Feb. 19, 2015 
Welcome to Week 5 of the Legislative Hubbub!

Welcome to Week 5 of the Legislative Hubbub! We are officially over the hump of the 2015 legislative session, and there's a lot to report.

In past years, this was the time when activity really began to heat up at the Capitol. This year has seen a lot of changes - not least of which has been a significantly more active first half of the session. What has passed and what has stalled? Read on to see our bill highlights of the last two weeks.

This week we also focus on the progress of bills included in the Our Children, Our Future Campaign platform, highlight a bill moving through the Senate that would create a new agricultural industry around hemp production, and share tips on what works - and what doesn't work - when citizens engage in advocacy during the session.

Keep reading to learn about the Legislative Hubbub of the past week!

Major Conversations this week at the Legislature

We know there is a continuous streams of news and information about the most controversial and contentious issues discussed at the Legislature each week. We hope the Legislative Hubbub can continue to serve as a source of the news that you don't hear highlighted through news, blogs and talk shows.

Keeping our spotlight on the issues that are important to community development, but less talked about, we are going to focus this week on reviewing the children and family policy proposals that are being advocated for by the Our Children, Our Future Campaign.

This statewide campaign aims to improve West Virginia families and communities through ending poverty and creating improved communities for all children across the state. What are the issues that they have prioritized for the 2015 session? How are they faring in the new Legislature?

Is Hemp West Virginia's Cash Crop of the Future?
Is Hemp our cash crop of the future?

This past year has seen some innovative growth ideas come from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. The commissioner, Walt Helmick, has been at the forefront of pushing for the growth of local food production and for new industries that make use of the mountainous topography of the state.


One area that has not gotten very much attention is a proposal by the department to allow the growth, production and sale of hemp products in West Virginia.

Getting Heard by Elected Officials:

What Works, and What Doesn't

We try to be straight shooters here at the Hub, so we're going to give it to you straight. You can have an impact on decision-making in Charleston, but only if you actually engage, and only if you know what you're talking about.
In this post, we pass on our experience with connecting with state legislators to help you maximize your impact on the decision-making that happens in the State Capitol.

Here's a few simple tips on how to get heard by your elected officials.

Storm Can't Quiet Voice of Workers, Veterans at Capitol
Photo courtesy Bob Wojcieszak, Charleston Daily Mail

This week saw a major turnout of citizen voices at the State Capitol. Hundreds of union workers attended a rally hosted by Minority Leader Senator Jeff Kessler (Marshall Co.) on President's Day, Feb. 16.


After the Senate passed the prevailing wage bill last Thursday, Senator Kessler called on West Virginia workers and their supporters to attend the "Show Up, Stand Up" rally at the Capitol.


And show up they did. Read on to learn the impact of this extraordinary display of advocacy.



As of Wednesday morning, 11 bills have passed through both chambers of the Legislature. Eighty additional bills have passed one chamber and are waiting to be advanced to completion in the opposite chamber.


But what bills have particular relevance to West Virginia's community and economic development?

Got news you'd like to share, or feedback on this email?
We'd love to hear from you!
The West Virginia Community Development Hub
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