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WV Legislative Update

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After the enjoyable but hectic week of Thanksgiving, it’s back to regular business during this first full week of December.  The only greenery remaining in the woods is the white pine trees around our home, a few scattered holly trees and some low bushes in the woods that still provide some color to the landscape.  When will we see our first blanket of meaningful snow remains a mystery, but the kid in me always hopes for a white Christmas.  Meanwhile, I’m getting the blade on the tractor and snow blower on the gravely tractor this week for what may be coming just around the corner.

While it was originally called for by the Governor last month but cancelled, Governor Justice has issued a two-item proclamation calling for a special session this week in conjunction with December interim meetings.  The items to be addressed are housekeeping matters as the State prepares to float the first of the road bonds, as approved by the voters in September.  The bill will authorize the sale of the bonds, while an accompanying concurrent resolution will affirm that the first segment of the bonds is not to exceed $800 million dollars.

The main focus of the Finance Committee during the December meetings will be to meet with and discuss projected budget numbers and priorities for the upcoming session in January.  Thus far into the fiscal year, it appears we are running approximately $15 million dollars below estimates for the year to date.  While this is a fraction of the amount we were running behind this time last year, any amount of deficit must be made up prior to ending the current fiscal year on June 30.  I’m interested to hear what the Governor and Revenue Secretary have estimated revenue for the next fiscal year and for the reminder of the current fiscal year.  Normally specifics are not available until after the Governor’s State of the State address at the beginning of the Legislative session, but we may glean some valuable early insights.

Congratulations to the Braxton County High School Eagles Band Boosters for an outstanding fundraising event for the purpose of much-needed new band uniforms.  The event – a Taste of Central West Virginia – was held at the Braxton Senior Center last Saturday night and a packed house enjoyed great food and a wide array of great auction items, including live music by the BCHS Jazz Band.

This was an outstanding event for a great cause.  Thanks to all that attended; BCHS Band Director John Kimble and his wife, Lindsey; the Band Boosters, including parents and volunteers from across the region; local businesses; and especially the local restaurants and caterers that participated.  It’s wonderful to see the community turn out in support of our outstanding BCHS Marching Band.  A special thanks to Weyerhaeuser for their generous grant.

All across West Virginia, hundreds of bridges were washed away or rendered unsafe and unusable as a result of the deadly 2016 floods.  While shelter and safety are of first importance, hundreds of West Virginia families were cut off due to damaged or destroyed bridges that were not on state-maintained roads.  Gilmer and Braxton Counties were spared the brunt of the damage, but several families were affected.

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with volunteers from Mennonite Disaster Services, who were rebuilding a bridge in the Little Birch area.  The volunteer crew included local volunteers and others from West Virginia, several Midwestern states, and provinces in Canada, led by Pete Thiessen, who was returning home to Calgary, Alberta after the bridge completion.

Workings in conjunction with WV VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters), dozens of private bridges have been rebuilt in our State after disasters when no state or federal assistance was available.  My thanks to MDS, Pete and the volunteer crew for their work in Braxton County to restore access to a family in need.

Our church and many others across West Virginia have responded to disaster needs locally, in-state and throughout the southeast.  It’s always great when volunteers respond – whenever and wherever the need may be.

Please send your inquiries to the Capitol office:  Building 1, Room 258-M, Charleston, WV 25305.  My home number is 304.364.8411; the Capitol office number is 304.340.3142.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

You may also obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and leave me a message on the Legislature’s web site at www.legis.state.wv.us/.  When leaving a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and the state government phone directory, may be found at www.wv.gov. Also, you may follow me on Facebook at “Brent Boggs”, Twitter at “@DelBrentBoggs” , as well as the WV Legislature’s Facebook page at “West Virginia Legislature” or on Twitter at twitter.com/wvlegislature.

Continue to remember our troops - at home and abroad - and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.  Until next week – take care.

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