Charleston, WV- The Senate has adopted Senate Resolution 52, memorializing the life of the Honorable Ursula Jae Spears, former member of the both the West Virginia House of Delegates and the West Virginia State Senate who passed away March 16, 2013.
“Jae Spears was a true public servant through and through and her service to her state needed to be recognized by the Legislature,” said Senator Clark Barnes (R-Randolph) who was lead sponsor of the resolution.
Born in Latonia, Kentucky, Ms. Spears began her public service career in 1974 as one of only eight women serving in the 100-member House of Delegates. In 1980, she was elected to the West Virginia State Senate where she was only one of two women serving in that body.
From 1984 to 1986 Senator Spears served as Senate Finance Chair, making her the first and only woman thus far to that committee. She was also appointed as Senate Majority Whip making her the first woman to hold a leadership position in either house of the West Virginia Legislature.
In her years of public service in the Legislature, Senator Spears sponsored legislation to enact home health care, provide help for hemophiliacs and autistic children, and authorize the Rural Health Initiative. She also authored a bill for employing and training veterans which earned her a national award from the United States Department of Labor and Veterans Affairs.
Outside of her time in the West Virginia Legislature, Senator Spears was active in promoting literacy for all West Virginians, advocating for the protection of the family farm, and serving on various boards, commissions and councils in promoting and protecting women and children.
Senator Spears will be greatly missed but her legacy and legislative initiatives she promoted will forever live on due to her due diligence as a member of the West Virginia Legislature.