The Path to Prosperity

Americans for Prosperity-West Virginia’s Path to Prosperity is a bold guide showing how lawmakers can rapidly turn West Virginia into a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

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Path to Prosperity 2020 PDF

Despite steps in the right direction, Mountaineers still live in a two-tiered society where our political and economic system are often rigged.

Too many West Virginians still face significant barriers to opportunity that limit them and their families from reaching their full potential.

We know what works. Instead of top-down ideas, bottom-up approaches that empower individuals to find and enact solutions are more practical and effective.

Americans for Prosperity is committed to bringing people together to change our public policies and government for the betterment of all Americans. Our mission to unite with anyone to help eliminate barriers that are holding people back enables us to address the greatest challenges our state and society face.

Our Path to Prosperity is a guide that embodies bottom-up solutions and is dedicated to creating an even playing field for everyone. We invite anyone who shares our vision to work with us and help make the changes our state deserves.

Join the fight to help all Mountaineers reach their potential!

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West Virginia First Step Act: Reform the Outdated and Unfair Criminal Justice System

West Virginia’s criminal justice system is spinning its wheels. The policies we have on the books just aren’t working. We’re sticking people who’ve made mistakes in a cycle of poverty and recidivism that neither they, nor the taxpayers footing the jail bill, can escape. As President Trump did with his First Step Act on the federal level, it’s time to take a smarter approach to crime that is proven to work and gives our fellow West Virginians who’ve paid their debt to society a shot at a second chance.

Mandate Reporting of All Civil Forfeitures

2020 Priority
For too long, our civil asset forfeiture laws have harmed the due process and property rights of West Virginians. Current law incentivizes authorities to seize and permanently take property without convicting anyone of a crime. Property owners have to prove their innocence to recover their possessions, flipping our justice system on its head. What’s more, law enforcement gets to keep the proceeds of their forfeitures, which motivates them to continue doing this. This practice demands oversight, yet our state makes no information on civil asset forfeiture publicly available. Lawmakers must demand thorough, public reporting on every forfeiture in West Virginia.

Bail Reform

2020 Priority
Forcing someone to post bail or stay in jail before trial, even when they pose little flight risk or danger, is both unfair and impractical. Making bail is a huge financial barrier for many low-income families—people stuck in jail for financial reasons, for even as little as two or three days before trial, can cause people to lose their jobs and have their worlds turned upside down. If someone isn’t a threat to society, we shouldn’t ruin their lives just because they don’t have a lot of money.

End driver’s licenses suspensions for non-driving related offenses

2020 Priority
A driver’s license is critical to accessing one’s livelihood—suspending or revoking one is a serious matter. We don’t make West Virginia safer by forcing people to choose between breaking the law and continuing to get to work and provide for their families when traffic safety isn’t in question. It’s time to stop suspending West Virginians’ driver’s licenses for non-driving related offenses.

Expand Expungement Eligibility for Those Found Not Guilty, Who Had Charges Dropped, Or Were Never Charged After an Arrest

2020 Priority
People who are found not guilty of a crime, or were arrested or charged only to have those charges dropped, should not be burdened with the stigma of a criminal background.

Keep Government Within Its Means

Special interests can afford lobbyists to influence lawmakers on their behalf—but the average person doesn’t have this luxury. Over time, this has led to a system that is rigged against you. This is wrong. That’s why our organization is fighting every day to change the paradigm, end cronyism, lower tax burdens, and refocus government to its proper role.

Reject Tax Hikes, Spending Increases, and Budget Gimmicks

2020 Priority
We know fiscal responsibility works. Struggling West Virginians cannot afford tax hikes to pay for out-of-control spending outside of the proper role of government. Let’s have government live within its means and do what’s right for all Mountaineers by rejecting tax hikes, spending increases, and budget gimmicks.

End Corporate Welfare Schemes like Greyhound Racing Subsidies and Tax Credits for Hollywood Movie Producers

2020 Priority
Government shouldn’t be picking economic winners and losers. It’s time for lawmakers to end the cronyism and corporate welfare that sees ordinary West Virginians subsidizing those who don’t need it. We must rid the tax code of all special interest giveaways and end spending programs geared toward government-favored businesses and industries. Lawmakers should start with continuing to reject film tax credits for Hollywood and ending dog racing subsidies.

Like President Trump, Let’s Go Big on Tax Reform—West Virginia Should Eliminate the Personal Income Tax

Long Term Priority
As the president’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has proven, keeping more money in the pockets of hard-working West Virginians grows the economy by creating opportunities for individuals and families. Creating a better and more competitive tax structure for businesses and their employees will bring more jobs to the Mountain State.

Help West Virginians Pursue the American Dream

Government occupational licensing laws are supposed to ensure public health and safety, but more often than not, they only serve to keep hardworking folks from using their skills and talents to earn a living. We must eliminate these barriers that prevent people from practicing their occupation of choice.

Reduce Unnecessary Government Occupational Licensing Burdens

2020 Priority
West Virginians shouldn’t need approval from the government to work in certain fields. Unfortunately, West Virginia faces some of the most burdensome licensing regulations in the nation. These licenses are a barrier to opportunity for workers who want to enter and practice their occupation of choice, particularly hurting those workers in the trades or without a college degree. We should sunset and review all state licensures, through a lens of least restrictive means of regulation, to ensure we’re protecting the public, while putting a stop to overregulated occupations.

Further, if you’re licensed to do a job in another state, West Virginia should accept your credentials rather than charging you a fee and forcing you to receive training you’ve already complete elsewhere by adopting Universal Licensure Recognition.

Help Keep Government Transparent and Citizen- Focused by Creating a Legislative Independent Fiscal Office

2020 Priority
West Virginians deserve an economy that works for everyone—where every person can earn success and live a meaningful life. But too often, well intentioned rules and regulations that stand in the way of this are implemented without an accurate understanding of their real impact on everyday West Virginians’ lives and wallets. A Legislative Fiscal Office will empower lawmakers and citizens with unbiased knowledge of how regulations are currently impacting the state and will impact the state in the future.

Free Consumers and Entrepreneurs with the Consumer Choice Act

Long-Term Priority
Allowing consumers to access goods and certain services as they see fit is just common sense. Government should not stand in the way of our friends and neighbors making an honest living providing for others.

Get the Good Old Boy System Out of Health Care

We must empower people to succeed, contribute to their communities, and live meaningful lives. This requires a health care system that helps more people access better care at a lower cost – where health care providers compete to offer the best health care products and services at the best prices that meet the needs of patients. Unfortunately, many state and federal laws act as barriers to health care access and innovation.

Give Mountaineers Access to Cutting Edge Health Care by Expanding Telehealth Services

2020 Priority
One way to help providers effectively meet the needs of patients is to reform state regulations that prevent physicians and other health care providers from remotely delivering care through telehealth.

Eliminate the State’s Harmful Certificate of Need Law (CON)
Long-Term Priority

CON laws increase costs and hinder choice and access to health care for Mountaineers by forcing providers to satisfy outdated, government requirements before they can launch new facilities or services. This is a huge barrier for rural West Virginians who are struggling to access quality health care. It is time to eliminate these barriers to better health care.

Protect Free Speech

The free exchange of ideas is a hallmark of inalienable rights. Citizens’ ability to engage a diversity of voices and join together with each other drives progress. We’re protecting those rights for all West Virginians.

Protect Non-Profit Organizations from Harassment by State Government

2020 Priority
Americans’ ability to freely come together enables individuals to amplify their voices, raise awareness of issues they’re passionate about, and hold government accountable. Limiting the ability of people to choose how or if they share the causes they support or groups they join makes it harder for all people to engage in civic life. By adopting the Protect Our Right to Unite Act, state lawmakers can help ensure that right is protected for every Mountaineer.

Adopt Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) Laws

Long-Term Priority
Anti-SLAPP laws protect citizens from frivolous lawsuits that are intended to chill their speech. West Virginia should enact an anti-SLAPP law that establishes a process to give people the ability to more quickly have their case heard and allow judges to expedite a dismissal of these frivolous lawsuits.

Help Students Fulfill Their Potential

All children in our state deserve an educational opportunity that best meets their unique needs – one that embraces the freedom of innovation and the dignity of the individual. We must provide educators the freedom to provide innovative solutions to educate our children.

Expanding Educational Opportunities for Students, Families, and Educators

Long Term Priority
We believe all families must have the freedom to select educational options that meet the unique needs of their child – including public and private school, homeschool, virtual and micro-schools, a combination of these or methods yet to be developed.
We want to empower teachers to apply their own passions and aptitudes to help guide students along their journey of learning.
Educational opportunity must be available to all students, regardless of their zip code or income level.

Innovation Opens Doors and Minds

Educational innovation is about finding better ways to empower the classroom. Whether by cutting-edge technologies or individualized instruction, we support educational models that make learning more creative, more inspiring and simply more effective.

Bottom Line

Education is essential for people to transform their lives. All students should have an education that positions them for a successful life, but we need to reimagine our approach to K-12 education if we’re going to make that vision a reality.

Sign the Petition

Endorse West Virginia’s Agenda
The Mountain State has turned a corner, but we have many more steps to take to give West Virginians the greatest opportunity to reach their potential. It won’t happen overnight, but we believe in our state and we’re holding politicians accountable who defend the broken status quo. Sign here to endorse the Path to Prosperity!

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