How Can We End West Virginia's Budget Standoff?

May 20, 2016

It's the good, the bad, and the ugly at the West Virginia Legislature as they debate the budget in special session.

Can the West Virginia Legislature balance the state budget?

The constitution requires it, but that answer remains very much in doubt as we record this week's Front Porch Podcast.

Listen as we debate how we got here, how we may get out - and how liberal Democrats and Tea Party Republicans are becoming strange bedfellows in the House.

Also, we continue "The Struggle to Stay" series with an interview with Amanda Cadle. She's a young woman from Putnam County who grew up on a small family farm. She says staying here is a choice - one her own parents faced when she was growing up.

Cadle wrote this message to us when she asked to join the program:

I grew up in Leon in Mason County on a family farm that has been passed down for over a hundred years. My brothers and I are the 7th generation to work and farm the same land.

However, being a small family farm my dad had to have a 'real' job to provide for us and pay the bills. When I was three years old he got a job with an environmental company and for 10 years he was gone for 3-5 weeks and home for 5 days.

The following 15 years he was only home on the weekends or every third weekend. He has worked in New York, to Florida, to Texas, California, and even Alaska. But never in West Virginia. The closest he has ever worked was in Athens, OH.

People always asked my parents, "why don't you just move? It would be so much easier."

But we didn't want to move. West Virginia is home and we chose to pay any price to keep our family farm.

Instilled with a deep love for my state, yet a curiosity to travel, I wanted to go far away to college. So I moved to Tulsa, OK and got my degree in government/international relations from Oral Roberts University. While a student there I got to travel abroad and across the US, expanding my horizons and growing as a person.

But West Virginia was calling.

When I graduated I had multiple job offers in Tulsa and other cities and states, yet I turned them all down so I could come back here to work in my community to try to make a positive difference. I've probably missed out on a lot of things I could have had if I chose to stay out of state, but that's not important to me.

I don't want people to have to chose success or to stay here with their family, I want for future generations to have success right here at home.

To me it's not a struggle, I'm not tempted to leave. It's a choice. My parents did it in their own way, and now I'm finding my own way. It can be done.