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Legislative Session Comes To An End

Reported: Mar. 9, 2014 7:22 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 9, 2014 8:32 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Chris Williams) -- After the Jan. 9 chemical spill at freedom industries, lawmakers got to work on legislation to make sure something like the MCHM leak won't happen again. What they came up with is Senate Bill 373. That bill passed late Saturday night, and is going to regulate above ground storage tanks, and secondary containment structures.

"It seems to be a bill that will go forward and hopefully alleviate any kind of situation that we've experienced here over the last 90 days,” President of the West Virginia Coal Association Bill Raney said.

West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant weighed in on the bill's passage.

"I am so grateful that the medical monitoring was put back into the bill," she said.

Tennant also praised the passage of another bill created because of the chemical spill - the small business relief bill,passed in the final hours of the session.

"When you have a piece of legislation like this that’s an emergency relief fund, it's going to give small businesses an opportunity to fall back on and get back up on their feet after a situation like this,” she said.

During this session, lawmakers also passed a tourism development act. Supporters of that said it will be important to the state's economy.

"I think we're going to have some pretty exciting announcements coming up about jobs coming to West Virginia,” lobbyist Larry Puccio said.

Lawmakers also passed a bill that is going to raise minimum wage in West Virginia by $1.50 over the next two years.



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