Setting a good fiscal example

Give West Virginia legislators credit for, as they say, walking the walk as well as talking the talk. Even as they have demanded more fiscal discipline from state agencies during the past couple of years, they have imposed it upon themselves.

As House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, noted last week, the Republican majority that took power in 2015 has cut its own spending.

In 2014, the House had 49 full-time employees and 68 “per diem,” or part-time employees. This year, the numbers are 38 and 46, respectively. The House payroll has been cut by $550,000 a year during that same period.

Too often, legislators at all levels — local, state and national — view self-discipline as unnecessary. Their spending is but a tiny sliver of the total amounts their government bodies pay out, after all.

But House of Delegates members are right to understand the importance of setting an example — of being leaders in fiscal discipline as well as those who demand it of others. Good for them for adopting that attitude.


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