KEYSER – House of Delegates Committee on Government Organization chairman Gary Howell, R-Mineral, has been appointed to the West Virginia Commission on Interstate Cooperation by House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay.

KEYSER – House of Delegates Committee on Government Organization chairman Gary Howell, R-Mineral, has been appointed to the West Virginia Commission on Interstate Cooperation by House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay.
The purpose of the commission is to advance cooperation between states on various matters of legal importance for the purpose of “forming a more perfect union among the various governments in the United States.”
“With Gary’s district bordering Maryland, and with a number of unique cross-border issues that affect his region, he was an ideal candidate to serve on this commission,” Speaker Hanshaw said.
“Mineral County has a whole host of issues that require better cooperation with the state of Maryland and its political subdivisions,” Chairman Howell said.
“This district features an airport operated jointly between Maryland and West Virginia, there are a number of sewer and water systems that run between the states, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also manages a lake with joint jurisdiction between the states, so this is a region that features a lot of cross-border activity that requires active cooperation across virtually every level of government,” Howell said.
He also noted that the recently announced closure of the Verso Paper Mill in Luke, Maryland, has affected the citizens and local economies in both states, and government leaders are actively working to address the matter.
“It’s critical for leaders in both states to work cooperatively to help facilitate the sale and reopening of this plant property,” Howell said. “Doing so will improve the economy for both of our states.”
The West Virginia Commission on Interstate Cooperation was created under Chapter 29, Article 1B of state code. It is comprised of seven delegates, seven senators, and the presiding officers of the House of Delegates and state Senate as ex officio members.
According to law, the function of the commission includes:
    •    Encouraging and assisting the legislative, executive, administrative and judicial officials and employees of this state to develop and maintain friendly contact by correspondence, by conference, and otherwise, with officials and employees of the other states of the federal government, and of local units of government.
    •    Endeavoring to advance cooperation between this state and other units of government whenever it seems advisable to do so by formulating proposals for, and by facilitating:
    ◦    The adoption of compacts,
    ◦    The enactment of uniform or reciprocal statutes,
    ◦    The adoption of uniform or reciprocal administrative rules and regulations,
    ◦    The informal cooperation of governmental offices with one another,
    ◦    The personal cooperation of governmental officials and employees with one another, individually,
    ◦    The institution and consummation of a federal long- range program of flood control, meeting the requirements of the federal flood control acts of one thousand nine hundred thirty- six or other acts of Congress relative thereto,
    ◦    The interchange and clearance of research and information, and
    ◦    Any other suitable process.
    •    Performing such duties as from time to time may be assigned to it by the Joint Committee on Government and Finance and to cooperate with the Joint Committee on Government and Finance in joint interim studies.
    •    In short, to do all such acts as will, in the opinion of this commission, enable this state to do its part, or more than its part, in forming a more perfect union among the various governments in the United States and in developing the council of state governments for that purpose.
In addition to the state Commission on Interstate Cooperation, both the House of Delegates and state Senate each have individual committees on interstate cooperation which meet during the regular session of the Legislature.