CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – West Virginia lawmakers, local business and community leaders gathered at the Charleston Marriott early Wednesday morning, January 8th, 2020 for this year’s “Issues & Eggs” legislative breakfast.
For the last 50 years, the breakfast helps decision-makers talk about state issues that are of importance to them in their communities and serves as a kick-off to the start of the new legislative session.
Matthew Ballard with the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce said, “we only have a 60-day session in West Virginia. Our legislators meet for 60 days only so you can’t really mess around for the first few days or weeks or you’ll be behind.”
One of the top priorities this year is strengthening the state’s foster care system. Senate President Mitch Carmichael announced today the senate would be introducing a new committee designed to fight for foster children and foster families.
“Our entire focus will be to address this issue of homelessness, of the issue of foster children. It’s our – a moral imperative. we should feel a real moral conviction to do something for these children,” said Carmichael.
Another hot ticket item on the list was the continuing push to create jobs.
House Speaker Robert Hanshaw said, “the biggest issue for us is going to be what it has been for the last 5 years, which is going to be creating job opportunities and trying to spur economic development in the state. We know that the biggest issue we face is continuing to put people on a payroll.”
Some other issues of importance discussed at the breakfast was pay raised for Child Protective Services employees, corrections officers and teachers.