Legislative scale-back could save taxpayers $700K

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state legislature’s Joint Committee on Government & Finance will vote Monday on the scaled-back interim committee schedule floated by House of Delegates Speaker Tim Armstead and Senate President Bill Cole.

The legislature has for years held to three days of interims each month between May and the following January. Armstead said the leaner schedule can save money.

“We’ve done some research on this and we can actually save $500,000 to $700,000 for the taxpayers of West Virginia because (interim meetings) cost about $40,000 a day,” Armstead said.

Monday is the lone day scheduled for legislative interims this month with four meetings on tap. Cole and Armstead want to keep the future schedule brief and to the point.

“We’re going to actually have them (committee meetings), if this gets approved by the joint committee, in June, September, October and November and we’re going to have two days rather than three days,” Armstead said.

Both the speaker and Cole said they believe lawmakers can address targeted issues that would be brought up the following session.

“We’ll still get our work done,” Armstead said. “It will still give us an opportunity to debate and discuss these issues but we can do it much more efficiently.”

Monday’s interim schedule includes:

10 a.m. — Commission on Special Investigations (Senate Finance Committee room)

1 p.m. — Post Audits Committee (Senate Finance Committee room)

2 p.m. — Tax Reform Committee (House Chamber)

3 p.m. — Joint Committee on Government & Finance (Senate Finance Committee room)

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