As we hit the halfway point of the 60-day legislative session, I would like to discuss some of the bills we worked on this week.

I believe we need to look at legislation that expands economic development and job creation in our state. I have sponsored House Bill 4001, which creates the West Virginia Impact Fund to attract investors to the state. The Mountaineer Impact Office created by the bill will be charged with identifying potential large-scale West Virginia business projects that need more than $25 million in capital and would benefit from additional investors. The Impact Fund would receive capital investment dollars which could be from private investors, investment firms or sovereign wealth funds. They would invest these funds in projects to create new jobs for West Virginians.

H. B. 4083 is a bill which will require the West Virginia Parkways Authority to accept the use of credit and debit cards for paying tolls. This bill is needed to assist with individuals traveling on the interstate who carry little to no cash.

We rely on credit cards, good or bad. By adding this to the toll booths, I believe it will assist in the long lines during the holiday seasons. This bill passed on a vote 96-0.

H. B. 4414 will develop a resource which families can use to monitor and track deaf and hard-of-hearing children’s early language acquisition and expression, and developmental stages toward English literacy. This bill passed 98-0.

H. B. 4415, which passed 96-2, is designed to improve the response to and the protection and recovery of this state’s missing and endangered children.

H. B. 4137 passed 100-0 to allow county voter registration records to be maintained and stored in a digital format.

I was honored to have students from the 31st District visit at the Capitol. On Monday, I was visited by students from Trap Hill Middle School for Raze (Tobacco Free Day). On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of talking with Elijah Hensley and Alyssa McGhee, two students from Liberty High School. They were chosen to represent Liberty High, which was named a Jennings Randolph Award School. Liberty has registered 100 percent of their eligible senior class to vote qualifying them for the first round of the Jennings Randolph Award for the 2019-2020 school year.

Del. Christopher W. Toney, R–31st, can be reached at 304-340-3384 or by email at chris.toney@wvhouse.gov

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