Much on plate for state legislators

West Virginia has a steep hill to climb this year, facing an expected deficit of hundreds of millions of dollars, a rocky economy, a polarized political landscape and an uncertain future.

The Legislature officially got to work last week with Gov. Jim Justice presenting his first State of the State Address on Feb. 8.

In the last few months, officials have been looking at various options in the hope of setting a path to success and prosperity. Recently, legislators and others met with journalists from across West Virginia to discuss some of the ideas, including tax reform, changes to the education system and even the possibility of legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana.

We don’t know what legislation will actually make its way through the process and onto the governor’s desk. We are sure there will be much debate, though, as legislators work to find what they feel will be the best road to take.

Already some cuts have been made to staffing levels, vehicles and other expenses, but those are all relatively small adjustments to make, considering what the state is facing.

We urge West Virginia’s elected leaders to carefully consider all of their options when casting their votes. Think about the impact on the entire state, not just your corner of it.

We also encourage the state’s residents to pay attention to what is going on during the session. Learn about the various pieces of legislation being proposed, what changes are made and who is providing support. Take time to contact your lawmakers and voice your opinion.

This is a session where every state resident will be affected in some way by the legislators’ decisions.

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