By Delegate Todd Longanacre
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On Tuesday November 8th, the great folks of Greenbrier County West Virginia spoke loudly about what concerns them the most and what is more important to them and their families. It was not at all a surprise that the concerns of the vast majority of voters had absolutely nothing to do what some surveys may have told you. They do not want more aborted babies. They do not want closed coal mines or a pause in gas and oil exploration and production. They do not want employers forced to pay above and beyond what they can afford to pay employees. They do not want another layer of a drug problem with recreational pot, on top of the current problem we already want. They do not want the leftist-woke culture and race theory injected into their children’s brains via a taxpayer funded Education System. They do not want to normalize the abnormal or tolerate every single thing in society…particularly the intolerable. They do not want to tolerate the mutilation of mentally confused children during their “transition”. They do not want to be weak on crime and coddle criminals. They do not want forced COVID Vaccinations, among others. They do not want additional increases in the confiscation of their personal earnings. They do not want to be forced to purchase an electric car they cannot afford. To be perfectly clear…they do not want the kind of ideologies or policy initiatives that the Democrat Party has been peddling the past decade or more. Instead, the vast majority of West Virginia voters sent a strong message…they desire the traditional Republican Platform going forward. The reason is simple to understand for objective minded thinkers.
Over the past four years, while not a perfect party, the GOP has advanced legislation aimed at reducing overbearing regulations on our State’s employers and potential entrepreneurs who desire to start their own ventures. We have advanced initiatives to give parents more traditional options for their child’s education. The GOP understands that there exists no one-size-fits-all solution to educating our children. Some thrive in the Public System while many others fall through the cracks. Likewise, some do better than others in a private or charter school setting. The bottom line is options and diversity in Education is good for our State. I proudly fought for the Charter School Bill, the Hope Scholarship, for keeping young men from competing for college sports scholarships with our young women, and for increased Education Standards in our Public System. I am for an all-of-the-above approach to the Education experience in the Mountain State.
But that’s not all, while it did not pass, Republican members of the House of Delegates advanced legislation aimed at repealing the very unfair Certificate of Need requirement which I sincerely believe to be responsible for the current monopolizing of our rural healthcare facilities by WVU Medicine. Throughout American history, monopolies have not been good for consumers as they tend to be stuck with higher costs due to the lack of competition. I supported legislation to ban requiring COVID vaccinations as a requirement for work. I have also helped champion legislation designed to assist with our State’s shortage of nurses, as well has save infants such as the Second Chance at Life bill I co-sponsored in 2020 and the Abortion Ban of 2022 that I fought hard for in your House Health Committee.
The consequences of this legislation is easy to see. For the first time in my lifetime we have Budget Surpluses the past two fiscal years. While this is a good thing, there is also a negative side. A budget surplus simply means that the government has confiscated more of your personal earnings than what was required to fund the basic essentials of government. I will comment more on this later in this piece. Additionally, for the first time in decades Fortune 500 level corporations (read employers) are looking at the Mountain State with a new attitude. They see a State moving forward in a positive way instead of stuck in the eighty-year rut of the past. In time, even more out of State businesses will look our way to establish a footprint here. But we must be ready…
We must be ready with the labor force they need. We cannot continue to take the soft hand approach to drug addiction while arguing for the legalization of even more drugs, as some in the Democrat Party are doing. We must get tougher on this issue or we can expect no positive changes. We need to educate our kids to insure that they can read fractions on a tape measure and comprehend written instructions upon graduation from our Public K-12 System. Republicans do not wish to harm Public Ed. On the contrary, we want to acknowledge the problem with our State’s position on the National test score list and proactively take steps to fix it. Being last place in math, science, and reading comprehension is not good for attracting businesses and it is definitely a travesty for West Virginia kids. Teachers cannot continue to have their hands tied behind their backs by poor education standards and poor policy initiatives coming from Charleston, from the un-elected bureaucrats and so-called “experts” who we cannot fire and replace as needed. Their “expertise” is keeping us in last place in the Nation in education. Students cannot continue to be pushed through the system as cattle in order for Administrative leadership to boast about high graduation rates while good teachers privately suffer a feeling helpless to do anything about it. Our teachers, and especially our students, deserve better than what the State Department of Education is delivering. So…
I will continue to fight to improve our Public Education System with the bold change it needs. Additionally, I will continue to fight to give that surplus back to WV employers and employees alike, in the form of any and all tax repeal initiatives we can muster because they/you earned it. And I have voted for – and will continue to fight to improve – our State’s infrastructure to include funding for road maintenance and broadband internet.
In closing, I want to again thank the good people of Greenbrier County for trusting me to be your voice in Charleston. You did not vote for the status quo when you elected me. You elected someone to take up your concerns loudly, boldly, candidly and without sugar coating. You elected a full Republican slate in our County who collectively is ready and willing to advance an agenda that you desire for Greenbrier County, not one that a small fraction of people want because it may be trendy in California, Oregon, Maryland, Pennsylvania, or New York. This is Greenbrier County West Virginia. We are uniquely normal (think about that for a moment) and exceptionally different. I owe it to all of you to continue to Conserve our Country’s Founding Principles and advance solutions to the few issues still plaguing our beautiful County and State.
Delegate Todd Longanacre
District 47th, West Virginia House of Delegates