Delegate Lisa Zukoff, D-Marshall, Wants Roads in West Virginia Fixed

ZUKOFF

MOUNDSVILLE — New Delegate Lisa Zukoff said extending Interstate 68 to Marshall County would be a good thing, but she would first like to see the state’s existing roads repaired.

Zukoff, D-Marshall, has been assigned to the House Technology and Infrastructure Committee, previously known as the Roads and Transportation Committee. She also will serve on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and the education committees.

She said an expansion of I-68 is being discussed.

“I love the idea, but I don’t know if we have the funding to make it happen,” she said. “I would love them (the West Virginia Division of Highways) to fix the roads we have, quite frankly. This is an issue in Marshall County.”

Zukoff said she will co-sponsor legislation already introduced this session by Delegate Joe Canestraro, D-Marshall, which would re-allocate and dedicate annual natural gas and oil severance tax revenues to the counties of origin.

This funding would then be used to repair damaged roads in those counties.

Zukoff is enjoying her new role at the State Capitol.

“It’s new and exciting and anxiety-ridden all at the same time,” she said.

Prior to the start of the legislative session on Wednesday, new lawmakers spent two days in legislative orientation. This ended with a mock floor session, Zukoff said.

“We learned they take ethics and harassment matters seriously, as they should,” she said. “We learned all about administrative services here, and how things work. And we discussed how to deal with private and personal lives together.”

The Technology and Infrastructure Committee won’t just be dealing with vehicular roadways, but with the information highway and mapping out a path for education and job creation in the state. The need for high-speed internet in all areas of the state is important, according to Zukoff.

“We definitely have some areas in the state that don’t have access, and it’s critical to our development as a state to have high-speed internet,” she said.

Locally there are areas in the southern end of the Northern Panhandle where internet access is limited or not available at all.

Zukoff said the Legislature also needs to make funding for education a main priority, and make certain the Public Employees Insurance Agency fund is stable.

“It’s the key to making changes in West Virginia,” she said. “We have to make sure our students are on equal footing with those in other states.”

Zukoff said she also is a proponent of providing financial help for students enrolled in associate degree and job certification programs.

“There are students in petroleum engineering studies at West Virginia Northern (Community College) graduating and getting paid quite well,” she said.

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