Chamber News


Feb. 22 Legislative Update

The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce is the largest regional Chamber of Commerce in West Virginia.  We represent over 600 businesses and their 40,000 employees.  Your Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to represent our members during this legislative session. The Charleston Regional Chamber would like to call your attention to two pieces of legislation which we believe will have a positive economic impact: HB 2688 – Natural Gas Pooling    The Legislature can help grow the state’s economy, create good paying West Virginia jobs, boost local tax revenues and usher in a new era of manufacturing by expanding the state’s pooling statute to include ‘shallow’ horizontal wells.  West Virginia’s lack of pooling laws for shallow wells places West Virginia’s gas industry at a competitive disadvantage.  The absence of a fair pooling statute, particularly at this time of worldwide oil and gas market instability, risks valuable opportunities for landowners, businesses and the State. SB 42 – “Sunday Brunch” This...Read More >

Follow the Charleston Chamber for all your legislative news

The 2015 regular session of the West Virginia Legislature is in full swing and the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to represent our members at the State Capitol. For all the latest issues that the Charleston Chamber is monitoring, please make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Click HERE for our Facebook page. Click HERE for our Twitter page. As of this morning, the state Senate has introduced 255 bills and the House of Delegates has introduced 162. To check out the status of these bills, click HERE and HERE. The Charleston Chamber will continue to work with our legislative leaders on policies that will support job creation and build stronger communities in coming weeks, and keep members informed of critical issues that will impact our future.

West Virginia’s original legislative breakfast returns Jan. 14

Issues & Eggs Wednesday, Jan. 14 8:00-9:15 a.m. – Program Charleston Marriott Town Center Check-in will open at 7:30 a.m. Save the date for Jan. 14 for the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Issues & Eggs.” More than 400 delegates, senators and business leaders are expected for West Virginia’s original and largest legislative breakfast, which will be held at the Charleston Marriott Town Center. Join the Charleston Chamber in its more than 50-year tradition of bringing lawmakers and business and community leaders face-to-face to discuss the issues that will shape our state’s future. “The event presents an excellent opportunity for you to hear directly from your representatives on the issues that matter to you and your business,” said Matt Ballard, president and CEO. “Issues & Eggs typically draws a sold-out crowd and is one of our most anticipated and popular events of the year.” The event will feature a preview of the Chamber’s 2015 legislative agenda, remarks by key state leaders and a Q&A session....Read More >

‘Project Launchpad’ vetoed

The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce works diligently to create and advocate for public policy that solves the challenges of our great state. While disappointed in the veto of “Project Launchpad” (House Bill 4343), we will continue to strive to work on non-partisan public policy that creates jobs, strengthens our tax base through economic diversity and new investment and improves our workforce. The “Project Launchpad” legislation was an opportunity to advance West Virginia’s economy. It focused on attracting and expanding technologically advanced jobs and industries, with an emphasis on new technologies in bioinformatics, nanotechnology and other “high tech” industries. The Charleston Chamber looks forward to working with all of our legislators in the next session to continue to address our challenges and maximize our opportunities.

Call to action: Help get ‘Project Launchpad’ signed into law

After passing both the West Virginia House of Delegates and Senate, “Project Launchpad” (House Bill 4343) has yet to be signed into law by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. This is the final step for this important piece of economic development legislation and we need YOUR help to get it done. “Project Launchpad” focuses on job creation in the state. It will attract new businesses and create high-value jobs for our families now and into the future. Labor organizations, business organizations and many more have worked on this bill that helps West Virginia’s economy attract the jobs of the future. Vision Shared, which was created by the Legislature to put forth non-partisan public policy, has also worked to craft and improve this legislation. The economy of the past is shrinking. Our state needs to position itself for better economic development and more job creation. “Project Launchpad” will produce geographic clusters that will create high paying jobs, new capital investment and a new and diversified tax base. The modest tax considerations...Read More >

Charleston Chamber says goodbye to 2014 legislative session

The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to have represented our members throughout the 2014 legislative session. There were 1876 bills introduced during the session and 200 bills  completed the legislative process (105 House bills, 95 Senate bills). Here is a review of some of the key legislative outcomes from the session: Project Launchpad Pushed by the Charleston Chamber and Vision Shared, this job creation legislation passed and is on its way to the Governor for his signature. The legislation focuses on creating jobs in high tech industries, many of which currently do not exist or minimally exist in the current economy in West Virginia. The legislation encourages creating   economic “clusters” or geographic concentrations of companies, specialized suppliers, service providers and associated institutions in a particular field that are present in specific region. The legislation also encourages businesses within a “Project Launchpad” zone to have a student loan debt repayment policy for their employees. Minimum Wage The Legislature passed a modest...Read More >

Legislature agrees to launch the WV economy forward

Last Saturday, “Project Launchpad,” a marquee piece of legislation for the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce and partner Vision Shared, passed both the House and the Senate. It will now go to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for his signature. “Project Launchpad” focuses on job creation in the state. It will attract new businesses and create high-value jobs for our families now and into the future. The Charleston Chamber and Vision Shared, which is a nonprofit community and economic development organization, have worked to craft and improve this legislation for three years. In that time, “Project Launchpad” has been championed by many individuals and organizations. The economy of the past that West Virginia has relied upon for employment, business activity, taxes and development is rapidly shrinking. Our state needs to position itself for better economic development and more job creation. “Project Launchpad” will produce geographic clusters that will create high paying jobs, new capital investment and a new and diversified tax base. The legislation allows a county...Read More >

Help propel West Virginia into the future

A Message from Chamber President Matt Ballard With only four days remaining in the 2014 legislature session, the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce needs your help with an important piece of legislation. Project Launchpad (House Bill 4343) will be an important contributor to the future of West Virginia’s economy. The bill, which is currently up in the West Virginia Senate, focuses on job creation in the state. It will attract new businesses and create high-value jobs for our families now and into the future. The economy of the past that West Virginia has relied upon for employment, business activity, taxes and development is rapidly shrinking. Our state needs to position itself for better economic development and more job creation. “Project Launchpad” would create high paying jobs, new capital investment and a diversified tax base. The legislation allows for modest tax benefits for employers who have student loan debt service plans as part of their personnel policies. This element of the bill will...Read More >

The time for action is NOW

With only days left in this legislative session, the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce requests your help with the following legislative issues. This is a call to action. Our democracy works most effectively when we as citizens and businesses communicate directly with our representatives. It is for this reason we ask your help. Only phone calls, faxes and emails to the representatives, as outlined below, will result in our mutual desired outcome for the future of West Virginia. Home Rule and Weapons Regulations Instead of allowing cities to control their own destiny, the Legislature is trying to levy its power onto our cities and towns. Senate Bill 317 seeks to overturn a regulation in Charleston and other municipalities that have gun regulations on the books, to address the specific needs in their cities. What rules apply for Charleston, Huntington and Morgantown, may not be right for Gilbert, Glenville and Lumberport. Whether it’s fees, taxes or limiting dilapidated buildings, each time we take two...Read More >

West Virginia needs your support

Now is the time to encourage the West Virginia Senate Finance Committee to run and pass House Bill 4343 (HB 4343) commonly known as “Project Launchpad.” For the past few years, key organizations such as Vision Shared, the WV Manufacturers Association, the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce and many others have supported this job-creating initiative. “Project Launchpad” allows localities, working with state government, to provide tax incentives that would support attraction and expansion of high-tech businesses. The legislation also includes a modest incentive to encourage businesses to provide a student loan repayment plan to their employees. Project Launchpad is aimed at “new economy” businesses with little or no presence in West Virginia, such as nanotechnology, bioscience and photovoltaics. These tax credits cannot be used for traditional businesses such as retail, warehouses or call centers. West Virginia’s economy in 10-15 years will not look like it has in the past. This legislation, which has been assigned a neutral ($0.00) impact to the state budget, will...Read More >