Senator Randy Smith was in attendance for Tucker County Commission meeting. He provided a number of updates from the most recent West Virginia legislative session. “It was a pretty busy session,” Smith said.
Two thousand bills were presented. Out of those, 260 were signed into law. Many of the 260 were appropriations and rules bills.
The Windmill Bill or SB 150 passed the Senate but did not pass the House. The bill would have changed windmill tax credits from real property to personal property, which would make them taxable.
“Just for Tucker County only that would have been $750,000 more that you would receive if that bill would have passed,” Smith said. “It’s a fleecing of the state, honestly.”
“Most important to the counties, was Senate Bill 152 or the Budget Bill,” Smith said. “It’s the first time in 32 years that the budget bill has been passed in the regular 60 day session. We were able to balance the budget this year without cutting any programs or agencies.”
“Senate Bill 360 was probably the most controversial,” Smith said. “What 360 does is it doesn’t allow the gas companies to charge the mineral owners post productions costs.”
Senator Smith mentioned the large amount time and energy put into Bill 4145 that increased the annual salaries of police, teachers, and service personnel. “That was the largest pay raise in 20 years for the teachers and probably the largest one ever for service personnel.”
Another guest to the meeting, April Bodkin, asked for the Commission’s support to make May Brain Tumor Awareness month. Three people in Tucker County died last year due to a brain tumor. During the meeting, representatives of those three spoke in honor of those lost.
“I would certainly be supportive of the Tucker County Commission proclaiming May as Brain Tumor Awareness Month,” Commission President Diane Hinkle said. “I’m going on eight years as a Commissioner, and this is one of the most touching meetings I’ve ever attended,” Commissioner Lowell Moore said.
County Clerk Sherry Simmons reported that the 2018-2019 budget was published. Twelve voting machines are ready for the upcoming primary election. Early voting begins on April 25 and ends May 5. Election day is May 8. The polls will open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.
The next commission meeting is schedule for Wednesday, April 25 at 4 p.m.