Earl Ray Tomblin
CHARLESTON -- West Virginia state Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin headed a long list of state and federal officials from across the United States this week attending the Annual Spring Meeting of the Council of State Governments (CSG) at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs.
Serving this year as the CSG's Chairman, Tomblin convened the meeting Sunday evening with a social event. Business sessions and forums got under way Monday, and it concluded Wednesday afternoon.
Tomblin, D-Logan, is the first West Virginian to serve in this capacity as the head of the nation's largest organization of elected officials. He was formally elected at a CSG meeting conducted late last year.
The parent organization for a number of organizations including the National Governor's Association, the CSG has thousands of members from coast to coast. Tomblin has served as Chairman of the CSG's Southern Legislative Conference in addition to service on a number of executive committees and boards associated with the CSG and its affiliated groups.
"I am extremely honored to have been elected to this position," Tomblin said. "However, the most important aspect of my service is to provide the rest of the nation with a view of what West Virginia is doing, especially in the areas of government and fiscal issues, and to provide the state with a national forum to showcase our natural beauty, as well as the progress we have made in a number of areas.
"Having these elected officials, which includes five of the nation's governors, come to West Virginia, is especially gratifying. I know that when they leave, they will tell others about the great hospitality of our people and of the many opportunities which exist in our state."
Some of the issues discussed during a number of forums and general meetings included the future of fossil fuels, national defense, strategies for addressing higher fuel costs and public health and insurance challenges.
"It is through the exchange of ideas that we will not only benefit here in West Virginia, but be able to play a leadership role in what could become public policy in other states," Tomblin said.
"This is a red-letter day for West Virginia, and I am very happy to be a part of helping to put our state forward in such a positive light."
Gov. Joe Manchin also attended the meeting.