Future Fund Idea Picks Up Steam Ahead of Session

Charleston Daily Mail - As the state's natural gas industry continues to expand, members of the West Virginia Legislature are developing a plan to keep some of that revenue within the state's borders. Read

Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, has touted his ideas for a Future Fund since the 2013 legislative session. Now, his idea is picking up steam, and economists, industry leaders and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin have expressed support. Kessler joined others for a panel discussion Monday at the Associated Press Legislative Lookahead in South Charleston.

"I call the Future Fund sort of the' why not' fund," Kessler said. "I know we have a deficit this year. We're expected to have one next year. Our state is mineral rich, but at the end of the day we have these challenges where we're 49th or 50th, et cetera."

The Future Fund would set aside some of the severance taxes from the oil and natural gas industry and make that money available for future investments, such as transportation and pay raises.

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