Lawmakers must live within a budget - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Lawmakers must live within a budget

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  • Wider lens necessary for effective education

    Wider lens necessary for effective education

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 10:00:24 GMT
    We say it often, but if West Virginia is going to reach its enormous potential, we will need a dynamic, robust educational system that challenges and prepares our people for the rigors of life in the 21st century.
    We say it often, but if West Virginia is going to reach its enormous potential, we will need a dynamic, robust educational system that challenges and prepares our people for the rigors of life in the 21st century.
  • Can we be realistic on roads?

    Can we be realistic on roads?

    Friday, July 18 2014 7:00 AM EDT2014-07-18 11:00:54 GMT
    Building and maintaining roads should not be a political issue. In fact, it should be pretty straightforward. Potholes need filled, drainage ditches need cleaned, the highways need striped — while it might be painstaking and expensive, the overall concept is pretty simple.
    Building and maintaining roads should not be a political issue. In fact, it should be pretty straightforward. Potholes need filled, drainage ditches need cleaned, the highways need striped — while it might be painstaking and expensive, the overall concept is pretty simple.
  • Looking the other way perpetuates criminal politics

    Looking the other way perpetuates criminal politics

    Friday, July 11 2014 10:46 AM EDT2014-07-11 14:46:55 GMT
    Former Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for his role in a political scheme that has dominated headlines for nearly a year and shined a bright light on one part of the state’s tangled web of public corruption.
    Former Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for his role in a political scheme that has dominated headlines for nearly a year and shined a bright light on one part of the state’s tangled web of public corruption.

The picture being painted concerning our state's finances is not pretty. We hear that every year and it's mostly hot air, but this year, the outlook is particularly bleak. The state Budget Office is predicting a multi-million dollar shortfall. Part of the dynamic is the fact that Lottery revenues could be significantly lower than in previous years.

As casinos in other states come on line, our gambling industry is going to take a serious hit. We knew this day was coming, and we can hope that our elected officials — those who control the public purse — have planned accordingly. We all know that's unlikely. As we said in this space last week, our elected leaders need to take a close look at our state's budget and make sure taxpayers are getting the biggest bang for their buck. This may not be an easy process, but we need a full and clear picture of what our finances are and how we can best use our limited resources. New taxes (or fees, as they are sometimes called) are simply not an option. 

Our lawmakers need to diversify our state's economy and do what every family in this state does — find out how much money they have and live within a budget.