Mitch Carmichael: Here’s to putting an end to state's poverty
EACH legislative session begins with an optimistic vision for crafting the policies that are required to launch our state on a path of progress and prosperity.
Perhaps never more than in 2013 does this sense of opportunity pervade the halls of our state capitol. The 81st West Virginia Legislature offers the best potential in 80 years to correct the fundamental problems that cause our economy to be stagnant, jobs to be scarce, and our schools to underperform the nation.
These are exciting times to be a West Virginian. The voters of this great state have finally introduced a two-party system to the halls of state government.
This Legislature is the most balanced between Republicans and Democrats in over 75 years. In such an environment, the best ideas will be refined and perfected in a bipartisan manner with all sides at the table, rather than by arbitrary fiat of a super-majority party.
My hope is that every citizen will seize the moment with unbridled enthusiasm and an immediate sense of urgency. The condition in which we currently find West Virginia should spur every citizen to support fundamental and substantive reform.
Our people are among the poorest in the nation. West Virginia has among the highest percentage of people on public assistance of any state.
We have the lowest workforce participation rate in America. By virtually any measure of student achievement, West Virginia public schools are falling behind other states.
The facts that confront us in the results of independent studies dramatically point to a state in urgent need of reform. The incremental, go-slow approach is the equivalent of doing nothing.
Now is the time to take bold and courageous steps to enable free-market capitalism to generate prosperity and opportunity for our precious citizens.
The path to economic prosperity, job-creation, and improvement in student achievement is well known and documented. As America struggles against a president with a big-government, socialistic, over-regulating agenda, let us in West Virginia revitalize our freedom by returning control of public education to the local entities.
Let us energize the West Virginia economy by embracing the principals of free-market capitalism that has made America great.
Let us reform our judicial system and lessen the tax burden on citizens and corporations.
By so doing, the optimistic hopes of this 81st Legislature will be made manifest in families with the advantages of good-paying, private sector jobs and a new generation of West Virginia children who received a world-class education.
Carmichael represents the 4th Senatorial District, which includes all of Jackson and Mason counties and parts of Putnam and Roane.