KEYSER, W.Va. – House of Delegates Committee on Government Organization Chairman Gary Howell, R-Mineral, has been appointed to the West Virginia Commission on Interstate Cooperation by House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay.
The purpose of the commission is to advance cooperation between states on various matters of legal importance for the purpose of “forming a more perfect union among the various governments in the United States.”
“With Gary’s district bordering Maryland, and with a number of unique cross-border issues that affect his region, he was an ideal candidate to serve on this commission,” Speaker Hanshaw said.
“Mineral County has a whole host of issues that require better cooperation with the state of Maryland and its political subdivisions,” Chairman Howell said.
“This district features an airport operated jointly between Maryland and West Virginia, there are a number of sewer and water systems that run between the states, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also manages a lake with joint jurisdiction between the states, so this is a region that features a lot of cross-border activity that requires active cooperation across virtually every level of government,” Chairman Howell said.
Chairman Howell also said the recently announced closure of the Verso Paper Mill in Luke, Md., has affected the citizens and local economies in both states, and government leaders are actively working to address the matter.
“It’s critical for leaders in both states to work cooperatively to help facilitate the sale and reopening of this plant property,” Chairman Howell said. “Doing so will improve the economy for both of our states.”
The West Virginia Commission on Interstate Cooperation was created under Chapter 29, Article 1B of state code. It is comprised of seven delegates, seven senators, and the presiding officers of the House of Delegates and state Senate as ex officio members.
According to law, the function of the commission includes:
In addition to the state Commission on Interstate Cooperation, both the House of Delegates and state Senate each have individual committees on interstate cooperation which meet during the regular session of the Legislature.