WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two of West Virginia’s top officials in the United States Congress introduced legislation Tuesday to encourage new development in communities affected by coal-related job loss.
United States Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) submitted the Creating Opportunities for Rural Economies (CORE) Act to their respective chambers in order to help improve areas of the state in need of economic development.
According to a statement from Capito’s office, more than $40 billion has been invested throughout the United States since 2000 as part of the New Markets Tax Credit Program. This program was enacted to spur redevelopment efforts in low-income areas of the country. The statement noted, however, only $97 million has been invested in West Virginia during this time across 17 projects.
A statement from Jenkins’ office said the CORE Act would set aside $525 million in credits to invest in states with significant coal job loss, such as West Virginia.
“I have teamed up with economic development experts to conduct a thorough analysis of our state’s economy, including how West Virginia is utilizing federal incentives for economic and community development,” Capito said. “With my CORE Act, there is a tremendous opportunity to generate new funding that will open doors for these communities, prompt much-needed economic development and diversify our state’s economy.”
“Our coal communities deserve our support and investment as they work to diversify their economies and create good-paying jobs,” Jenkins said. “The CORE Act will provide incentives for new businesses and industries to move to coal communities in West Virginia and invest in our people.”
Both Capito and Jenkins introduced the CORE Act during the last Congress.