Legislative Session Ends
Lawmakers Are Moving WV Forward
March 17, 2015
Dear BIC Members,
Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope all of you are recovering from the last two months.
We have just witnessed the most productive and efficient 60-day legislative session the state has experienced in years. Lawmakers addressed major legal fairness issues, regulatory reforms across every business sector and offered an open and fair debate on public education. Rest assured, all West Virginians will benefit from the 2015 legislative session.
From the BIC perspective, we easily can point to many bills that squarely address our policy goals. To that end, we will have a BIC membership meeting at 2 p.m. March 26, location TBD -- we will email everyone when we have a location. A list of bills is below with the bill numbers hyperlinked to the final bill text (if available).
Senate President Bill Cole and House Speaker Tim Armstead and their leadership teams had lawmakers and staff working harder, putting in more hours than any legislative session in recent history.
Did we get everything we wanted? No, and it was particularly disappointed to see the Lease Integration, aka Fair Pooling, legislation fail on a tie vote in the House after it already had passed both houses of the Legislature. For a bill of this importance to fall prey to last-minute political antics is a painful loss for our oil/gas industry and overall business development prospects. We should discuss this at our next membership meeting.
But when we balance some losses with the incredible gains in 2015, the legislative leadership is be commended for their focus on moving West Virginia forward. And kudos to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for putting his stamp of approval on many progressive pieces of legislation.
Now it’s time to start laying the groundwork for 2016, both on a legislative and electoral front. The work on preserving and expanding election gains we made in 2014 that produced incredibly legislative results starts now.
As we anticipated, the Charleston media spared no effort in making the new leadership look bad. Thank you to everyone who made special contributions to BIC to help with our communications effort, but a lot of work remains in this regard. BIC must rise to the occasion and spread a message of positivity following this session to protect those members who stood up for business and industry.
Please take time to thank Gov. Tomblin, the legislative leadership and your local senators and delegates for taking critical steps toward creating the kind of business environment that will attract investment and jobs. Send letters to your local newspapers. Call into your local radio stations. Post to your social media accounts. Make sure West Virginia hears the real story about the 2015 session from the job creators instead of out-of-touch liberal media interests.
Thank you all for an incredible legislative advocacy effort over 60 days. I look forward to working with you on the next phase of BIC’s evolution.