Now is not the time to point fingers; it’s about putting West Virginia first. It’s time for new leadership that will rebuild West Virginia after the coronavirus subsides.
As governor, I will always listen to the medical experts and our frontline workers and not special interest groups.
Here is my plan:
Increase Testing in WV
--We need to significantly ramp up testing to keep people safe and responsibly reopen our state and keep it open.
--Increase the capacity to do all our own testing and contracting with West Virginia companies.
--Keep the state lab open 24/7 to speed up results.
--Increase testing in every county across the state.
--Increased testing and communication in the minority communities that are being disproportionately affected by the virus.
--Implement a PPE manufacturing tax break to attract jobs and make PPE products in WV.
--Build a state stockpile of PPE so we aren’t caught flat-footed again.
--Make sure West Virginia’s frontline workers have access to PPE.
Spend Every Penny of Federal Relief In West Virginia
-- WV received $1.25 billion in federal relief funding. WV companies and workers are given priority for relief funds.
-- Build the capacity so that every test is processed in state.
-- Develop a plan with legislators, county commissioners, and mayors to use relief funds wisely.
--Upgrade the system at Workforce WV to speed up the processing of unemployment claims.
--Reform workplace safety standards to combat COVID-19.
--Set up a system at Workforce WV to return calls.
--90-Day grace period for utilities and mortgage payments.
--Expedited processing of federal relief money.
--12 weeks of paid family leave.
--Free childcare for first responders and frontline workers.
Support Small Businesses
--Establish a small business emergency fund. Help the business left behind by Washington to stay afloat with bridge loans.
--Implement a micro-loan program (similar to the UKAN program) to help existing businesses re-open their doors.
--Put in place incentives for any new telework job moving to West Virginia.
--Provide business coaches, free of charge, to any West Virginia businesses that need help navigating available resources.
Access to Healthcare
--Protect rural hospitals from closing. See our rural hospital rescue plan here.
--Increase telemedicine options for all West Virginians.
--Build small format hospitals in rural areas with 25 beds.
--Testing of daycare workers, front line employees and nursing home residents.
-- All federal and state relief money administered will be displayed in real time on a public website.
--Listen to the medical professionals.
--Establish emergency relief fund for future emergencies.
--Maintain the COVID-19 response task force with regular updates.
--Give Hero Pay to all first responders. Including, firefighters, police, EMTS, 911 dispatchers, sheriff’s deputies, sanitation workers, janitors, and everyone on the front lines.
--Hero Grant funding for volunteer fire departments to spend on supplies fighting the pandemic.
--Establish a death benefit for the family of any frontline worker lost due to COVID-19.
--Recruit first responders across West Virginia.