SB542 HFA Evans 4-8
Delegate Evans moves to amend Com Sub for Com Sub for SB542 on page 3, following Section 21 after line 24, by inserting a new section to read as follows:
“§24-2-22. Coal community comeback planning required; Coal Community Comeback Advisory Committee established; Coal Community Comeback Plan.
(a) The West Virginia Public Service Commission shall facilitate a process to create a Coal Community Comeback Plan for the State of West Virginia, which shall include, at a minimum:
(1) The maintenance and development of water and wastewater, broadband, and other infrastructure needed to revitalize impacted communities;
(2) Opportunities to maintain and increase jobs in coal mines, coal-fired power plants, and other sectors that would diversify the economies of impacted communities;
(3) Grants and local, state, federal, and other sources of funding that will assist impacted communities, and recommendations to align and target existing local, state, and federal funding and leverage additional funding to support impacted communities and impacted workers;
(4) Other programs and activities that will assist impacted communities, and recommendations to align and target existing local, state, and federal programs and activities and establish additional programs and activities to support impacted communities and impacted workers;
(5) Recommendations for legislation, studies, and other activities, including but not limited to the creation of a fund to collect and distribute public revenue to address shortfalls in funding for counties, school systems, and municipalities in impacted communities;
(6) Planning of and facilitation of innovative land use and economic development activities that impacted communities can use to diversify their economies;
(7) Projected short-term and long-term costs and benefits to the state of each plan component;
(8) Potential fiscal, economic, workforce, and other implications of extending plan components to other sectors and industries affected by similar economic disruptions; and
(9) Which components can be implemented under existing authority and which require additional legislation.
(b) There is hereby created the Coal Community Comeback Advisory Committee to develop and recommend a Coal Community Comeback Plan for the State of West Virginia. It shall consist of the following members:
(1) The Chair of the West Virginia Public Service Commission or his or her designee, who shall serve as co-chairperson of the Committee;
(2) The Secretary of the Department of Economic Development or his or her designee, who shall also serve as co-chairperson of the Committee;
(3) One representative of the Office of the Governor;
(4) One member of the Senate appointed by the president of the Senate, and one member of the House of Delegates appointed by the Speaker of the House; and the following members, to be appointed by the Governor:
(A) Two representatives of labor unions;
(B) Three representatives of impacted workers from impacted communities;
(C) Two representatives with professional economic development or workforce retraining experience; and
(D) Two representatives of utilities that, on the effective date of this section, operated one or more coal-fueled electric generating units.
(c) (1) The West Virginia Public Service Commission shall provide administrative and logistical support to the work of the Committee.
(2) The Committee shall meet at least once every three months. The chairpersons may call such additional meetings as are necessary for the Committee to complete its duties.
(3) Each member of the Committee is entitled to receive reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses pursuant to §4-2A-6 of this code.
(4) The Committee may engage additional nonvoting members or advisors and provide additional expertise as needed.
(5) The Committee shall hold at least three public hearings in the state on the Coal Community Comeback Plan, with at least one hearing held in each congressional district of the state. On or before July 1, 2022, the Committee shall present its draft Coal Community Comeback Plan to the Chair of the West Virginia Public Service Commission. On or before December 31, 2022, the Committee shall present its final Coal Community Comeback Plan to the Governor and the Legislature. Unless otherwise extended by Act of the Legislature, the Committee shall expire effective January 1, 2023.
(d) As used in this section:
(1) “Coal-related employment” means employment in the coal industry, or an industry dependent on coal production, consumption, or distribution;
(2) “Committee” means the Coal Community Comeback Advisory Committee established pursuant to §24-2-22(b) of this code;
(3) “Impacted community” means a county in which a coal mine or a coal-fired plant has closed after December 31, 1999, causing a loss of at least 200 jobs;
(4) “Impacted worker” means a West Virginia worker laid off from coal-related employment who has not found employment with similar wages or benefits.”