For the Cumberland Times-News
KEYSER, W.Va. — Republican members of the West Virginia House Committee on Roads and Transportation are traveling to Richmond to speak with Virginia Speaker of the House William Howell about highway innovations and cost-saving measures that Virginia is implementing.
The committee, which consists of Delegate Gary Howell of Mineral County, Minority Chairman Daryl Cowles of Morgan County and Delegate Paul Espinosa of Jefferson County, believes that West Virginia’s Blue Ribbon Highway Commission has failed to look at cost-saving measures, innovation and elimination of waste.
The commission recommended increasing taxes in the form of increased motor vehicle fees and increased tolls on roads.
“Every dollar we save builds more roads, fixes more potholes and installs more guardrails without digging deeper into the pockets of working West Virginians and our retired citizens,” said Howell. “Republican legislators are working to cut costs, assisting our fellow West Virginians by helping to lessen their tax burden instead of increasing it as the Blue Ribbon Commission recommends.”
Committee members are traveling at their own expense and will travel to the Virginia state capital Wednesday.
“We see Virginia addressing many of the same highway construction, maintenance and funding problems we face in West Virginia,” said Cowles.
“The difference is they came up with common-sense, cost-saving solutions. Some are ideas that may work here, ideas that the Blue Ribbon Commission failed to consider.”
Espinosa said adopting Virginia’s best practices could help West Virginia save money.
“It is said that changing your attitude can make a big difference in how you approach a solution to a problem, said Espinosa.
“Virginia looks at business and job creation as a top priority and it shows on how they are solving problems.”