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We are preparing for the 2012 Annual Conference to be held August 5-8, at the Mountaineer Resort, in Hancock County. If you haven't already made plans to attend, please reconsider! We have lots of good information to share with you so it will be a very packed agenda.

I am just returning from our National Association of Counties Conference held in Pittsburgh, PA. We had over twenty WV delegates participating. I attended several good workshops and plan to "borrow" a couple for our future meetings! NACo 1st Vice President Linda Langston will join us as a guest speaker for the CCAWV August Annual Meeting. Also on the NACo front, the CCAWV Board has been working diligently with NACo on the Association endorsement of the County Prescription Drug Card Program. I am very excited to report that the endorsement process has moved forward and promises to provide a new CCAWV membership benefit for 2013, called "Two for the Price of One!". You'll hear more about this at the upcoming CCAWV Conference, stay tuned!

Legislative Session 2012 is over. As anticipated in presidential election years, and with a lagging economy, the session was a little slow and the legislation actually passed, was somewhat sparse for counties. Approaching our proposed 2012 agenda with these things in mind, CCAWV kept our priorities to a minimum. Our game plan was to look for new revenue sources, but above all, protect the current county resources and programs from erosion. In this context, I think we had a successful session. Several negative bullets were dodged and a few good things succeeded passage. Some good things, as in all sessions, were lost along the way.

We were very pleased that SB 487 passed. This bill broadens the definition of “economic development authority” so that all qualifying counties will have access to their share of coalbed methane severance taxes. Some county’s shares have been on hold in the Treasurer’s office for tax years 2009, 2010, and 2011. We were also pleased for passage of SB 362 that authorizes the issuance of $52.5 million in bonds for capital improvements for Cacapon Resort State Park (Morgan County) and Beech Fork State Park (Wayne County). Congratulations to the Morgan and Wayne County Commissioners on their diligent efforts! The debt service on these bonds will be paid from an additional allocation from the State Excess Lottery Revenue Fund.

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