Give Charleston pencil pushers some credit, they made a move last week, they tried to cut UI costs for state businesses by up to 25% next year – they repaid WorkForce West Virginia’s federal pandemic loan of $ 185 million before the end of the interest-free period. This was accomplished after $ 220 million was transferred to the state unemployment trust fund.
“This is going to be a massive cost cut for our West Virginia businesses, and I couldn’t be more proud of everyone who went out of their way to make this possible,” Governor Jim Justice said.
Other officials have made similarly positive statements.
“The governor and so many top economic officials in our state have spent a year and a half creating a blueprint to keep West Virginia on the move during the pandemic and beyond,” said the Virginia Department of Commerce Secretary -Western, Ed Gaunch. . “Now you see that this plan is executed to perfection and in this circumstance our business leaders will reap the rewards by being able to keep more of their hard earned money in their bank accounts. “
Even WorkForce West Virginia Acting Commissioner Scott Atkins said the move was a “win-win”.
But in the press release, officials congratulated themselves on doing exactly what taxpayers expect them to do, and for not spoiling everything this time around, there is no mention of the source of that $ 220 million. . Is this CARES law money? Was it money that came from the rapid return of our economy to relative normality? Did Babydog find it in the garden?
It’s always good to let the people of West Virginia know that the people who work for them are doing their jobs right, and we can’t blame those who decided to brag a bit about being right to pay off a loan on time. . (Which, to be clear, is not a reduction in costs, but an avoidance of an increase in costs). But given the shellgame that takes place regularly in Charleston, it will also be good to learn the details of that $ 220 million.