State Treasurer Riley Moore today said the 2021 Regular Legislative Session was a productive one for his office, with nine proposals championed by the Treasurer on their way to becoming law.
“While I’ve only been in office a few short months, my team and I prepared an aggressive agenda for this session to improve the State Treasurer’s Office and how it serves the people of our great state,” Treasurer Moore said.
“During the campaign, I promised we would make the Treasurer’s Office more modern, transparent and accountable, and improve the services it provides, and we’ve kept those promises,” Treasurer Moore said. “With the regular 2021 legislative session now in the books, I’m proud to say the proposals we advanced will soon be helping the citizens of West Virginia.”
Treasurer Moore’s top priority this session was the Jumpstart Savings Act – House Bill 2001 – which Gov. Jim Justice signed into law last month. The Treasurer’s Office is already working with community and technical colleges, along with other trade organizations around the state to implement and promote the program.
The Legislature also passed House Concurrent Resolution 24, which officially asked Congress to extend federal tax benefits to Jumpstart participants.
“We’ve already heard a great deal of interest from our vocational educators and leaders of various trade organizations about the rollout of this plan, and I’m excited to get to work on it,” Treasurer Moore said.
The Treasurer’s Office is also already working to implement the provisions of Senate Bill 280, which will require counties, cities and other government agencies, including the Division of Motor Vehicles, to accept online electronic payments.
“This will be a tremendous convenience for our citizens who want to have the option of paying taxes, bills, fees and other government payments online,” Treasurer Moore said. “We’re going to be working hand-in-hand with local government agencies across the state to help them implement this system in their areas.”
Senate Bill 295, signed last month, included several measures proposed by Treasurer Moore that will provide greater oversight and transparency over government funds provided through the Board of Treasury Investments for Economic Development Authority loan programs.
The importance of these protections was highlighted by a legislative audit released prior to the session which detailed a loss of more than $24 million in taxpayer funds from a 2001 venture capital loan program.
“With these protections in place, my office will be able to proactively review the use of economic development funds to ensure circumstances like these never happen again,” Treasurer Moore said.
In addition to this bill, the Legislature also passed Senate Bill 534, which clarified the Treasurer’s Office’s authority to approve the EDA’s banking contracts, and also made the Treasurer a member of the Economic Development Authority’s board.
Other Legislative Accomplishments:
- Senate Bill 294 improved education savings and investment programs in the office. It will return nearly $15 million to the state’s General Revenue Fund through an early closure of the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund and Plan, a college savings program that was closed to new entrants in 2003 following the implementation of the PROMISE Scholarship and SMART529 College Savings Programs. It also freed up additional funds that will be used to help launch the Jumpstart Savings and Hope Scholarship programs.
- Senate Bill 318 will help the Treasurer’s Office better advertise the Unclaimed Property program by changing the law which required the Treasurer to publish a bulky newspaper insert. The Treasurer may now use more effective forms of advertising and receive a greater return on marketing investments, while also providing more effective means of returning this money and property to its rightful owners.
- Senate Bill 297 modernizes the Board of Treasury Investments’ statutory investment options, allowing the Board to give the state and local governments a better short-term return on their cash while better protecting it from inflation. The Board manages the $6.5 billion consolidated short-term operating fund used by the state and local governments.
- House Bill 2933 prohibits the state, its agencies and political subdivisions from entering into contracts with any entity that has been identified as participating in the Boycott, Divest or Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
In addition to these legislative proposals, the Treasurer’s Office also volunteered to implement a 5-percent cut in its budget for the upcoming fiscal year as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Bill that was passed during the regular session.