Justice Calls For Special Monday Legislative Session - West Virginia Daily News
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Justice Calls For Special Monday Legislative Session

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West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued a proclamation Saturday, directing the state legislature to convene for a Special Session to be held on Monday, January 10. The session will be called to order at 11 a.m. Justice has called for the Special Session just two days ahead of his scheduled Wednesday “State of the State” address.

The governor’s proclamation is comprised of seven line items for the legislature to consider. All of which, as explained in a statement released by the governor’s office, are “relating generally to economic development.”

The first line item on Justice’s agenda is “Legislation relating to and implementing a bill to provide certain tax incentives, based upon certain investments and employment thresholds, to promote development and expansion of new labor and capital intensive heavy industry in this State.”

It would appear that this first line item will be the main focal point of the Special Session. Several state delegates have indicated that some $300 million of the over $400 million tax payer surplus would be utilized to fund these “certain tax incentives” in order to entice a particular out of state, Fortune 150 company to establish operations within West Virginia. While these reports remain unconfirmed at the time of writing, speculation exists that this particular organization will begin operating in the Northern Panhandle-region of the state, creating as many as 800 new jobs.

If these unconfirmed reports are, in fact, accurate, it would also seem to indicate that Justice is attempting to ensure legislative-support prior to delivering his Wednesday address. During his February, 2021 “State of the State” address, the governor unveiled the beginnings of his plan to repeal the state’s personal income tax. Although initially met with general positivity amongst lawmakers, by the summer, the governor’s tax-repeal plan died on the floors of both the House and the Senate.

As further explained in Saturday’s statement from the governor’s office: “The appropriations the governor is requesting the legislature to make will be used by our Department of Economic Development to secure tremendous private investment all around the state. These appropriations will mark the largest investment in economic development in the state’s history, and will pay untold dividends in recruiting businesses, their employees and families, and further private investment in West Virginia. [ ]

When attempting to recruit businesses today, states compete with one another. In the past, other states with larger budgets have often offered incentives that price West Virginia out of the market. NOT ANYMORE! When we find a good prospect offering investment, jobs, and growth, therefore, it is paramount that the state does its best to compete for that business – for investment, jobs and growth.”

The statement concludes with: “Stay tuned for announcements of potential investments next week.”

The West Virginia Daily News will provide updates regarding Monday’s Special Legislative Session, as well as Gov. Justice’s “State of the State” address as additional information is made available.

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