FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A new television ad from the Republican Governors Association makes the ridiculous assertion that a bill making West Virginia a “national leader” (1) in addressing long-term debt should not have passed.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, working with a wide bipartisan majority in the Legislature, led the way in making our state the first in the country to deal with long-term liabilities called Other Post-Employment Benefits, or OPEB. The bill passed the state Senate unanimously, the House of Delegates 83-17 (with a majority of Republicans supporting the bill), and it brought positive national attention to West Virginia.
“This out-of-state group shows the same lack of understanding about West Virginia that New York native Bill Maloney does,” said Tomblin campaign spokesman Chris Stadelman. “Here in West Virginia, we work together to solve problems in bipartisan ways. Governor Tomblin has led that way in the past, and he will continue to work with Democrats and Republicans in the future to do what’s best for West Virginia.”
When the bill passed, Republican Delegate Erikka Storch said, “It helps satisfy the promises made by past Legislatures to retirees. For Ohio County, it was the best vote.”(2)
Even the conservative Charleston Daily Mail called the OPEB bill’s passage “important progress,” noting it will “further strengthen the state's standing with credit rating agencies.”(3)
Addressing the OPEB problem also helped county school systems, which could have been burdened with hundreds of millions of dollars in liabilities. The Fairmont Times-West Virginian said Governor Tomblin’s action would “mean a better-funded and stronger school system.”(4)
“Of course, we already know Bill Maloney doesn’t care about our schools, because he tried to avoid paying his personal property taxes that fund schools and said he would reject $400 million in federal education funding,” Stadelman said. “He has no plan to improve West Virginia, so he and his allies are using false attacks to tear down Governor Tomblin. Voters know the real story, and they will reject Bill Maloney and his out-of-state cronies again on Nov. 6.”
1-Times-West Virginian Feb. 22, 2012
2-Weirton Daily Times, Feb. 10, 2012
3-Daily Mail Feb. 9, 2012
4- Times-West Virginian Feb. 22, 2012