Beckley-Raleigh County
Chamber of Commerce
245 North Kanawha Street
Beckley , WV 25801
304-252-7328
Rides & Recreation 2018

Legislative Positions

Legislative Positions and Guide to Utilizing Your Representatives

Chamber Mission
The mission of the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce is to build a vibrant community through programs of advocacy, public awareness, and policy development.


Government Affairs Division – Key Objectives
Communicate to elected officials our positions on legislative issues; offer assistance in monitoring good business legislation; to generally be the liaison between government and the business community in matters where governmental decisions affect business in our region, state, and nation.

Civil Justice Reform

The Chamber supports civil justice reform that will restore balance and fairness to all citizens of our State, and which will create a business climate needed to attract new business venture capital and to support existing businesses.

Education
Education Positions are available as a separate brochure at the Chamber office or online at Education Positions 2018

Energy
Coal fired electrical generation remains a cost-effective method of producing electrical power. Low cost energy has been one of the chief drivers of our economy and standard of living.

The precipitous decline in the coal industry has led to detrimental effects in our economy and tax base, and has affected our region in a negative manner. The United States is blessed with some of the world’s outstanding coal reserves. At this time – when the United States is among the world’s leading oil and natural gas producers – it is prudent to continue research into clean coal technology and alternative uses for coal. This will help ensure coal remains a viable part of our economy and a vital part of our national energy mix.

The Chamber supports continued clean coal research and technologies, and supports a national energy policy that makes low-cost, coal-generated electrical power a pillar of our nation’s economy and standard of living.

Environment
Southern West Virginia is blessed with abundant natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities, and those blessings have been the catalyst for a thriving tourism industry. The Chamber recognizes that the sustainment and continued growth of our tourism industry is contingent upon the protection and preservation of our environment. Toward that end, the Chamber supports the enforcement of laws that prevent or retard the despoliation of our environment by unregulated garbage and litter, by improperly treated sewage and industrial discharge, Marcellus Shale fracking waste, other harmful injections into abandoned mines, and by improperly reclaimed mine and industrial sites.

Government Modernization
The Chamber recognizes transformative change is taking place in West Virginia’s economy. Erosion of our tax base from the decline of our natural resource industries coupled with the inability to diversify our economy has created substantial revenue deficits at all levels of state government. These circumstances will create many challenges in providing future government services.

The Chamber supports policies which promote and enable the modernization of government at all levels. Too often government innovation is stifled by archaic state code provisions and status quo leadership. West Virginia can benefit by implementing efficiencies that have already taken place in both the business world and neighboring localities. Government modernization will create an atmosphere in which our citizens receive services faster, cheaper and better. While at the same time, modernization promotes a pro-growth economic climate.

Highway and Infrastructure Funding
The Chamber recognizes the critical role of highways and infrastructure in establishing the foundation for a vibrant economy. The people of our state have embraced the Governor’s leadership in this area, and West Virginia is poised on the threshold of tremendous new investment in priority roadways.

These are exciting times: The Chamber advocates policy reforms that embrace both proven approaches and new innovation which make roadway (and other infrastructure) construction, operation and maintenance timely and cost-efficient Sustainment of our existing highway network is of at least equal importance to the construction of new highways.

In recognition of the funding challenges that impact West Virginia’s transportation network, we believe the removal of tolling ability on the WV Turnpike is imprudent. While we support sustaining tolling ability, we advocate reforms to ensure toll revenues remain dedicated and leveraged to support infrastructure needs within the counties contiguous to the existing toll road.

Public Employees Collective Bargaining
The Chamber strongly opposes any legislation that mandates taxpayer-funded entities to enter into collective bargaining agreements where wages, hours and working conditions are discussed.

Redistricting
The Chamber believes voters should pick their representatives and representatives should not pick their voters and calls for the Legislature to establish an independent redistricting commission ahead of the 2020 census. This commission should determine legislative districts that are non-partisan in nature and closely adhere to existing county borders, municipalities and magisterial districts and communities of similar interest.

Substance Abuse
While the Chamber recognizes and supports the many steps that have been taken by the Legislature to address this issue, more work is needed. Substance abuse, legal and illegal is killing West Virginians and our future. Funding for treatment and recovery is a critical need that must be addressed.

The Second Chance for Employment Act is a step in the right direction. It allows someone who made a mistake to have an opportunity to put that mistake behind him/her and become an employable productive member of our society.

There are concerns the ten (10) year waiting period, and the fact the underlying felony remains on the individual’s public record, will prevent this act from becoming widely utilized and minimize its potential positive impact of enabling substance abusers and non-violent criminal offenders from becoming employable and productive members of society.

West Virginia has the lowest labor force participation rate in the nation. We must continue to explore every available avenue to expand and educate our labor force. We must provide a dependable and skilled labor force if we are going to attract and maintain investments in our economy.

Tax Reform
The work of Joint Select Committee on Tax Reform should continue. The committee must look at ways to ensure that state taxes are fair and competitive with neighboring states and provide for stable and predictable sources of revenue for government. Any reforms proposed must be carefully planned so they do not significantly harm education and/or essential local government funding


Reaching your representatives and how the Chamber can help

Make Correspondence Easy
Keep contact information on hand at work, where you probably spend much of your time. Enter fax and phone numbers and email addresses in an easy-to-activate database. Don’t struggle: a brief letter of concern can influence as well as a dissertation.

Use the Chamber as a Megaphone
Our Chamber is the region’s strongest business voice, representing 700 member businesses. It quickly draws the attention of legislators and other officials.

Use Your Member Influence
Chamber functions provide a forum in which you may discuss public policy with the most influential members of our society. Formally or informally, it’s a good way to express your opinion and educate others. Reporters routinely contact the Chamber to discuss public policy issues.

“Call to Action”
Our strongest means of communication is the “Call to Action.” During such a call, members immediately begin to fax and email representatives to express their opinions on particular issues.

The Legislative Positions & Guide to Utilizing Your Representatives is produced yearly by the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce.

Contact the BRCCC at:
(304) 252-7328, 1-877-987-3847, (304) 252-7373 fax, chamber@brccc.com


Legislative Representatives

WEST VIRGINIA GOVERNOR

Governor, Jim Justice
Office of the Governor
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
State Capitol Building 1
Charleston, WV 25305
1-888-438-2731
(304)558-2000
(304)342-7025 fax
governor@wv.gov


U.S. SENATORS

U. S. Senator Joe Manchin, III
303 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202)224-3954 Washington, DC
(202)228-0002 fax DC

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, III
900 Pennsylvania Abenue
Suite 629
Charleston, WV 25302
(304)342-5855 Charleston, WV
(304)343-7144 fax WV
www.manchin.senate.gov
senator@manchin.senate.gov



U.S. Senator Shielley Moore-Capito
172 Russell Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
202-224-6472 Washington DC
202-224-7665 fax DC

U.S. Senator Shielley Moore-Capito
500 Virginia Street East,
United Towers, Suite 950
Charleston, WV 25304
304-347-5372 Charleston WV
304-347-5371 fax Charleston WV

U.S. Senator Shielley Moore-Capito

220 North Kanawha Street, Suite 1
Beckley WV 25801
304-253-7853 Beckley WV
304-253-7862 fax Beckley WV


U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Congressman, Evan Jenkins

U.S. House of Representatives
1609 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202)225-3452 Washington, DC
(202)225-9061 Fax DC
michael.chirico@mail.house.gov

Congressman, Evan Jenkins
307 Prince Street
Beckley WV 25801
(304)250-6177 Beckley WV
304-250-6179 fax Beckley WV

Congressman, Evan Jenkins
601 Federal Street, Suite 1003
Elizabeth Kee Federal Building
Bluefield WV 24701
304-325-6800


Congressman, Evan Jenkins
845 Fifth Avenue, Suite 314
Huntington, WV 25701
(304)522-2201 Huntington, WV
304-529-5716 fax Huntington WV


WEST VIRGINIA SENATORS – 9TH DISTRICT

Sue Cline
West Virginia State Senate
216-W State Capitol
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305

Jeff Mullins
West Virginia State Senate
441 M State Capitol
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV 25305


WEST VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES

West Virginia House of Delegates
212-M State Capitol
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305

District 27
Joe Ellington
Marty Gearheart
John H. Shott

District 28
Ray Cooper
John O’Neal, IV

District 29
Ricky Moye

District 30
Mick Bates

District 31
Karen “Lynne” Arvon

District 32
Kayla Kessenger
Shirley Love
Tom Fast

West Virginia Senate and House Chairs can be found by visiting the website:www.legis.state.wv.us   
For Legislative Service call (304) 347-4800.


RALEIGH COUNTY COMMISSION

Linda K. Epling, Commissioner
David Tolliver, Commissioner
Byrd E. White, III, Commissioner

116 ½ N. Heber Street
Beckley, WV 25801
(304)255-9146
 (304)255-9166 fax
ralcom@raleighcounty.com


MAYOR OF BECKLEY
Robert Rappold
Post Office Box 2514
Beckley, WV 25802-2514
(304)256-1750
(304)256-1816 fax
www.beckley.org
robert.rappold@beckley.org