CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, today issued this statement following Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s State of the State Address:
“West Virginia is facing serious challenges. Our economy is faltering and unemployment is rising to one of the highest rates in the country, due in large part to the collapse in the energy markets driven by President Obama’s War on Coal. It’s this economic assault, combined with decades of failed leadership and kicking problems down the road, that has brought us to the situation we’re currently in.
“Gov. Tomblin has proposed addressing the current holes in our budget with various tax increases and temporary measures. This approach simply will not solve the long-term problem. Across our state, families are making tough decisions to make ends meet. Just as they have been forced to tighten their belts, so should we. Our citizens did not cause the challenges we currently face, and before asking them to foot the bill to solve these problems, we need to take a close look at our budget and determine how much government we need and can afford. Our government should lead the way in tightening its belt. We must make our state government more efficient, cost-effective and devoted to doing a better job at those things that are truly government’s role.
“The bottom line is, if we truly want to turn our economy around and address our budget challenges, we should focus on implementing policies that create jobs. If we can help grow and attract businesses, we will be able to put more of our citizens to work and kick-start our economy.”