04/10/2017
Your Event and the latest legislative session - 


Our West Virginia Legislature has passed a 2017-2018 state budget and it’s been sent to Governor Justice, although many feel he will veto it and call a special session for even more revision.  For this reason, we urge all our members to remain in contact with their district’s House and Senate members.  You can use the links at the bottom of this page to help you find the contact info for your representative and while our focus is on the funding for our member Fairs & Festivals, there are many other areas of the WV State Budget that could have an impact on our events.  

Also, you each should expect a cut in state funding of some degree for your Fair or Festival.  The reality is, every area of the WV State Budget is at risk including higher education, public education and health and human resources.  However, for our events, it could have been worse had it not been for efforts by our WV Association of Fairs & Festivals! 

In the past weeks, our Associations’ 1st Vice President, Gavin Ward, and 2nd Vice President, Kelly Collins, traveled to Charleston to meet with various state officials concerning our funding.  This was then followed up by our President, Jacob Hill, who contacted each member of the WV House and WV Senate, with a personalized letter pointing out the many benefits of West Virginia’s Fairs and Festival.  Stressing, “These events build a sense of community by bringing people together to socialize, enjoy food and entertainment and, as a result, stimulate the local economy.”

By pointing out the specific Fairs and Festivals that were currently operating within each legislators’ own district, Hill ask each of our elected officials to “… seriously consider the impact a closure or elimination of a Fair and/or Festival would have on a community, and that you keep that impact in mind while you are crafting our state’s budget.”  

Recently (April 5, 2017 to be exact) an amendment was offered by Delegate Gearheart, which would have eliminated state funding for West Virginia’s Fairs and Festivals altogether, including over 80 member events of our own Association.  Thankfully, we feel partly due to our efforts, the amendment was rejected with 85 Nays and 13 Yeas (2 members not voting).  A record of the vote can be seen here.


T the bottom of this page is some information that may help you contact your representative in the House or Senate.

If you haven’t renewed your event’s membership in the WV Association of Fairs & Festivals do so today!  If your event is not yet a member, join today!  Help us help you through these uncertain financial conditions that our State continues to experience.  Use the Join Our Group link on this page


Also, please take the time to complete a short survey we have put together. To help plan for next year's convention we are looking for some feedback from those that have attended a convention. Your participation and feedback could help us with making some major changes in next year's format - so stay tuned. You can share this link to anyone that is associated with your Event. Survey here


04/08/2017
Your Event and the latest legislative session - 


On April 5 an amendment was offered by Delegate Gearheart, which would have eliminated state funding for West Virginia’s Fairs and Festivals altogether, including over 80 member events of our own Association. Thankfully, we feel partly due to our efforts, the amendment was rejected with 85 Nays and 13 Yeas (2 members not voting). A record of the vote can be seen here.

There are many other areas of the WV State Budget that would impact our events so please, stay informed. Continue talking to your district’s House and Senate members. Whether it is the current budget that is being crafted or state budgets of the future, too much is at stake to not be informed, and for each of us to not continue to remind those who are elected to represent us in Charleston of the needs in their home districts!

If you haven’t renewed your event’s membership in the WV Association of Fairs & Festivals do so today! If your event is not yet a member, join today! Help us help you through these uncertain financial conditions that our State continues to experience.



03/27/2017
Your Event and the latest legislative session - 


The current legislative session presently has many hurdles in front of it and funding to your Event may be affected by the actions taken in Charleston.


​SB335 (Senate Bill) did not make it out of committee. Chances are it would have absolutely devastated funds available for our fairs and festivals.
We urge you to keep talking to your delegates about funding. It is possible that someone will bring a version of this bill back at some point, but it hasn’t been brought up as of the time of this post. Even if you do not get funds directly from the state, the legislative actions could still affect your Event.


Keep an eye out and be prepared to respond if the Governor attempts to add a sugary drink tax.  This may not affect you personally, but will have an impact on your vendors, and ultimately, the people that attend your Events. We recognize that paying sales tax(es) are part of being a functioning business or Event within our state, but if this rate is too high, this could be a punitive tax on those attempting to do business in the state and could be a deterrent for some to do business with Events taking place in West Virginia.


To recap what was said at this year's business meeting - a small number of phone calls can make a significant difference. So take time to contact your local representative and inform them of how important your event is to the local area and how important the funds from the state are for your event. Below is some information that may help you contact your representative in the House or Senate.


Here is the current link for members of the Senate
http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Senate1/roster.cfm

Here it the current link for members of the House
http://www.legis.state.wv.us/House/roster.cfm

Not sure of your House and Senate district – The legislature has combined this information onto one page, starting with the Senate, with the information about the House being further down the page:
http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Districts/maps.cfm


Below is information for the current members of the Senate Finance Committee.



Senate Finance Committee

MemberDistrictEmail AddressPhone
Mike Hall-Chair4mike.hall@wvsenate.gov304.357.7901
Jeff Mullins - Vice Chair9jeff.mullins@wvsenate.gov304.357.7831
Craig Blair15craig.blair@wvsenate.gov
304.357.7867
Donna Boley3donna.boley@wvsenate.gov304.357.7905
Greg Boso11greg.boso@wvsenate.gov304.357.7973
Douglas Facemire12douglas.facemire@wvsenate.gov304.357.7845
Ryan Ferns1ryan.ferns@wvsenate.gov
304.357.7918
Ed Gaunch8ed.gaunch@wvsenate.gov
304.357.7841
Kenny Mann10kenny.mann@wvsenate.gov
304.357.7849
Mike Maroney2mike.maroney@wvsenate.gov304.357.7902
Corey Palumbo17corey.palumbo@wvsenate.gov304.357.7854
Robert Plymale5robert.plymale@wvsenate.gov
304.357.7937
Roman Prezioso13roman.prezioso@wvsenate.gov
304.357.7961
Ron Stollings7ron.stollings@wvsenate.gov
304.357.7939
Dave Sypolt14dave.sypolt@wvsenate.gov
304.357.7914
Tom Takubo17tom.takubo@wvsenate.gov
304.357.7990
John Unger16john.unger@wvsenate.gov304.357.7933





WVAFF - Some current news and events