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Census data: West Virginia loses House seat

The Center Square

(The Center Square) – West Virginia is losing one of its three House seats, according to Census data released Monday.

The loss comes as a result of West Virginia’s consistent population decline, which has been the worst in the nation in the past few decades. The state used to have six seats, but will now be cut by more than half in just over six decades.

West Virginia’s three seats are all held by Republicans: David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Carol Miller. The lines will be redrawn during the redistricting process and could require the three representatives to fight over two spots unless one member retires. It’s unclear which of the Republicans will lose his or her seat.

Gov. Jim Justice and the legislature have been working on ways to reverse the population decline, but the fruits of these efforts are yet to be seen. This includes investments into workers and business, as well as a proposal to abolish the state income tax.

House and Senate Republicans in the state agreed with Justice on ending the income tax, but failed to reach an agreement on the best means to do so during the last legislative session. The GOP has a supermajority in both chambers of the heavy-Republican state. Supporters believe the plan will attract businesses and newcomers to the state.

Justice also announced a plan to grant a $20,000 incentive package to certain remote workers who relocate to West Virginia.