CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Former West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Bob Kiss is returning to state government. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has appointed Kiss to be Secretary of the state Department of Revenue.
“I’ve often wondered whether what we’ve accomplished in the last generation is short term or whether it really changed the direction the state is going and how its policymakers think about fiscal responsibilities,” Kiss said.
“The opportunity to be a part of that and an opportunity to work with Gov. Tomblin is certainly something that attracted me back.”
Kiss, who served in the House of Delegates representing Raleigh County from 1989 to 2006 and spent 1997-2006 as House Speaker, will take over the cabinet secretary’s position July 1.
He admitted it will be a change. “Before, I was a presiding officer. Now, obviously, I answer to the governor and the governor is the one who sets and makes policy, not the secretary of revenue,” Kiss said on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
“I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Bob during our tenure in the Legislature together and know he will, once again, serve the people of West Virginia well in this new capacity,” Tomblin said in a prepared statement.
“With his extensive knowledge of tax law, experience as finance chair and then Speaker of the House of Delegates, Bob truly understands the intricate finances of state government and the importance of maintaining our State’s good fiscal standing for the people of West Virginia.”
Kiss has worked at a Charleston law firm since leaving the House. He becomes the second former House speaker to be appointed by Tomblin to a cabinet level position in recent weeks.
Current Speaker Rick Thompson will take over as secretary of Veterans Assistance later this year.