OPINION: Holiday Special Session

Legislature Needs To Take Bold Steps

Eric Nelson, Jr.

You may have seen the news headlines: West Virginia’s Revenue Secretary, Robert “Bob” Kiss is predicting a $400 million budget shortfall.¬†That was in early December. Since then, West Virginia’s financial leaders have done exactly nothing to fix the problem.

The Mountain State’s lazy, part-time politcians are relaxing through the holidays instead of taking bold steps to fix the terrible problem.

Where are West Virginia’s financial and political “leaders?”

Sources tell PutnamCountyNews.com that House of Delegates Finance Committee Chairman Eric Nelson, Jr., is in The Bahamas, vacationing.

Governor Earl Fail Tomblin is, reportedly, traveling the globe on so-called “Trade missions” which are poorly disguised vacations, on someone else’s dime, during the final weeks of his final term. Translation: Even if Tomblin DOES learn anything about trade, he won’t have time to use that knowledge.

Senate President William “Bill” Cole, III, showed up, at the Capitol, to cast his electoral college vote for Donald Trump.

However, Cole didn’t work with House of Delegates Speaker Tim Armstead to call for a special legislative session to fix our problems.

While the others hid from their phones, Senate Finance Committee Chairman W. “Mike” Hall (R-Putnam) returned a call from PutnamCountyNews.com and made endless, lame, excuses as to why a special session for budget and court reform cannot be called before Christmas.

 

PutnamCountyNews.com sees $400 million reasons as to why Hall and the other do-nothing politicians need to pack their suitcases and head to Charleston to fix West Virginia’s mess. Once they arrive, they need to be locked into the house and senate chambers until they do the following:

  • Allow Medical Marijuana which will bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue.
  • Streamline West Virginia’s 55 counties into less than 30, eliminating redundant administrator salaries and saving West Virginia millions of dollars each year.
  • Bring in Plastics to Oil conversion to create more jobs, revenue, and reduce pollution.
  • Merge the Turnpike Authority under Department of Transporation to eliminate redundant administrator salaries.
  • Merge the West Virginia State Police with the Capitol Police to eliminate redundant administrator salaries.
  • Streamline all of the West Virginia public colleges and universities under one board of governors to reduce costs.
  • Raise the tobacco tax to $2 per unit to recover some of the costs spent on tobacco-related illnesses.
  • Eliminate the Inventory Tax to encourage businesses to move to West Virginia.
  • Order the Division of Highways to use “Pottycrete” to cut down on paving costs and take advantage of the longer lifespan of a Pottycrete pavement – thereby lowering the cost of paving our roadways.
  • Work with the agriculture department to develop a bamboo industry.
  • Expand the regular session to six months to give more time to solve West Virginia’s major problems.
  • Clean up our corrupt court system to encourage businesses to move to the Mountain State.

Of course, legislators and Tomblin will whine about having to give up their holiday time to help West Virginia. Cry us a river. They’ve had decades to solve some of these issues. More recently, they could have taken positive action during the 2016 session, the budget special session, or by calling a special session before the general election.

They didn’t.

The lazy politicians failed.

West Virginians are hurting as a result – at least those of us that haven’t packed up and left the Mountain State.

When the legislators do all of the above, then they can go home for Christmas. If they don’t, let them spend Christmas in their chambers.

The legislators are obviously satisfied with a $400 million budget deficit, PEIA cuts, a depleting poputlation and West Virginia ranking number 49 or 50 in most important categories. The rest of us aren’t satisfied. The rest of us aren’t as stupid as the legislators.