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House Creates Coal Community Workgroup

House Creates Coal Community Workgroup

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WWNR)— House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, and House Minority Leader Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha, have announced the creation of an informal workgroup dedicated to developing proposals to help revitalize West Virginia’s communities.

Hanshaw told Delegate Ed Evans, D-McDowell, he would create a focused group of lawmakers to help find solutions to the problems facing coal communities after Evans passionately pleaded the case for such attention on the floor of the House during the final day of the regular, 60-day session.

“I know firsthand just how hard our communities can be hit when the economic activities related to coal dry up,” Hanshaw said. “I know Delegate Evans wanted to see this workgroup created as part of a bill we passed relating to coal-fired power plants, and I knew we could break this apart from the bill and do it without creating a new law.

“These members will now have the authority and the flexibility to go into communities, communicate with officials at all levels, and really determine what our coal communities need to succeed so they can come back to us with solid recommendations and then drive those solutions home to the full Legislature when we come back next session.”

Hanshaw has appointed Delegate Mark Dean, R-Mingo, to lead this workgroup, which met today to begin working on early plans for a statewide listening tour.

Other members include: Jordan Bridges, R-Logan Nathan Brown, D-Mingo Ed Evans, D-McDowell Shawn Fluharty, D-Ohio Evan Hansen, D-Mongalia Austin Haynes, R-Fayette Josh Holstein, R-Boone Margitta Mazzocchi, R-Logan Tony Paynter, R-Wyoming Charlie Reynolds, R-Marshall Larry Rowe, D-Kanawha Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha Christopher Toney, R-Raleigh Lisa Zukoff, D-Marshall