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Ivor F. Boiarsky


Legislator Ivor F. Boiarsky (April 7, 1920-March 12, 1971) was born in Charleston, a son of Mose and Rae D. Boiarsky. He was educated at Brown University and the University of Virginia law school. He was married to Barbara Faith Polan and was president of Charleston Federal Savings and Loan Association as well as speaker of the House of Delegates at the time of his death. He was first elected to the House from Kanawha County in 1958 and was chairman of the House Finance Committee prior to his election as speaker in 1968.

As speaker of the House of Delegates, Boiarsky was co-author of the 1968 Modern Budget Amendment, which gave the governor greater control over the state’s annual budget. Boiarsky also wanted the governor to have the authority to transfer funds between departments in state agencies, but that power still rests with the legislature. He was instrumental in creating a consolidated board for higher education in the state, the Board of Regents, that lasted a quarter-century before it was changed back to separate boards for the university system and the colleges.

During his brief three years as speaker, Boiarsky pushed the House of Delegates to 18- and 20-hour days that ultimately proved to be his downfall. He died at the age of 50, one day after a grueling debate on strip mining that lasted until 2:00 a.m.

Written by Tom D. Miller