Although the state weathered the recession better than many other states, problems remain. The state has above average pension obligations as well as liabilities for Other Post Employment Benefits, mainly health benefits for retirees.
The state's economy also is worrisome. Although West Virginians' per capita income ranking has moved up to 47th in the nation, poverty remains the state's biggest weakness.
"West Virginia's economic base has diversified," Fitch said," though significant exposure to the cyclical natural resources industry remains, particularly the weakened coal industry."
Changing the policies that contribute to poverty would make the biggest difference in the state's fortunes, and there seems to be little interest in doing that.
But make no mistake, the statehouse has to some extent changed its ways.
No longer is it run like California, Illinois and other places, where state government is expanded to fit the imaginations of state officials rather than the means of their citizens.