Fix the Roads!
What We're Up Against
Every day, we ask West Virginia voters what they would do if they were Governor. The number one answer is to end election buying and corruption in our state government.
Number two? “Fix the roads.”
- Shift decision-making power from political appointees in Charleston to engineers and local leaders.
- Update the funding formula, road construction priorities, and maintenance plan –and stick to them.
- Return to the days when accountable, in-state, middle class, union workers are doing the work.
- Over the last decade, the state has depressed wages, cut jobs, and shifted more work to slower, costlier, less accountable contractors. It is time to return to a system where we are preferencing maintenance, doing more work in-house, spending less on renting equipment it would be cheaper to buy, and paying union workers a decent wage. Highway workers should make a minimum of $15/hour starting salary, and have a competitive pay scale and tenure program in line with the schedule proposed by the UE Local 170 workers and passed by the legislature–but never implemented. We must also reinstate the prevailing wage, and ensure civil service protections to guard the wages and benefits of all workers and to ensure the quality of all work.
- Pass a Wealth Tax to stimulate road work now, and close the funding gap long-term. We have to stop funding our roads with taxes and fees. Part of our platform is a penny wealth tax on West Virginians with more than $2 million in assets–A proportion of those funds will go toward road work to start closing the gap.
- Tax the trucks. Large trucks do a disproportionate amount of damage–one large truck does the same damage as about 9,600 cars; these trucks do nearly all non-weather-related damage–and should therefore pay for the damage they do.
- Start a state-level Office of Public Transportation that is responsible for coordinating state, county, and local efforts to improve public transportation.
No one politician or slate of candidates can win this plan alone. We need you.
If you have an idea for how to make this plan stronger, or if you would like to lend a hand to win it, contact our co-chair Stephen Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.