Charleston, WV - Delegate Joshua Higginbotham (R-Putnam) today announced plans to forgo his legislative pay for the 1st Extraordinary Session of 2017 and donate that money to the Higginbotham Family Scholarship Fund, a fund which provides scholarships to graduating West Virginia seniors as they embark on college.
West Virginia law does not provide a way for lawmakers to forgo a salary outright, so the decision to donate the money to this particular cause was an easy one for the youngest current lawmaker in the West Virginia Legislature.
“I am fortunate to be in a position where I am able assist my community in a variety of ways, including, through legislation and policy making or by providing scholarships to deserving students,” said Delegate Higginbotham. “The fact that I am merely a few years older than many of the students who would receive this scholarship money, it is easy for me to see and understand how hard the state makes it for our youth and thus do what I can to provide relief.”
The fiscal year starts on July 1, 2017 and the budget passed by the Legislature this past week maintains the operation of state government for the next year with many of the essential services for the citizens of West Virginia intact. Had the Legislature failed to pass a budget, state employees would have faced an uncertain future and state institutions, including those of higher learning and the scholarship programs associated, would have been in flux until a compromise was reached.
“Simply put, donating my Special Session pay to help young people afford a college education is the right thing to do,” Delegate Higginbotham said. “It would be extremely hypocritical of me to take this money from the State of West Virginia while we ask state agencies and institutions to tighten their belts and ‘live within their means’.”