CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, today issued the following statement after the state Senate voted 30-3 to pass House Bill 4001, which creates the West Virginia Impact Fund.
“I thank my colleagues in the Senate for their thorough consideration and overwhelming vote to support this bill that will truly revolutionize how we advance and attract economic development in our state,” Speaker Hanshaw said.
“We have all for years discussed the need to diversify our state’s economy to create jobs, provide opportunities and lure people and new businesses to our state,” he said. “I absolutely believe this bill will help up attract the investment dollars that can capitalize the kind of large-scale projects that we’ve tried to locate in our state for years.”
The West Virginia Impact Fund is designed to use free-market, capitalist principles to provide the capital needed to fund new business startups and investment ideas.
In addition to the fund, the bill creates the Mountaineer Impact Office, which would identify potential business projects that could benefit from the fund’s investment of non-taxpayer dollars. The Impact Fund could then invest in these projects, creating new jobs for West Virginians while also producing an investment return for fund investors.
“Many people don’t realize that there is more than $17 trillion – that’s trillion with a ‘T’ – worth of potential investment capital sitting in accounts across the globe looking for something to invest in,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “Our Impact Fund will create a vehicle that gives these investors the option of putting their money to work in West Virginia. The investors will benefit from the returns generated by these new businesses, while our state will reap the benefits of new jobs, good wages, and the tax revenue generated by all the new economic activity these new businesses will create.”
The bill was sponsored by Speaker Hanshaw along with Delegates John Mandt, R-Cabell; Martin “Rick” Atkinson, R-Roane; Chris Toney, R-Raleigh; Jeffrey Pack, R-Raleigh; Daniel Linville, R-Cabell; Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson; John Williams, D-Monongalia; Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha; Tim Miley, D-Harrison; and Mick Bates, D-Raleigh.
The bill passed the House Feb. 21 on a 94-4 vote. Once the House concurs in a minor Senate title amendment, the bill will head to Gov. Jim Justice for his signature.
“Our Commerce Department officials are already excited to get to work on making this proposal a reality, and we’ve already heard from companies seeking to get involved, so I’m confident we will see results soon,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “I again want to thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for their approval of this innovative concept and look forward to seeing Governor Justice sign it into law.”