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Spotlight: West Virginia State Legislation

By Patrice Mitchell
On February 24, 2016

        With the 2016 Presidential election coming up this November, and primaries happening now throughout the country, state politics often take a backseat to the pageantry of the national campaigns. Although being informed about and attentive to national politics, the state and local government deserve equal attention. The legislation set forth by our elected state officials directly impacts our communities. 

    When Governor Tomblin gave the final State of the State address early this year, he spoke about there needing to be a reinvestment in West Virginia. The state currently sits on a budget deficit gap of 388 million dollars for 2016, and 417 million for 2017.

    The diminishment of coal communities, such as Welch and War in Mcdowell County, has left the state with pockets of poverty that continues to grow with the continued loss of jobs throughout the entire state. 

    The Republican Party gained control of the West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates for the first time in over 80 years during the last election cycle. The historic election put a spotlight on how the state has shifted in social and economic issues. While having a majority Congress will allow for more legislation to be heard and voted on, it also invites biases. 

    There have been many controversial bills introduced in this legislative session that could possibly have major impacts on the infrastructure in West Virginia.

With the decline of coal  throughout the state over the past three decades, and a steady loss of jobs, West Virginia residents desire change. It is unlikely that coal will ever reach the production highs of past generations. New, fresh ideas that put West Virginia families back to work is how the state moves forward.

    The Millennial Generation of West Virginian faces many obstacles. From a withering job market that lacks in diverse industries, to a growing drug epidemic, retention rates for college graduates in the Mountain state are low due to low confidence in a prosperous future in West Virginia

    In order for this state to move forward,  changes have to happen in many different areas. Being informed about what issues the state is facing, as well as which issues our elected officals are legislating, is the start of creating movement of evolution in West Virginia. 


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