CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, today announced he will propose reforming the existing House of Delegates Committee on Roads and Transportation into a new Technology and Infrastructure Committee at the beginning of the next legislative session. “For far too long West Virginia has lagged behind the nation in making sure our citizens and businesses have access to high-speed internet and other technologies they need to prosper,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “By refocusing this committee, I want to shift the way we think of providing infrastructure in our state.”
On the first day of next year’s regular session, when the House considers the adoption of its rules, Speaker Hanshaw will propose changing the current Committee on Roads and Transportation Committee into the Committee on Technology and Infrastructure in order to broaden its focus to include legislation designed to promote broadband and other technology infrastructure development across the state.
“With the Governor’s Roads to Prosperity program and other transportation efforts in recent years, we have made tremendous strides to improve our state’s highway system, and more will be done on this front,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “However, to function in today’s economy, and to provide first-class education and healthcare systems, we need to do so much more than simply provide a good system of roads. Just like the interstate highway system transformed commerce in the 20th century, broadband infrastructure and the adoption of related technologies will be key to growth in the 21st century – but far too many of our citizens, schools and businesses lack adequate access to this technology.”
Speaker Hanshaw has selected Delegate Jim Butler, R-Mason, to serve as Chairman of the new committee. Delegate Daniel Linville, R-Cabell, will serve as Vice-Chairman.
“Jim and Dan understand how vital a proper infrastructure system is to unleash economic prosperity across our state,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “They will be committed to building up both our traditional forms of infrastructure, while also developing bills that will enable growth of leading-edge technologies and broadband internet access.”
The committee change will be included in the resolution to adopt House Rules that will be introduced on the first day of the regular 2019 session, which begins Jan. 9.