Government, The Braxton Democrat

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

I am deeply grateful for the unwavering support I have received throughout the primary election. Although I ran unopposed, your encouragement and belief in my vision for our community have been invaluable. I am reminded daily of the responsibility I carry and the work we have ahead. Together, we will continue to strive for progress and prosperity. Thank you for your trust and for joining me on this journey to make a meaningful difference.
Governor Justice issued the proclamation calling for Special Session of the West Virginia Legislature starting Sunday, May 19th, which is during the scheduled May Interim Committee meetings, to avoid incurring additional taxpayer expense. The declaration specifies fifteen key issues for the Legislature’s deliberation and decisive action including supplemental appropriations and a few new pieces of legislation.
Some of the supplemental appropriations include:

  • $150 million for highway maintenance and equipment.
  • $50 million for new State agricultural lab facilities at West Virginia State University.
  • $10 million for the Posey Perry Emergency Food Bank Fund.
  • $27.3 million for Hope Scholarship funding.
  • $2 million to the Department of Veterans Assistance for medical expenses.
    The Interim Committee Schedule is a follow:
    Monday, May 20
  • 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Joint Standing Committee on Finance
  • 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary
  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Joint Standing Committee on Energy and
  • Manufacturing
  • 11:00 AM – PM 12:00 PM Joint Standing Committee on Health
  • 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Commission on Special Investigations
  • 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on Dept of Transportation Accountability
  • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability
  • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Joint Legislative Committee on Flooding
  • 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Joint Standing Committee on Government Operations
  • 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Joint Standing Committee on Government Organization
  • 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Joint Standing Committee on Education
    Tuesday, May 21
  • 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Joint Standing Committee on Technology and Infrastructure
  • 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Legislative Oversight Committee on Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority
  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Joint Standing Committee on Economic Development and Tourism
  • 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Joint Committee on Government and Finance
  • 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Joint Committee on Volunteer Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services
  • 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability
  • On Friday, May 17th, I attended the groundbreaking ceremony at Marshall University for the new Cyber Security Center which is expected to be completed by 2026. The National Center of Excellence for Cyber Security in Critical Infrastructure, acclaimed for its pivotal role, stands as a beacon of innovation and protection. It is recognized as the cornerstone in safeguarding our essential services and systems against cyber threats, ensuring resilience and security at the heart of our nation’s vital assets. The Marshall Security Center joins the University of Texas at San Antonio as one of two cyber security centers of its kind.
    President Brad D. Smith stated, “Protecting our networks, our data and our critical infrastructure in this environment is not just a necessity, it is imperative. It is bigger than any one agency or institution could take on alone. That is why it is so important to have strategic partnerships between industry, academia, the military, and government.” During the ceremony House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw remarked, “We recognize that cyber security and information technology will be where we as a state make our mark in the 21st century economy.” The project is a wonderful example of what collaboration between groups can accomplish.
    Congratulations to both the Braxton and Gilmer County girls track teams who had qualifiers to the State Track Meet. I enjoyed watching some of the fierce competitions.
    I also extend my congratulations to the Frametown Elementary Tigers and coach Lauri Spencer for placing first in “Fit + Active Schools Face-Off.” Your hours of commitment and hard work have paid off. This is Frametown’s third championship finish at the competition that encourages a healthy and active lifestyle.
    On a personal note, we will finish the school year in Braxton this week and say goodbye to our eighth graders as they celebrate and begin their high school career. I tell them the next four years will pass quickly. Seeing the graduating seniors come back to middle school for the “walk through the halls” drove that point home. How lucky we are to share our lives with each other. I wish the best for those recently graduating and continued success for those still in school laying the foundation for a wonderful life. For families and teachers, it is time to enjoy the long days of summer.
    “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
    (E. E. Cummings)
    I look forward to hearing from people in the district and hope to see you out and about enjoying all the great things our area has to offer. I can be contacted at lori.dittman@wv or 304-701-8600.