WHEELING - Republican West Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney presented his "Blueprint for a Brighter Future" to supporters in Wheeling Thursday night.
Maloney addressed a group gathered at Artworks Around Town as part of the "A Penny for Your Thoughts" candidate series hosted by the Ohio County Republican Party.
"To me, it's simple," he said. "In West Virginia, we need more jobs and to reform our courts."
CANDIDATE FOR GOVENOR — Bill Maloney, Republican candidate for governor in West Virginia, speaks as part of the “A Penny For Your Thoughts” political series Thursday in Wheeling. -- Joselyn King
Maloney's blueprint for the state includes:
Create new jobs in West Virginia - Maloney suggests private investments would be encouraged by fixing the state's "unfair and regressive tax structure," and by stopping lawsuit abuse. He added further development of the state's energy resources also is necessary.
Control government spending - Maloney calls for full transparency and documentation of state spending and the elimination of duplicative state agencies working on similar issues. He also believes additional oversight is needed on all state agency spending and contracts.
Clean up our government - Maloney seeks to prohibit elected officials from being involved in any legislation where a conflict of interest exists and to ban public officials from serving as vendors to the state.
Strengthen our education system - Maloney believes West Virginia should adopt a comprehensive approach to education reform that eliminates bureaucracies and raises teacher salaries as reward for improved performance. More money also should be invested in education by the state, he suggests.
Make West Virginia a healthier place to live - Maloney says West Virginia should strengthen the emphasis on outdoor activity in the state and enhance its prevention and wellness programs. Substance abuse prevention efforts should be extended.
He also said West Virginia should work to increase and promote the use of public/private partnerships, as well as faith-based initiatives.
Maloney, a mining engineer, was asked if he knew just how much metallurgical coal lies in the state's reserves. He answered he has heard the state has as much as 200 years worth of supply.
"I don't know how many billions of tons we have left of good coal - the trouble is the cost to get to it," Maloney said.
He also was asked how he responds when someone tells him there is no such thing as "clean coal."
Maloney said he can point to a number of newer coal-burning plants - such as the Longview Power Plant in his hometown of Morgantown - as examples of plants utilizing the best in technology and having very low emissions.
He added that while the issue of clean-coal technology is starting to attract more attention nationally, more education about its value is needed.