While we are still early into the 2018 sessions of the West Virginia Legislature and the Virginia General Assembly, there is both good news, and bad news, emerging from the legislative chambers in Charleston and Richmond.
The good news includes:
• The financial picture for West Virginia is improving this legislative session. For the first time in five years, state revenues are trending upward. According to State Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy, general revenue fund collections for December were 11.5 percent above December 2016 receipts, $16.8 million for the month, and nearly $106 million ahead of collections reported in the first six months of the fiscal year. State Sen. Chandler Swope, R-Mercer, is hopeful of ending the year $200 million above projections.
• Majority Republicans in Charleston, along with newly minted Republican Gov. Jim Justice, are voicing support for measures they say will improve the business climate and create jobs. And members of the House Democratic Caucus also are promising to support job creation efforts, although disagreements are likely to emerge among the two political parties.
• Lawmakers in West Virginia