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The Path to Prosperity

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

Despite steps in the right direction, Mountaineers still live in a two-tiered society between the “haves” and “have nots.”

West Virginians still face significant internal and external barriers to opportunity that limit them and their families from reaching their potential.

For every barrier there is a special interest that benefits, and they fight to keep these barriers in place at the expense of West Virginians and their future. Mountaineers deserve better.

We know what works. Free market economic policies have lifted billions of people around the world out of poverty—one of the greatest humanitarian achievements in history.

Using these proven resources, we have a plan to quickly improve our state through this Pathway to Prosperity.

Keep Government Within Its Means

For far too long, state government tried to spend its way out of our economic problems. It didn’t work. All we had to show were budget shortfalls that crushed West Virginia taxpayers.

Things are changing. Now, our lawmakers are taking steps to protect taxpayers and rein in state spending. Keeping government within its means benefits us all!

Reject tax hikes, spending increases, and budget gimmicks

We know fiscal responsibility works. Struggling West Virginians cannot afford tax hikes to pay for out-of-control spending. Let’s do what right for all Mountaineers by rejecting tax hikes, spending increases, and budget gimmicks.

Like President Trump, let’s go big on tax reform

As the president’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has proven, putting more money back 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.

End corporate welfare

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 certain businesses or industries.

Pass a Taxpayer Bill of Rights for the state constitution

Policymakers should only hike taxes as an absolute last resort, and West Virginians deserve a safeguard from out-of-control spending. It’s high-time for a constitutional protection so taxpayers aren’t left holding the bag when spending gets out of control.

Eliminate the state’s harmful Certificate of Need Law (CON)

While well intentioned, CON laws increase healthcare costs and hinder access to life-saving innovations for Mountaineers by allowing government to limit the services of healthcare providers. It is time to eliminate these barriers to better healthcare.

Help West Virginians Pursue the American Dream

Occupational licensing laws are supposed to ensure 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.

Reduce unnecessary occupational licensing burdens

West Virginians shouldn’t need a permission slip from the government to work in certain fields. Unfortunately, West Virginia faces the 14th most burdensome licensing regulations in the nation.

Free consumers and entrepreneurs

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.

Outlaw state licensing boards from using taxpayer dollars to hire lobbyists

Occupational licensing boards should not be allowed to use our tax dollars to hire lobbyists to defend them and their interests. Meanwhile, the ordinary West Virginians victimized by these boards can’t afford lobbyists and often have no one to speak for them. This is terribly unjust.

Double Down on Worker Freedom

It’s time to double down on ensuring the rights of West Virginia’s workers are protected. Promoting free markets against overregulation at the hands of the government is a cornerstone of a free society. These steps will get us closer to a freer market and society.

Paycheck protection

Right now, employers can take money from employees’ paychecks for use in political ads that may not reflect the employees’ opinions. Forcing Mountaineers to contribute to any political cause is wrong!

Reform the Outdated and Unfair Criminal Justice System

End civil asset forfeiture

Currently, the government can legally seize and keep your property without the burden of proof of a crime. While initially well intentioned, this system is being abused in the Mountain State. It’s time we stand up for the property rights of ALL West Virginians.

Mandate reporting of all civil forfeitures

We know the civil forfeiture system is being abused, but, under current law, there is no requirement for the government to report the property it takes. Until our efforts to completely abolish civil asset forfeiture are completed, West Virginians deserve more transparency about how much the government is taking from citizens.

Reform mandatory minimums

These laws hamstring the judges you elect from being able to take a just approach to individual cases, oftentimes forcing non-violent, low-level offenders into an overly harsh sentence they do not deserve that leaves taxpayers to foot the bill. Under a fair and modernized criminal justice system, judges should have the ability to ensure that the punishment truly fits the crime.

Stopping lawsuit abuse

In 2018, West Virginia lost nearly 9,000 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in personal income due to excessive tort costs. It is imperative that we reform this system so that it restores much needed balance in our civil justice system.

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.

Protect freedom of speech

The free exchange of ideas is a hallmark of what makes America great. Unfortunately, this freedom is under attack. We must ensure that our students’ rights are safeguarded, especially on college campuses.

Expanding educational opportunities for students, educators

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 opportunity 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 has 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 Pathway to Prosperity!

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