A Time To Be Thankful
This Thanksgiving, I am reflecting on this past year. November 1 marked my sixth-month mark of working with Cardinal. I am thankful for the experience these past months of working with a great team that is laboring to bring prosperity to West Virginia.
I’ve been able to see up close how good public policy can change lives for the better. The Hope Scholarship empowers parents to choose the best education options for their children. The largest tax break in West Virginia history is putting millions of dollars back into the pockets of Mountaineers and their communities.
Just as good policy can improve lives, so also can bad policy cause great harm. Certificate of Need laws keep healthcare costs high and also lead to fewer healthcare providers overall – especially in rural areas. I’m thankful to have a clearer picture of how these policies impact our lives.
Giving Thanks For Tax Cuts
This year, the Cardinal Institute was able to contribute toward the largest tax cut in West Virginia history. For Mountaineers in 2024, this cut meant “a 21.25 percent reduction in the personal income tax rates, a full rebate on the car tax, the 50 percent rebate for small businesses on their machinery and inventory tax and a tax credit for disabled veterans on their personal income taxes on a homestead.”
To make this change a reality, Cardinal helped by starting a campaign to educate voters on the benefits of tax cuts. This was done through a social media campaign, op-eds in both local and national media, and blog posts. All with the goal of bringing Mountaineers together to pressure our lawmakers to make the first tax cut in West Virginia since the 1980s.
For our efforts, the Cardinal was voted by our members of other state policy think tanks to win a Bob Williams for Biggest Home State Win. We received the award this past August at the State Policy Networks Annual Meeting.
The Hope Scholarship Is Helping West Virginia Families
Our team is seeing all the hard work on the Hope Scholarship pay off. We run a Facebook group to help parents navigate the application process for the Hope Scholarship. Parents are also finding it a useful resource for exchanging feedback about which providers are most useful as they plan their children’s education. As of now, we are just shy of 1,600 members.
In January, our team is going back to Morgantown to host another School Fair. This fair is in celebration of National School Choice Week which is time to support parents as they choose the best education options for their kids. Our goal is to help families in the greater Morgantown area learn about their education choice options. If you’re in the area on January 27th, then please stop by!
We are also excited to see that West Virginia is having a second School Fair. Our friend, Jamie Buckland with WVFUE is hosting the Beckley School Fair on January 20th. It’s exciting to see education choice celebrations take off around West Virginia!
Thankful To Be Building The West Virginia Miracle
I am thankful to see how our work is making the West Virginia Miracle a reality. Gratitude is a key element to living a meaningful life. Both religious tradition and modern research admonish us to practice gratitude. Showing gratitude leads to a longer, happier life and improves relationships. The study suggested that managers who thank their staff often see harder work from them as well. As we end 2023, I invite you to join me and the rest of the Cardinal team in celebrating the year’s wins while also anticipating new heights for the West Virginia Miracle in 2024.
Nate Phipps is the Communications & Social Media Associate for the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy.