Government, The Braxton Democrat

Legislative Update… By Lori Dittman WV House of Delegates 63rd District

A total of 13 bills have completed the legislative process, one of which would create a program to allow volunteers to help clean West Virginia streams and rivers.
Senate Bill 143 unanimously passed the West Virginia House of Delegates Jan. 27. The measure would create the Adopt-A-Stream Program, modeled after the Adopt-A-Highway Program. It would allow individuals and organizations to apply for the program to adopt a waterway where they would be required to perform at least one cleanup per year. Supplies would be provided and adopted streams would be noted with signs.
West Virginia University overtook the Upper Rotunda on January 31st with displays and information, and the next day Marshall University did the same. Members of the House took the opportunity to learn about various programs the universities offer and not only spoke with officials from both institutions but also posed for pictures with Mary the Mountaineer and with Marco the buffalo.
Members also took the opportunity to adopt House Concurrent Resolution 11, which urges both Marshall and WVU to work with the WVU Institute of Technology and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to lead an education consortium and work toward developing the policies and programs necessary to facilitate nuclear energy developments in West Virginia. The resolution is pending in the Senate Education Committee and would require the consortium to coordinate with representatives from private industry to identify then recommend nuclear policies to the Legislature that would maintain the state’s position as a leader in 21st Century energy production.
Members of the House also unanimously passed House Bill 2004 this week. The measure would prevent financial institutions from disclosing the purchase of firearms, their accessories, components or ammunition. Tracking for law enforcement purposes still would be permitted, along with other limited exceptions, but the merchant code for firearms and related sales would be considered protected financial information. It now goes to the state Senate for debate.
A total of 1,289 House bills have been introduced as of Feb. 3, and 37 of those have passed the House. The 60-day, regular legislative session ends at midnight March 11.
I was fortunate to participate in other activities outside the House Chamber. I enjoyed the presentation at the Culture Center by Russell S. Sobel, Ph.D.
Dr. Sobel is a Professor of Economics & Entrepreneurship as he discussed concepts from his book entitled Unleashing Capitalism: Why Prosperity Stops at the West Virginia Border and How to Fix It.
The House Committee on Economic Development and Tourism heard from Director of Commerce James Bailey pertaining to the economic impact of the tourism industry.
I attended the West Virginia Farm Bureau’s Taste of West Virginia Dinner and enjoyed a delicious meal made from West Virginia’s growers and producers. The dinner was also an opportunity to learn about important issues that affect farmers, landowners, and consumers.
Congratulations to Kevin Gregory of Falls Mill for being named West Virginia’s Tree Farmer of the Year!
The West Virginia Press Association dinner was held this week. It was a pleasure visiting with local journalist and owner of the Citizen’s News and the Braxton Democrat, Ed Given.
Home School day was held on Friday, February 3rd, and it was my pleasure to present a resolution to Tim Frame, Linden family of Gilmer County, and the Summers family of Clay County, all representing homeschool families throughout West Virginia. I also enjoyed seeing constituents from Duck, Becka Campbell and her twins, Ethan and Carter.
I would also like to recognize the beginning of Black History Month and the important contributions to civil rights, music, education, science, business, and government from Black West Virginians.
“Lean on me
When you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on…
For it won’t be long
Till I’m gonna need somebody to lean on”
(Bill Withers, native West Virginian and Grammy Award-winning artist)
I look forward to hearing from you. Please contact me at [email protected] Or 304-701-8600.