Bill now moves to Senate for further consideration
State Treasurer Riley Moore today thanked the House of Delegates for its unanimous passage of House Bill 2001, which creates the West Virginia Jumpstart Savings Act.
“This is a tremendous bipartisan show of support for our Jumpstart Savings Plan, which I firmly believe will help us build up our labor force here in West Virginia,” Treasurer Moore said. “This savings plan will benefit countless future workers in our state by empowering them and removing a final barrier to entry to the workforce. I look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to get this bill to the Governor’s desk.”
Delegates on Tuesday voted 96-0 to pass House Bill 2001, Relating Generally to Creating the West Virginia Jumpstart Savings Program. It now moves to the state Senate for further consideration.
The Jumpstart Savings Plan allows individuals who wish to pursue a vocation or trade, ranging from welding to cosmetology, to make tax-free contributions to a savings and investment account. Family members and the individual’s employer can also make contributions to the account. The plan beneficiary can later withdraw money from the account – which will also be tax-free – to help cover business startup costs, equipment, tools, certifications and licenses needed in the vocation or trade.
While the state already offers a savings and investment plan for individuals pursuing a traditional college education, known as SMART529, this type of plan does not help West Virginians as they start out in the workforce. The Jumpstart Savings Plan will give them a new, separate alternative to allow them to save and prepare for entering the workforce.
The Jumpstart Savings Plan was the first bill introduced by the House majority caucus this session, a recognition of their belief in the bill’s potential benefit for West Virginia.
“Treasurer Moore saw firsthand as a young man entering the welding trade how expensive it was to buy your own equipment and get certified to start working,” House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, said last week. “He experienced a barrier to entering the workforce and has come up with something creative to help us get more people working. This is exactly the kind of real-world, commonsense legislation we need to advance.”
State business leaders have also come out in support of the Jumpstart Savings Plan, praising it as an innovative way to increase workforce development. Several organizations on Monday endorsed the program and encouraged its passage:
“This important legislation will prepare the next generation to enter the workforce and equip them with the funding to obtain necessary certifications, training and tools,” Mike Clowser, chairman of the West Virginia Business & Industry Council, said Monday. “We commend State Treasurer Riley Moore for having the foresight to develop this program and we encourage the House of Delegates to pass the bill when it comes to the floor this week.”
“We applaud Treasurer Riley Moore for his proposal of the Jumpstart Savings Act that will benefit so many families here in West Virginia,” said Bryan Hoylman, President of the West Virginia Associated Builders and Contractors. “This plan will benefit many employers in our industry and is gigantic leap forward in equipping the next generation of workers here in our state.”
“Manufacturers know firsthand the challenges in finding skilled labor in West Virginia. Any efforts to prepare the next generation to enter the workforce contributes to a stronger West Virginia,” Rebecca McPhail, President of the West Virginia Manufacturer’s Association said Monday. “We applaud State Treasurer Riley Moore for developing and promoting this concept and encourage the House of Delegates to pass the bill when it comes to the floor this week.”