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Is West Virginia Government Bloated? Take Our Quiz!


Just how much government can West Virginians afford?

That's the issue we're debating on The Front Porch podcast this week.

After a three-month standoff, the West Virginia Legislature has passed a budget, filling a $270 million hole with money from government cutbacks, rainy day funds, and a 65-cent increase in the tobacco tax.

But some Republicans are NOT happy. They think West Virginia’s state government is bloated. Despite three years of cuts, they believe more are necessary to bring West Virginia in line with national averages.

Take the quiz below to see how much you know about the size of West Virginia's state and local government. To see the answers, look at the bottom of this article.

Below are the answers to the quiz. Some of the per capita numbers come from a simple database analysis of the most recent available U.S. Census numbers.

Q. Where does WV rank in terms of state employees per person?

A: 8th

When you combine local and state employees, how does WV rank on number of employees per person compared to other states?

A: 18th

Q: When you look at how much is spent per person on state and local government employees, where does WV rank?

A: 38th

Q: How does WV rank in terms of state and local employee pay?

A: 49th

Q: Why does WV have more state employees than other states?

A: Rural areas are harder to serve, our state constitution has led to the state doing many things local governments do elsewhere (i.e. highways), a poorer population demands more services.

Subscribe to "The Front Porch" podcast on iTunes or however you listen to podcasts.

An edited version of “The Front Porch” airs Fridays at 4:50 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s radio network, and the full version is available above.

Share your opinions with us about these issues, and let us know what you'd like us to discuss in the future. Send a tweet to @radiofinn or @wvpublicnews, or e-mail Scott at sfinn @ wvpublic.org

The Front Porch is underwritten by The Charleston Gazette Mail, providing both sides of the story on its two editorial pages. Check it out: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/

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