WEST VIRGINIA CODE
CHAPTER 5B. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 1985.
WVC 5 B- 3 -
ARTICLE 3. WEST VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY: A VISION
WVC 5 B- 3 - 1
§5B-3-1. Legislative intent.
(a) West Virginia: A shared vision statement. -- West
Virginia's strong commitment to future generations has created a
vibrant and diverse economy balancing quality jobs and the state's
irreplaceable natural beauty. West Virginia has a highly skilled
and educated workforce, is a leader in innovation and offers an
excellent quality of life for all residents.
(b) "West Virginia: A vision shared" vision statement is
meant to be used as a touchstone to ensure that actions being
undertaken are in line and on course.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature to set economic
development goals for the state and that the joint commission on
economic development, created in this article, use the goals in
bringing all agencies performing economic development and workforce
investment activities together to improve the economic situation in
(d) Furthermore, it is the intent of the Legislature that the
state work toward accomplishing three overall goals:
(1) The development of a comprehensive statewide economic
(2) The effective statewide coordination of economic
development programs; and
(3) The development of meaningful agency and program
benchmarks and performance-based evaluations.
WVC 5 B- 3 - 2
§5B-3-2. Creation of the joint commission on economic development.
(a) The joint commission on economic development is hereby
established. The commission shall be composed of not more than
twenty-four members as follows:
(1) The chairs of the Senate and House of Delegates finance
(2) The chairs of the Senate and House of Delegates judiciary
(3) The chairs of the Senate and House of Delegates education
(4) Not more than nine additional members of the Senate
appointed by the president of the Senate, with at least one member
representing health; and
(5) Not more than nine additional members of the House of
Delegates appointed by the speaker of the House of Delegates, with
at least one member representing health.
(b) Any vacancies occurring in the membership of the
commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original
appointment for the position being vacated. The vacancy shall not
affect the power of the remaining members to perform the duties of
(c) The commission may explore how West Virginia can:
(1) Invest in systems that build workforce skills and promote
lifelong learning to ensure a competitive workforce;
(2) Enhance the infrastructure, communications and transportation needed to support the knowledge-based industries and
(3) Reorganize government to deliver services more
efficiently, using technology, privatization and partnerships with
the private sector;
(4) Align state tax systems to meet the demands of the
twenty-first century economy;
(5) Develop more uniform regulatory and tax systems to reduce
complexity, eliminate market distortions and better protect
(6) Support entrepreneurs by streamlining business
regulations, providing timely decisions and assisting firms in
their search for venture capital;
(7) Promote university policies that encourage research and
development and build intellectual infrastructure;
(8) Address quality-of-life concerns to attract new businesses
and workers; and
(9) Accomplish the goals set forth in this article and any
other goal related to economic development or workforce investment
that the commission considers important.
(d) The commission may propose legislation necessary to
accomplish its goals.
WVC 5 B- 3 - 3
§5B-3-3. Reexamination of vision and goals.
Every fourth year after the first day of January, two thousand
one, the joint commission on economic development, established
pursuant to this article, shall conduct a thorough examination of
the vision and goals set forth in this article and may recommend
legislation relating to the vision and goals to the Legislature.
WVC 5 B- 3 - 4
§5B-3-4. Commission review of procedural rules, interpretive rules
and existing legislative rules.
(a) The Joint Commission on Economic Development may review
any procedural rule, interpretive rule or existing legislative rule
and make recommendations concerning the rules to the Legislature.
(b) The Development Office and the Tourism Commission
established pursuant to article two of this chapter, the Economic
Development Authority established pursuant to article fifteen,
chapter thirty-one of this code, the Bureau of Employment Programs
established pursuant to article four, chapter twenty-one-a of this
code, the Workers' Compensation Commission established pursuant to
article one, chapter twenty-three of this code, the Workforce
Investment Commission established pursuant to article two-c of this
chapter, West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust, regional planning and
development councils, West Virginia Rural Development Council,
Office of Technology and West Virginia Clearinghouse for Workforce
Education shall each file a copy of its legislative rules with the
Commission as provided for in this section. Each agency that
proposes legislative rules in accordance to the provisions of
article three, three-a or three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this
code relating to economic development or workforce development
shall file the rules with the Joint Commission at the time the
rules are filed with the Secretary of State prior to the public
comment period or public hearing required in said chapter.
WVC 5 B- 3 - 5
§5B-3-5. Joint Commission on Economic Development Studies.
(a) The Joint Commission on Economic Development shall study
(1) The feasibility of establishing common regional
configurations for local workforce investment areas, regional
educational service agencies and for all other purposes the
Commission considers feasible. The study should review the
existing levels of cooperation between state and local economic
developers, complete an analysis of possible regional
configurations and outline examples of other successful regional
systems or networks found throughout the world. If the study
determines that the common regional configurations are feasible,
the Commission shall recommend legislation establishing common
regional designations for all feasible purposes. In making the
designation of regional areas, the study shall take into
consideration, but not be limited to, the following:
(A) Geographic areas served by local educational agencies and
intermediate educational agencies;
(B) Geographic areas served by post-secondary educational
institutions and area vocational education schools;
(C) The extent to which the local areas are consistent with
labor market areas;
(D) The distance that individuals will need to travel to
receive services provided in the local areas; and
(E) The resources of the local areas that are available to effectively administer the activities or programs;
(2) The effectiveness and fiscal impact of incentives for
attracting and growing businesses, especially technology-intensive
(3) A comprehensive review of West Virginia's existing
economic and community development resources and the recommendation
of an organizational structure, including, but not limited to, the
reorganization of the Department of Commerce and the Development
Office that would allow the state to successfully compete in the
new global economy.
(b) In order to effectuate in the most cost-effective and
efficient manner the studies required in this article, it is
necessary for the Joint Commission to assemble and compile a
tremendous amount of information. The Development Office will
assist the Joint Commission in the collection and analysis of this
information. The Tourism Commission established pursuant to
article two of this chapter, the Economic Development Authority
established pursuant to article fifteen, chapter thirty-one of this
code, the Bureau of Employment Programs established pursuant to
article four, chapter twenty-one-a of this code, the Workers'
Compensation Commission established pursuant to article one,
chapter twenty-three of this code, the Workforce Investment
Commission established pursuant to article two-c of this chapter,
West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust, Regional Planning and
Development Councils, West Virginia Rural Development Council, Office of Technology and West Virginia Clearinghouse for Workforce
Education shall provide a copy of their annual reports as submitted
to the Governor in accordance with the requirements set forth in
section twenty, article one, chapter five of this code to the West
Virginia Development Office. The Development Office shall review,
analyze and summarize the data contained in the reports, including
its own annual report, and annually submit its findings to the
Joint Commission on or before the thirty-first day of December.
(c) The Legislative Auditor shall provide to the Joint
Commission a copy of any and all reports on agencies listed in
subsection (b) of this section, which are required under article
ten, chapter four of this code.
(d) The Joint Commission shall complete the studies set forth
in this section and any other studies the Joint Commission
determines to undertake prior to the first day of December of each
year and may make recommendations, including recommended
legislation for introduction during the regular session of the
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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