CHARLESTON – For 25 years now, West Virginia and her citizens have been victimized by a ruthless, unrelenting attack. Why? Because corporate billionaires want to increase their profits at the expense of our state's reputation, our bank accounts and our constitutional rights.
CHARLESTON – Transparency is the key component of good campaign finance policy. As we progress through the 21st Century, easily accessible and complete information is not only possible, it’s absolutely necessary for citizens to stay informed on how government is spending tax dollars, conducting business and passing laws.
CHARLESTON – The 2019 regular session of the West Virginia Legislature came to an end at midnight Saturday, and just in time. It’s hard to recall when there was such acrimony among lawmakers under the Capitol dome.
CHARLESTON – Like that poison ivy sprout that comes back every spring, legislation to create an Intermediate Appellate Court in West Virginia is back yet again. It’s no more necessary now than it has ever been, and it’s just as noxious as that stubborn poison ivy.
The Republicans designed Senate Bill 451 as straightforwardly as any protection racket. A 5 percent raise for West Virginia’s educators, inextricably linked to a series of proposals to weaken her public schools. The text of the bill explicitly stated that if any part of its “omnibus” provisions were found unconstitutional or illegal, the raise would be taken away.
Eliminating the 55 school districts and replacing them with about a dozen would dramatically drop the cost of administration to the point that every teacher could get a raise and the taxpayers would still save money.
WHEELING – Way back before the beginning of time, in early 2015, West Virginia began to talk about the Governor’s race. Earl Ray Tomblin was finishing up and the seat would be open.
CHARLESTON – Recently, Texas media reported that approximately 58,000 non-U.S. citizens may have voted in Texas elections. While Texas Secretary of State David Whitley took proactive steps to ensure the integrity of Texas’s elections, reports like this reinforce the overwhelming need to remain vigilant in protecting our elections.
While the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce does many things, such as advocating for our membership and promoting opportunities in our region, this position has given me greater insight related to a question that I have asked myself throughout my career — How do we make West Virginia a better place to live, work and thrive?
CHARLESTON – When there is a good idea, a truly viable option to move our state forward, we should work together to transform that idea into a tangible opportunity. The road to progress has fewer bumps when we travel in the same direction. As State Agriculture Commissioner and State Treasurer, we agree that “road to progress” begins with education.
CHARLESTON – While the state Legislature is debating and setting budgets for the coming fiscal year, it’s important for West Virginia citizens to know the State Auditor’s Office has been and continues to implement modern and improved accounting practices to track the spending of your taxpayer dollars.
One agricultural initiative that West Virginia has been way ahead on is the development of industrial hemp.
CHARLESTON – “Moving at the Speed of Business” is the motto of the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Business and Licensing Division. Advances in technology and a new user-friendly website have given our office the opportunity to communicate more effectively and respond quicker to the needs of the state’s business community and entrepreneurs.
CHARLESTON – A true story with information left out becomes highly deceptive. The media has reported extensively on the settlement cost involved in the termination of 12 individuals in the Secretary of State's Office when Mac Warner took office.
MORGANTOWN – When the 2019 legislative session begins later this month, we should watch even more closely than usual what happens on the education front, particularly with two new committee chairs.