Back to the Future (Fund) – WV Gov. Tomblin Signs New Law

Last year a bunch of West Virginia lawmakers went on a quick vacation to North Dakota (of all places), at a cost of $25,000 to WV taxpayers, to try and convince those lawmakers to look at and adopt a “future fund” similar to ND’s “legacy fund” (see 18 WV Lawmakers Flying to ND for a $20K Overnighter on Drill Tax). The Future Fund bill, which would set aside 3% of revenue raised from WV’s oil and gas severance tax in a rainy day fund, came up for a vote a few weeks ago. It passed, but not the way hoped for (see Fate of 3 WV Laws that Impact Marcellus/Utica Drilling). The final bill was altered so that only if certain economic conditions are met would the 3% be set aside.

However, that makes no difference when it comes to photo ops. Yesterday WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed the bill into law and the headlines today all ready that WV now has a Future Fund and the state’s politicians are almost breaking their arms patting themselves on the back–even though it’s doubtful that money will be set aside for years to come…

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