Jefferson County Legislative Update
August 18, 2016
The Chamber of Commerce hosted its Legislative Forum in mid-July to update local business leaders and residents on new legislation that will have an impact on the future of business in Jefferson County. The pieces that passed include a new ridesharing law, the Brunch Bill, and a right-to-work law.
Here’s more on these laws, and how they may impact you and your business success.
Residents and business owners may have been wondering when services like Uber and Lyft would come to Jefferson County. Thanks to recent legislation, that time is now. The new ridesharing law authorizes ridesharing in the state and establishes a regulatory framework consistent with ridesharing laws passed in more than 30 other states.
Ridesharing will initially be available in Charleston and Morgantown. Uber plans to expand to other West Virginia communities in the near future.
This will be good news for Jefferson County, as residents looking for a safe ride home will now have more options available. The presence of Uber and Lyft will aid economic growth, create new jobs, enhance tourism, increase public safety, and supplement the existing taxi service in the state.
Prior to the passage of the “Brunch Bill,” restaurants and private clubs could not sell alcoholic beverages before 1 p.m. on Sundays. The new law will allow for alcohol to be served beginning at 10 a.m., which stands to benefit local restaurant and club owners.
The measure will appear on the ballot in Jefferson County in November, while some local municipalities have already approved it. If approved by county voters, this measure stands to increase revenue for Jefferson County businesses, expand employment opportunities, and make the county competitive with surrounding states.
West Virginia is a Right-to-Work State
Earlier this year, West Virginia became the 26th “Right-to-Work” state in the country. This law prohibits unions and employers from requiring employees to be union members and pay union dues/fees in order to obtain or keep their jobs. This will help level the playing field for West Virginia, which previously had to compete with neighboring right-to-work states like Virginia.
In August, a judge in Kanawha County issued a preliminary injunction blocking West Virginia’s “right-to-work” law. We will keep you posted as new developments occur.
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