On September 18, 2017, members of the CCAWV Board and Legislative Committee gathered at Mardi Gras Casino in Cross Lanes, WV. One of the primary goals of this meeting is to establish the 2017 Legislative Agenda for the association. This year, the legislative committee has its work cut out, with a large number of legislative nominations from across the state to review. Sunday’s entire meeting was devoted to reviewing and discussing these. CCAWV adopts nonpartisan issues that, we hope, will benefit some or all of the counties and hurt none.
As Board and Legislative Committee members settled into the meeting room, Commissioner Kent Carper of Kanawha County provided a warm welcome to his county. Then the work began. The group reviewed forty-three nominated issues. Many of these reflected problems counties face year after year – generating revenue, fighting to keep jail costs down, seeking legislative solutions to ongoing problems such as dilapidated buildings – and there was much discussion about strategies that have either worked or failed in the past. Complicating the process of narrowing down our lengthy list to five key priorities was the fact that November’s election, regardless of the outcome, will bring a slew of new faces to the Capitol. A new Governor, a new Senate President, and a House and Senate that could easily be either a Republican or Democrat majority spells uncertainty for everyone.
As such, the group decided to keep our focus on nonpartisan, actionable priorities that will translate into tangible benefits for the citizens of West Virginia.
The next morning, the group began bright and early. The Legislative Committee reported its recommendations to the Board, which voted to approve the agenda. Jimmy Gianato, Director of the WV Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, was able to join the group and provide an update on the long-term recovery process following the summer’s historic floods. Vivian Parsons, CCAWV Executive Director, updated the group on what had been an extremely busy summer for the CCAWV staff. After receiving reports from CCAWV’s representatives to various boards, the group took a well-deserved lunch break as the meeting adjourned.
We’d like to thank Kanawha County for being a wonderful host county! And a big thank you to all of our Board and Legislative Committee members who take time from their busy schedules to attend our meetings. We look forward to an exciting 2017 legislative session!