May 08, 2015

Another installment

This week the topic at WV Public Broadcasting's The Front Porch is state tax reform. Producer Scott Finn once again tries to stir up stuff between Charleston Daily Mail columnist Laurie Lin and myself, although so far we've been pretty civil and subdued.

May 07, 2015

Two coal stories

As I've often stated here, I'm not one to fall for the whole right wing "war on coal" narrative." Having said that, I'm totally down with this Gazette editorial that highlights the unfair competition WV coal faces from operations on public lands in the western states.

SPEAKING OF COAL, here's another recent story about concerns about retiree health benefits promised by Consol. Could this be the next Patriot fight?

May 06, 2015

A little win for workers

During the last legislative session, the newish Republican majority severely weakened WV's prevailing wage law by raising the threshold for projects to which it applies. By way of background, prevailing wage laws ensure that contractors working on public projects pay decent wages to workers.

Anyhow, the Kanawha County Commission voted to continue to support its prevailing wage policies at the previous level (it's near the bottom of the linked article). That's a win, albeit a small one, for local contractors, local jobs, and local workers. I'll take any win I can get these days.

ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD. Here's another take on the Republican efforts to overhaul the state tax system. 

May 05, 2015

Gotta love this

Regular readers will be aware that tax reform is on the legislature's agenda in West Virginia. My main hope is that the newish Republican majority doesn't go Kansas by pushing irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthy and trashing schools and public investments.

Naturally, I was delighted when I saw this item from that state. Apparently Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who has slashed millions from education funding, went into a restaurant in Topeka. When he got the bill, in the place where the tip amount should go the waitress wrote "Tip the schools."

Apparently, the hashtag #TipTheSchools is catching on. Or trending, in the parlance of our times. I hope it goes viral.

May 04, 2015

A taxing day

Comprehensive tax reform is on the top of the to-do list of the newish Republican WV legislature. Today, the joint committee charged with coming up with a plan listened to reports on past reform efforts.

(I can personally attest to this because I sat there from around 8:30 to 3:30 watching and listening to the proceedings. I must admit having to stand up toward the end to avoid falling asleep and drooling on myself, which probably would have been bad.)

 I just hope that whatever winds up happening is less bad than what is happening in Kansas, where irresponsible tax cuts are gutting education and essential investments. I think the Charleston Gazette nailed it in this editorial on the subject.