CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A labor leader in West Virginia said state Senate President Jeff Kessler can count on his support for the proposed West Virginia Future Fund during the 2014 Regular Legislative Session.

“I’ll be a travesty if we miss the opportunity not to have the discussion and put some kind of constitutionally approved legacy fund in place,” said West Virginia AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue.

He was part of the West Virginia delegation that traveled to Bismarck, N.D., last month to learn about the North Dakota Legacy Fund. It has been funded by oil and gas tax revenues since its creation in 2011 and reached $1 billion within 20 months.

For several years, Kessler (D-Marshall) has proposed a similar fund for the Mountain State.

He has been an advocate for setting a baseline for severance tax collections and then taking between 20 percent and 25 percent of any amount over that baseline, in the coming years, for an endowment that could not be tapped into for at least 20 years.

Kessler argued, throughout history, West Virginia has not been good at saving revenues¬†generated because of the state’s natural resources.

Perdue agreed.¬† “If we don’t (save), we’re failing ourselves again,” he said.¬† “We’ve got to have some money (for the future) and that’s a resource we can do and I think we need to protect the money we have coming in from that (gas development).”

Next year’s session begins in January.

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  • Levelheaded

    Who cares what Kenny Perdue thinks. He's not in government.

  • Independent View

    A classic case of "closing the barn door after the horse is out." Why was this not done with coal for the past 100 years, the timber industry for the past 150 years, the O&G industry for the past 50 years? Had this been done, the small state of WV would have no income tax on its residents, first-class educational opportunities and health care and billions invested!
    But noooo, politicians cannot resist the temptaion to spend every nickel and then, borrow more to spend.
    County commisssions are no better than the state legislature. They use severance taxes as an unexpected windfall to finance pet projects, many of which are mere boondoggles and to meet daily operating expenses of the counties, with no foresight of the future. IMO these politicians should be held accountable for malfeasance of office because they have a fundamental obligation to exercise prudent judgement over county coffers--which they do not do.
    As for the UMW accompanying the legislative delgation to SD--of course, the unions have always had the Democrat controlled WV legislature in their back pocket! Anything the UMW or any union supports is suspect at best! And, it took an entrouage of political hacks traveling to SD, at taxpayers' expense to be told to "create a savings account?" Nothing but a political junket at taxpayers' expense by a bunch of political hacks looking for headlines and votes.

  • AX MAN

    The change would be to fund the unions and the Dem. party. If we have taxes collected for today and save for future use, then we are over taxing those of today.

  • Rodney Hytonen

    ONLY if the SIZE of the tax is adjusted to be able to replace WV's ENTIRE INFRASTRUCTURE - roads, sewers, water; and provide potable drinking water -FREE- for the entire population IN PERPETUITY.

    It's a no-brainer that all resource extraction must be halted IMMEDIATELY, and all efforts and accumulated profits applied to REVERSE THE DAMAGE they have profited from so greatly!

    Allowing it for a century has been the most enormous mistake WV has EVER made.

  • Joe

    I encourage all to read the letter to the editor in today's Dominon Post regarding non union affiliated construction workers.

  • What happened to wv?

    We need it to replace the B&O tax. We would attract more businesses here if we did.

  • Danny

    I think it is a great idea. It is like getting a pay raise and saving a portion of the raise.

    It is not a new tax, no one has to pay anything extra, it is just to save for our kids.

    I can't believe people are so short sighted!

    Imagine if we would have done this 50 years ago with coal????

  • Wowbagger


    Two fully funded rainy day funds that are never tapped, now a "future fund",

    It could just be that West Virginia is collecting too much tax money? If these BOZOs are so conservative maybe they should consider returning the excess ill gotten gains, er taxes to the tax payers or at least pay state workers prevailing salaries!

  • West Virginian

    The AFL-CIO is a dying organization that will do anything and say anything to get it;s name in the media to try to stop the slow death from being buried into the ashes of History.

    The WV Afl-Cio is merely a puppet for the democrat party,

    • Rodney Hytonen

      yes - a "puppet" for the WORKERS (99% of America) as opposed to the extractionist exporting expoiters.

      Just as government itself (EPA/ MSHA/ OSHA etc) is SUPPOSED to be. And isn't.

    • wvu999

      Why do you care then if the union is weak and dead?
      I wouldn't concern myself with something that didnt matter. That fact that the WV AFL-CIO worries you proves that it is not as weak as you try to say it is.
      However, I applaud your efforts to devalue it.

      What party is the state chamber a puppet for?

  • Joe

    So what does Mr. Perdue suggest the revenue be used for......prevailing wages, state employee pensions, teacher annual raises or a 15 dollar per hour minimum wage for fastfood workers?

    • wvu999

      Or the opposite more CEO raises and bonuses