As we kick off 2014 Regular Legislative Session, I have great expectations that we can build consensus and pass quality legislation in the days to come. I am honored and consider it a great privilege to represent my constituents from the 12th State Senatorial District here in Charleston.

Wednesday Governor Tomblin delivered his State of the State Address. The Governor highlighted the main issues that face our great state. A few of the issues that will have a high priority this session will include job creation, education reform and the future of coal.

Governor Tomblin touched on the new cracker plant in Parkersburg and other new corporate business ventures that will take place in West Virginia that increase revenue and create more jobs. Governor Tomblin also made it clear that not only big business will thrive in the state, but small businesses will too. By ending the business franchise tax next year, cutting the corporate income tax and reducing workers compensation rates, small businesses will thrive in West Virginia. Both corporate and small businesses incentives will create more job opportunity and will influence our youth to stay here and work here.

The Governor also highlighted West Virginia’s need for an education and workers specialized in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. Educating our children in STEM is imperative to their future and will prepare our children for jobs that are in short supply of qualified workers.

Finally, as Chairman of the Energy, Industry and Mining Committee, I pledge to continue working to improve the lives of West Virginians through proposing efficient and positive legislation and championing the energy industry. Governor Tomblin emphasized the importance of energy and coal.  How important it is that, as a state, we find clean, efficient, safe and productive ways to find new markets for coal to ensure it’s success.

If you should have any questions or comments regarding any issues or bills before the legislature please feel free to contact me. To write me, my address is Senator Douglas Facemire Capitol, Building 1, Room 217W, State Capitol Complex, Charleston, WV 25305. Or you may call me at (304) 357-7845. I encourage all my constituents to remain active and become part of the legislative process.