I am a businessman. And if my business were run like the politicians are running this state, I’d be bankrupt. This year, West Virginia taxpayers were forced to pay $600,000 to pay lawmakers in the summer to pass a budget that should have been passed in March.
Then, in September, the state's bond rating was lowered for the third time in a year by the third credit rating agency. This lowering of our bond rating has significantly damaged our ability to borrow money and receive the best interest rates to encourage investment in West Virginia.
My opponent is the vice-chair of the Senate Finance committee, but he would not stand up to protect our tax dollars and thousands of state employees. We need a Senator who actually understands how to manage a business to protect your money and promote job growth here in Kanawha and Putnam counties.
Like many of you, I lived through West Virginia’s budget crises in the 80’s and 90’s. It took real leadership to put our state back on the right track, only to have it all squandered in the last two years. We deserve better from our elected leaders.
Pass a Balanced Budget…On Time
Our Legislature is charged by the state Constitution to timely pass a balanced budget. Something that many folks in the statehouse don't seem to understand. If I am elected to the State Senate, I promise to introduce legislation that will force the Legislature to pass a budget on time. No state employee should fear for their paycheck and no taxpayer should be forced to spend money on frivolous special sessions because of a lack of leadership in the Capitol.
Protect the Rainy Day Fund
Instead of looking at sustainable cuts to government and other revenue streams, the Legislature instead chose to raid our state’s Rainy Day fund. The Rainy Day fund was created not to supplement the budget, but to provide for emergency spending in the case of a natural disaster or other crisis. The Rainy Day fund’s solvency also helped raise our state’s bond rating to high levels.
Instead of protecting the Rainy Day fund, my opponent voted to raid it to the tune of $270 million dollars. In June, our area was hit with historic flooding which destroyed thousands of West Virginians’ homes and businesses. Instead of being able to quickly access disaster relief, our state will be forced to dip further into our savings to help families recover.
As your senator, I promise that I will protect our Rainy Day fund and maintain its solvency. Playing politics with our tax money is unfair and irresponsible.
Reform the Tax Code
West Virginia has not reformed the income tax code in 30 years. Today, a family of 4 making $60,000 per year pays the same rate of income tax as a multi-millionaire. For years, we have allowed middle class families to assume to vast a burden for funding government. That’s wrong. Putting more money in the hands of middle class families will stimulate the economy, putting more West Virginians to work and making our state economically competitive.
As a Senator, I will work every day to reform our state’s tax structure to ensure that working families receive tax relief. Not only is it fair, it makes good economic sense.