CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) — Delegate Jimmy Willis, R-Brooke, proudly ushered through the House of Delegates a bill that not only would make professional licenses much easier to keep track of, but also would position West Virginia ahead of many other states in digital initiatives.
House Bill 5161 would create a “digital wallet” through an addition to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s existing one-stop business portal website where residents could store certifications and licensures. It passed the full House by an overwhelming margin Feb. 12.
“The digital wallet will help put West Virginia at the front of the pack when it comes to digital initiatives at the state level,” said Willis, who is in his first term in the Legislature and the lead sponsor of the measure. “This bill came out of conversations in our newly formed Future Caucus, and I was proud to lead the initiative.”
The nonpartisan and nonprofit Future Caucus is the nation’s largest bipartisan organization for millennial and Gen Z lawmakers. West Virginia’s chapter launched this year. House Bill 5161, which was the first bill to pass from the House Committee on Artificial Intelligence. The committee was created in this legislative session to study the topic, but members have already found ways to create policy that can help West Virginians.
“I was happy to work with my fellow members of the Future Caucus in crafting this bill and the entirety of the House to get this bill passed,” Willis said. “Last year I was proud to have a bill become law in my very first session, and I’m hopeful the Senate will see the benefits to passing HB 5161 so we can help make it even easier for all our professionals with various certifications and licenses, from beauticians to truck drivers, go paperless and always have what they need to go to work in West Virginia.”
This measure now goes to the West Virginia Senate for debate. The regular legislative session ends Saturday, March 9.