On this West Virginia Week, we learned about plants that can thrive in former mine lands, we kayaked along the Gauley River, we learned about an art exhibit inspired by recent cuts at West Virginia University, and we saw dogs fly from Charleston to Michigan to reach their forever homes.Continue Reading Take Me to More News
Gov. Jim Justice signed into law Friday the West Virginia Jumpstart Savings Program. The program will allow individuals who have gone to a trade or vocational school to save for tools and equipment upon graduation.
HB 2001 creates a tax-free savings plan for state residents who have completed school in a particular trade or vocation, like welding, plumbing, car maintenance or electrical work.
The bill’s lead sponsor was House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, but the initiative was a campaign promise of newly elected West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore.
Moore spoke at the governor’s press conference on Friday.
“This is a bill for West Virginians,” Moore said. “Only 25 percent of our population has a college degree here in the state. This is for the 75 percent that do not. And we’re very excited to get this program rolling out.”
Moore said the program will help alleviate financial barriers to getting supplies for a career and help bolster West Virginia’s labor force.
Investments in these savings accounts can be used to pay for tools, certifications, licenses and business startup costs.
The bill requires an initial $25 deposit to open an account.
The program is similar to the state’s SMART529 savings program used to save for college.
The bill will go into effect 90 days from passage on June 9.