Delegate Brian Kurcaba, R-Monongalia, said he is taking steps to demand the improvement of the state’s roadways.
By introducing several pieces of legislation to address individual issues with findings in the Department of Highways audit, Kurcaba said he hopes the DOH can begin the extensive process of fixing the roads.
“Now that we have evidence to show these issues, I think the public demands they be addressed,” Kurcaba said.
Beginning to address the issues, Kurcaba is introducing a series of four bills this session.
The first bill would address the problem within the DOH’s hiring process. Kurcaba said the DOH audit found prospective employees must receive 13 approval points before being hired, and the bill would work to streamline the process.
The second bill would be to charge the DOH to come up with a formula to allocate state and federal funds to districts for the benefit of the counties. The formula would allocate money on a per county basis, taking into account population, road miles in a county, road miles traveled, and heavy truck miles traveled in the counties.
“The Legislature would sign off on that formula after it was created,” he said.
The third bill is in response to constituent concerns that the DOH be more accessible to the people. It would task the DOH with creating a robust communications system, where they would communicate plans for each county ahead of time and charge them with creating a system to better handle relationships with the public.
The last bill would require the DOH to develop performance standards and criteria for all agency projects and functions. The audit found the DOH did not have a mechanism in place to develop performance standards or to measure the agency’s progress toward reaching acceptable levels of performance. This bill would also require the division to employ a management information system that would track the division’s past and current progress toward meeting performance standards.
While Kurcaba said there is no question the DOH needs increased revenue, before that, the department should be addressing these issues.
“These bills are generally to get more accountability of the government to the people, and to create more transparency,” Kurcaba added.