Senate President: Future Fund to be Reintroduced This Year
The State Journal – State lawmakers will get another go at a bill designed to cushion the blow of up and downs in the state’s energy economy. Read
The Future Fund is a concept that has been promoted in the Legislature for the past several years. The idea is to take funds from increased activity in the Marcellus Shale gas field and save it for future economic development.
A similar fund, had it been created for the coal industry, supporters say, would have left West Virginia with a large sum of money for diversifying its economy. Sen. Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, touted the future fund when he ran for governor in the 2010 special election primary.
“My original concept was that the pie was going to grow exponentially bigger just because of the increased level of activity,” Kessler said. “I think that’s borne out in terms of raw investment and economic activity.”
The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy has also been a vocal supporter of a future fund. Similar legislation has been active in other energy-rich states such as Alaska and Wyoming.