Tuesday.

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