Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in his State of the State address in 2015 highlighted the elimination of the state’s business franchise tax, to encourage employers to invest in West Virginia. The governor also referenced job growth in the state that would reach 30,000 new jobs each year through 2018, while also speaking on the drug abuse problem and heroin rise in the state of West Virginia.
On that basis in his final State of the State address expect Gov. Tomblin to talk more about the job growth in the state. Expressing how many jobs had been created in the past year and what the creation of new jobs number total will be for this year. In the CPS employment survey West Virginia added 4,889 new jobs in 2015 falling 25,111 short which is significantly under the projected number of 30,000. It is important for the Marshall community because it means there has been a drop in jobs being created meaning less opportunities for students to stay in West Virginia. What is also expected tonight with the address besides jobs creation is the energy sector. According to West Virginia Metro News coal severance, oil and natural gas collections are down 30 to 50 percent from last year.
Gov. Tomblin big topic in the past year address about managing the budget will most likely be the same big topic spoken again tonight. There is a shortfall in the budget the same as 2015. WV Metro News reported in October that the governor announced a 4 percent budget cut for most agencies. It was projected that in 2016 the state would have a $250 million deficit in the fiscal year.
Balancing the budget is going to be a topic point in the State of the State address because of the projected deficit. The governor should include a clear-cut plan in the address. The shortfalls in the budget are presumed severe the governor needs to send a strong message of a confident plan as one of the points in the speech tonight. It is an important to the Marshall student body, faculty and administration because high education has seen significant cuts due to budgetary shortfalls by the state.
Another key topic Gov. Tomblin won’t skirt around the drug overdose and addiction problems facing the state. The governor’s assurance of how the state will continue to combat the issue should be expected in the annual address. This is a big issue in the state as President Obama visited Charleston, West Virginia to talk about the epidemic facing the state in October. In a report by Robert Wood Johnson and Trust for America’s Health it has been stated that West Virginia is the state with the highest rate of overdose deaths in the United States. Drugs have been affecting the Huntington area putting residents and the Marshall community in danger. Having a plan to combat this is important for curving the epidemic out of the Huntington area.
The drug overdose and addiction epidemic should have a big part in the governor’s State of the State address. Dr. Rahul Gupta told the Washington Times that there’s a limited offering of substance abuse programs provided in the state making it hard for those in poor regions of the state to get help. 34 deaths out of 100,000 West Virginias in a two-year span from 2011-13.
Gov. Tomblin has said in the upcoming year he wanted to identify more ways to enhance the states efforts.
Even though drugs and the budget deficit has the most likely chances of dominating the address. In the past year’s address, the governor also made note of the states infrastructure and how $48 million had been spent by the Divisions of Highways for resurfacing and bridge work. Gov. Tomblin said, “Our state’s highways and bridges are critical to our continued economic growth.” This idea of infrastructure can be expressed once again in the governor’s annual speech in the new year.
A final note of what to expect from the State of the State address is look back in the Gov. Tomblin administration and the accomplishments made while he has been governor. It is his final State of the State address its expected to be a strong stand tonight by the governor. What he has done to better West Virginia and what his plan is to continue forward to finish out his term. The Marshall community needs a plan and pointed strategy to combat the many problems facing the state in this new year.