West Virginia lawmakers talk upcoming legislative session

WTAP News @ 6- Legislative sessions
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 6:20 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The next West Virginia legislative session starts this coming Wednesday. There lawmakers will get together and draft and vote on legislation.

WTAP spoke to two lawmakers about what to expect and what they’re hoping for.

Delegate John Kelly represents Wood County. He said there are a number of things to keep your eye out for during this year’s legislative session. Lawmakers will prepare a budget and Kelly anticipates they’ll talk about Covid, improving the West Virginia Intermediate Court of Appeals, and a 5% pay increase for government employees. Kelly said he wants elected officials to be excluded from that raise.

He added that they’ll need to look at tax issues like the business and inventory tax.

“The elimination of that tax will just be another incentive to bring new business development in the state of West Virginia and, with it, bring new jobs for the people,” he said.

When you ask West Virginia State Senator Mike Azinger what his goals are with this session, the first thing he brings up is the personal income tax.

Azinger wants it gone. He sees the elimination of the personal income tax as a gateway to more West Virginia jobs. He points to other states that have eliminated the personal income tax, calling them more prosperous, saying they have the most gains in population and personal income.

“West Virginia can be - can be like these other states if we can get that through and I think we can get it through and I think we can get it through without raising a whole bunch of other taxes,” he said.

Overall, Azinger is pushing for less taxes and less regulations. Another tax he mentioned eliminating is the car tax.

Kelly said, in a typical legislative session, 1,500 bills are introduced and, if they’re lucky, 250 will pass.

March 12th will mark the last day of this legislative session.

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