New Comprehensive Plan Touts Tourism as an Investment for W.Va.


On The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom has an in-depth conversation with Chelsea Ruby, Commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Tourism. Governor Jim Justice has proposed to nearly triple the tourism budget, bringing the agency’s current $6 million budget to $20 million.

Breakdown of the interview:

  • Tourism is an investment
  • W.Va. tourism is underfunded compared to other states
  • New comprehensive tourism plan:
    • Increased exposure
    • Increase the length of stay for visitors
    • Increase visitor spending
  • Promote regions in the state as destination vacations
  • Improve the state’s image
  • Tourism advertising increases brand-awareness for the whole state
  • Help West Virginians to understand “what’s in their own backyard”
  • Thoughts on art’s impact on tourism
  • Thoughts on elimination of film tax credit
Also in this episode, we bring you an update on House and Senate floor action.

The senate passed Senate Bill 385, which transfers money from Medicaid under the Department of Health and Human Resources to the Department of Corrections. Sen. Mike Woelfel, D-Cabell, stood in opposition to the bill, speaking of his brother who has bipolar disorder and is receiving DHHR services.

In the House, Committee Substitute for House Bill 4006, which eliminates the cabinet level position of Secretary of Education and the Arts passed after significant debate. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. As we’ve covered this issue we’ve noted that West Virginia Public Broadcasting is an agency under the Department of Education and the Arts.

Please join us again on February 1 for a spotlight on the West Virginia Community and Technical College system. Chancellor Sarah Tucker will join us to discuss the potential impact of Senate Bill 284, which would establish a grant program for students attending these colleges.

The Legislature Today is West Virginia’s source for daily legislative news and information. The only live television program covering the West Virginia Legislature, the broadcast features reports from the Senate, House and committee meetings with in-depth interviews and analysis of the legislative process in West Virginia.

The Legislature Today can be seen weeknights on:

  • 6 and 11 p.m. – WVPB (main channel)
  • 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. – The West Virginia Channel

The Legislature Today can also be heard at 6 p.m. weeknights on WVPB’s statewide radio network.
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