An editorial from The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register
WHEELING, W.Va. — County school systems would have to lay off teachers if West Virginia legislators accept Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s budget proposal.
But the education establishment in Charleston would get to hire more people.
More than 500 Division of Highways workers – the people who can’t keep up with road maintenance now – would lose their jobs.
But the bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Resources would be interviewing to fill nearly 100 new positions.
Ten years ago, West Virginia was able to function with the equivalent of 37,678 fulltime employees. Now, somehow, it takes 41,139 to provide virtually the same services. That is the number included in the governor’s budget.
Outrageous. Ridiculous. Irresponsible. All of the above. But state legislators have not yet revealed an alternative, at least to the public.
So much is wrong with the governor’s budget proposal that it is difficult to know where to begin in picking it apart. But that is why legislators were elected – to turn West Virginia around.
It is not happening. Is there a single Mountain State resident – outside state government, that is – who does not see what needs to be done?
Spending needs to be cut responsibly, by about 10 percent. It can be done. Ask any West Virginian – again, outside state government.
And that is the problem. West Virginia is being run for the government, not for the people.
In both the state Senate and House of Delegates, Republican leaders say they have realistic alternatives to the Tomblin budget. Presumably, they will be unveiled soon. Lawmakers are expected to begin focused work on the budget next week.
Structural spending cuts – in the jargon of politics, that means dramatic – allegedly are in the works.
Let us hope so.
Or rather, let West Virginians demand it be so.