Perdue offers outline to create jobs, improve education, strengthen public safety and impact quality of life of families
Asks citizens to weigh in with ideas at www.johnperdue.com/ideas
State Treasurer John Perdue today began a series of town hall meetings and began discussing how he will approach critical issues as governor. Perdue began his tour with a stop in Princeton and invited citizens to read about his plan and offer their own suggestions at www.johnperdue.com .
"As Governor, I will focus on three broad areas I am calling the "West Virginia Triangle." The triangle represents three major areas I will focus on as governor: Jobs and the Economy, People and Public Safety, and Improving Education," Perdue said. "I will lead our state to make smart decisions about how to invest the current budget surplus, effectively use the revenue from the Marcellus Shale exploration and rollback and freeze utility rate increases that are killing our economy."
Perdue said, "It's time we got to work. The people of West Virginia understand the importance of job creation, public safety and education and they deserve a state government that is focused on these priorities. No more excuses. No more delays. It is time for action."
Perdue said revenue to fund his plans will come from the current budget surplus and from anticipated revenue from the huge Marcellus Shale natural gas find.
"As State Treasurer, I've played a role in the effective management of state government so we have a surplus. We've stopped those who wanted to invest state funds in the stock market and, as a result, West Virginia is in a position to move aggressively forward while other states struggle," Perdue said. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and West Virginia is at a crossroads. I want to manage our finances conservatively, invest wisely in job creation, public safety and education and improve the quality of life of every family in West Virginia."
Perdue released some details about his plan including:
CREATING THE WEST VIRGINIA SMALL BUSINESS BANK: "Small businesses are struggling because the big banks and Wall Street have choked off credit to small businesses. I will propose creating a Small Business Bank and seeding it with $50 million from the state and a similar amount through inducing private institutions and investors to participate. The bank should be managed by an independent board of experienced professionals who are insulated from political influence. This bank can be a job creating engine for West Virginia." Perdue said.
FREEZE AND ROLLBACK UTILITY INCREASES: "Utility rate increases are out of hand. I want to freeze utility rates and put pressure on the utility companies to rollback excessive utility rate increases. Families and small businesses in West Virginia are being assaulted by these rate increases and on my watch that's going to stop. I will also appoint members to the Public Service Commission who are sensitive to the needs of the people and small businesses of West Virginia," Perdue said.
IMPROVING EDUCATION: "The future of West Virginia rests squarely on the quality of the education of our people and the skills of our workforce. I want to establish the West Virginia Teachers Corps, which will recruit high performing, high school and college students to careers in teaching. I also want to fully fund a statewide virtual school to offer Internet and satellite courses in subject areas where there are teacher shortages and access problems. We should provide our educators with the funds they need to do their job, reduce their paperwork and then get out of the way and let them teach."
RETURNING A PORTION OF MARCELLEUS SHALE REVENUE TO TAXPAYERS: "West Virginia has the ability to reap more than $6 billion from the Marcellus Shale. I support a plan to return a portion of those proceeds directly to state taxpayers either through a tax break or a dividend check similar to what is done in Alaska."
HELP SENIORS GET THE HELP THEY NEED: "I will expand and promote AARP Foundation's Helpline Program, which is a toll free number so that seniors in crisis can access medication, utilities and groceries," Perdue said.
Perdue said he would be talking about his ideas across the state as a way to spur West Virginians to share their ideas, hopes and dreams with him.
"The people of West Virginia deserve the very best," Perdue said. "This plan is only the beginning. I am hopeful that the people of West Virginia will share their ideas with me so I can make them part of my plan."
Perdue said people can go to his website at www.johnperdue.com and fill out a simple form to bring their ideas to his attention.