Government, The Braxton Democrat

Legislative Update… By Lori Dittman WV House of Delegates 63rd District

West Virginia’s General Revenue collections for September 2023 were $659.3 million, exceeding the estimate by $210 million. This was due to strong consumer performance. Year-to-date collections are $1.165 billion.
During interim meetings, there was discussion about West Virginia having one of the lowest workforce participation rates in the US. Senator Rollan Roberts suggested that the calculation of the rate makes it artificially low.
Roberts and Workforce West Virginia have asked the Bureau for Business and Economic Research at West Virginia University to find the true rate, excluding those unable to work due to age or disability. By removing residents over 75 years of age and those that are disabled and unable to work, West Virginia’s labor force participation rate is close to 75%. The state has an older population and the largest disability rate per capita in the country. Finding the true workforce participation rate will provide a clearer understanding of how-to better address workforce participation.
The Sutton Fall Festival is Saturday, October 7th. At last year’s festival, I tried a deep-fried Twinkie which was a delightful surprise for the palate.
Among the events is a cornhole tournament to benefit the Braxton County Middle School Knight’s wrestling program. Registration starts at 10:00 am in downtown Sutton. What better way to celebrate the fall season than with a fall festival?
On a personal note, I spent Saturday with friends and family members celebrating the marriage of Cody Dobbins and Kassidy Heavner at Holly Gray Park. The ceremony and reception were beautiful. One of the special moments the “anniversary dance” where married couples were asked to take the dance floor. The couples were eliminated based on how many years they had been married. Four couples married 50 years or more remained, and one couple had been married for over 60 years. They were each asked what helped them stay together. Answers ranged from patience, forgiveness, and understanding, to having the right attitude. I appreciate them sharing how we can get along better in our relationships. I also want to wish a lifetime of happiness to Cody and Kassidy.
I took more away from that anniversary dance than marriage longevity. The relationship-strengthening tools should apply to our interactions with everyone we know…family, friends, work colleagues, and those we encounter casually. As I read about the struggle our national legislators had in reaching a budget agreement to avoid a government shutdown, I thought how much better those negotiations would be if those same tools were applied. Patience, forgiveness, understanding and a good attitude would go a long way. Those are all tools I have tried to employ in my role as a delegate and hope others, from both sides of the aisle, will do the same.
“Having a positive attitude isn’t wishy-washy, it’s a concrete and intelligent way to view problems, challenges, and obstacles.” (Jeff Moore)
I look forward to hearing from people in the district and hope to see you out and about enjoying all the great things our area has to offer. I can be contacted at [email protected] or 304-701-8600.