Citizens of Fayette County and their representatives came together to discuss education, health care, and the state’s economic future at a legislative forum hosted Thursday by Fayette Fair Share. Read
Attendees heard presentations by representatives from the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, West Virginians for Affordable Health Care and the West Virginia Education Association.
Ted Boettner, who directs the Center on Budget and Policy, discussed The Future Fund initiative, an effort to save a portion of natural resource severance tax income for future economic development and infrastructure projects, as other states across the country have done.
The fund is an effort to ensure that West Virginia reaps long-term benefits from short-term mineral extraction and maintains some degree of economic consistency within the boom-bust cycle associated with the energy industries.
The group proposes using the interest of the fund “to provide an ongoing stream of revenue to help meet the challenges of the future.”
Boettner said the idea has received broad support from legislators and governments across the state. He said the only reservations he has heard were from a county that liked the idea but said they needed all their coal severance money for immediate budgetary maintenance.