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WVVA Capitol Beat

Lawmakers look towards the future

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CHARLESTON, WV (WVVA) -

In a state that has been dominated by one industry for so long, change comes difficult for many. But lawmakers hope that with the strides they made last year with legal reform, bringing opportunity to the state this year may be a little easier.

"We're still leaving, you know there's a piece of the puzzle that's there that's just not been plugged in yet,” says Delegate George Ambler (R ). “I think we have the opportunity to do that this time."

Legislators hope that by breaking down some of the barriers for businesses, more industries will be attracted to the centrally located mountain state.

"I think this year we're going to be dealing with more things like regulatory reform, trying to create an environment that attracts some manufacturers to our state," says Delegate John O'Neal IV (R ).

Either way many senators and delegates agree that no matter what, West Virginia needs to look at diversifying business to be able to support the state for the future.

"So like we're experiencing now, especially in the southern part of the state with the coal industry, it has been under attack,” says Delegate John Shott (R ). “It has been severely wounded and it's affecting all of us. It ripples through the economy in many different ways. So the more diversified you are the better chance you have to withstand those kind of downturns of one particular industry."

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