West Virginia Governor Jim Justice highlighted improvements in the state over the past seven years including in the areas of infrastructure, education, economic development, and budget stability. The governor then discussed a series of proposals regarding tax relief, hunger, education, workforce, state retirees, veterans, healthcare, substance abuse, public safety, foster care, and infrastructure.
Key Speech Highlights:
- Tax Cuts – Called for a 50 percent personal income tax reduction over three years.
- Hunger Relief – Recommended additional funding for food banks and establishing a new fund that food banks could draw from when they have a need.
- Education – Urged an increased focus on school safety, making school curriculums available online, added support for HOPE scholarships, and additional funding for higher education deferred maintenance.
- Workforce – Proposed a 5 percent pay raise for state workers; a $1,500 one-time payment for state retirees; increased minimum monthly payments for retirees over 70; and taking additional steps to address workforce challenges.
- Veterans – Called for providing a $5,000 incentive to any veteran who chooses to relocate and stay in West Virginia for three years.
- Healthcare – Discussed the need for added support for crisis pregnancy centers and raising rates at in-state hospitals.
Other – Other proposals were focused on added support for substance abuse treatment programs; increased pay for corrections workers; new funding for state police forensic crime units; incentivizing foster care; continued support for infrastructure including roads and trails improvements; and expanding broadband.