Steve Roberts on Decision Makers
Click here to view West Virginia Chamber President Steve Roberts on the October 20th episode of Decision Makers. (Segments 3 and 4).
Steve Roberts: West Virginia Needs Better Roads, Jobs, Education
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce strongly believes West Virginia's future is tied closely to education enhancement, improving our jobs climate and the continued improvement of our infrastructure, primarily the maintenance and construction of our vitally important highway system.
Without a quality transportation system, our quality of life is severely limited.
During the past year, the Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways has sought out alternatives to the escalating cost of maintaining and further developing the state's 36,000 miles of state highways, which is the sixth largest state highway system in the nation.
Despite the very apparent need for significant improvements to our transportation system, the Chamber is understandably reluctant to support multiple new fees and taxes on the working men and women of the Mountain State.
Frankly, we view permanent new fees and taxes as only a last resort to be considered, and then, only if broad public support exists for increasing fees and taxes.
In the near term, the Chamber sees serious and immediate concerns.
Just as every family must prioritize its spending needs, West Virginia must prioritize and address its most urgent needs with an eye toward creativity, innovation, and in relation to the means employed by neighboring states.
The West Virginia Chamber's long term solution to this critical issue is - simple as it sounds - to grow the economy, which will create more revenue for all West Virginians.
State businesses are the engines of job creation, but sadly, West Virginia ranks last in the nation in the percentage of our population that currently works at a job. The revenue needed to improve our highway system will come as the economy grows and new jobs are created.
What will it take for our state's economy to grow?
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