West Virginia - Wild and Wonderful

About West Virginia

West Virginia is noted for its mountains and diverse topography, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research.

Business

West Virginia is full of opportunity for any business with a growing economy and a highly dedicated workforce. Whether you are running an existing business or thinking of starting a new business you can find all of the information you need throughout this business section.

Education

West Virginia is fortunate to have a tremendous education system with a high standard of excellence. Please use the information provided here to learn more about the wealth of educational opportunities in our great state.

Employment

West Virginia is home to one of the finest workforces in the country based on our hard work and commitment to quality. Whether you are looking for new job opportunities, enhancing your job skills or researching future employment trends you can find all of the information you need throughout this employment section.

Family

West Virginia offers the perfect balance of a rural and urban setting that suits a variety of lifestyles. This is a state where you can go whitewater rafting in the morning, go to an art exhibit in the afternoon and attend a concert in the evening. Whether you just moved to the Mountain State or your family has been here since it was founded, you are part of our community.

Health

Maintaining proper health is vital to ensuring the highest quality of life possible. West Virginia strives to provide one of the best health care systems in the country that is affordable and available to all residents of the state. This section contains numerous resources to assist you in accessing the health care services provided in the state.

Tourism

Exhilarate in the lasting beauty and natural wonder scattered throughout West Virginia. From unmatched outdoor recreation to world-class resorts, breathtaking scenery and a variety of cultural and historic attractions, West Virginia is an ideal spot to plan your next adventure. Discover for yourself what makes West Virginia wild and wonderful.

 Governor Tomblin Praises 80th Legislature

3/10/2012

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin tonight praised Senate President Jeff Kessler and Speaker of the House Rick Thompson along with members of the legislature for passing several pieces of landmark legislation during the 2012 Regular Session.

"For the past sixty-days, President Kessler, Speaker Thompson and members of the legislature have worked with my administration to put the best interest of West Virginia families first and I am grateful for their collaboration," Gov. Tomblin said. "From making our coal mines and roadways safer, ridding our communities of substance abuse, changing our tax code to invite business development and to addressing our state's last remaining debt, this session produced substantial laws which will improve the lives of West Virginians; I could not be more pleased."

Some of the governor's legislative proposals passed during the session include:

H.B. 4086 Establishes tax relief for ethane steam cracker development. This bill focuses on job recruitment by reducing personal property taxes for companies constructing an ethane steam cracker in West Virginia which has a minimum of $2 billion in investment.

S.B. 469 Relating to Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB). This bill creates a funding stream to pay off the state's last remaining long-term liability of $5 billion by 2036, saving county school boards $485 million in future OPEB liability payments freeing up funds for local system uses.

H.B. 4351 Relating to mine safety. This bill strengthens rock dusting and new methane standards, codifies an anonymous mine safety tip line, increases fines and penalties, criminalizes advance notice of mine inspections, and requires pre-employment and random drug testing among other safety improvements towards preventing coal mine disaster injuries and fatalities.

H.B. 4087 Extends the moratorium on timber severance taxes. This bill extends the discontinuance of the severance tax on the privilege of harvesting timber, saving the timber industry approximately $1.3 million annually.

S.B. 211 Establishing the offense of driving while texting. This bill makes it a primary offense to operate a motor vehicle while sending or reading a text message. The bill also makes it a secondary offense for speaking on a handheld cell phone as of July 1, 2012, then the crime becomes a primary offense as of July 1, 2013.

S.B. 371 Establishes an innovation zone pilot project in McDowell County. This bill aims to help improve student achievement by allowing for more flexibility in education policies in McDowell County Schools, demonstrating concepts proposed in the statewide education efficiency audit.

H.B. 4236 Relating to the evaluation process for school educators. This bill will apply enhanced educator evaluation standards for teachers, principals and vice-principals while including student achievement in the evaluation process and providing support for those found to be in need of improvement.

S.B. 437 Relating to substance abuse prevention and treatment. This comprehensive bill requires reporting of controlled substance prescriptions within 24 hours, and establishes new licensing requirements for pain clinics. It also calls for enhanced reporting for methadone treatment clinics, requiring "best practice" controlled substance prescribing education and drug diversion training for health care professionals. It implements a real-time, stop-sale tracking system for pseudoephedrine purchases as well.

In accordance with a proclamation issued by the governor earlier this week, the legislature shall remain in session through at least Tuesday, March 13, 2012 in order to consider the budget bill. If an agreement can be reached, Gov. Tomblin will call a special session pertaining to the re-opening of Century Aluminum in Jackson County.

Contact Information

Amy Shuler Goodwin
(304) 558 - 4977