Legal reforms deserve praise as WV improves
By Greg Thomas
February 11, 2022
Earlier this year, three major job announcements were made in West Virginia, representing thousands of new jobs being created and billions of dollars invested in our economy. This is great news for West Virginia families. For years, West Virginia was ranked last in workforce participation, and lost population.
For over a decade, West Virginia was the only state in the nation that was on the American Tort Reform Association’s Judicial Hellhole list, because our state’s legal system had such a bad reputation for being unfair. But the new leadership team in Charleston has turned West Virginia in a new direction — led by more conservative economic policies, including legal reform, labor reform and comprehensive education reform.
West Virginia has made major changes to our state’s legal system, and job creators are noticing. Legal reforms have brought real savings to West Virginia families. One recent study, done by the Perryman Group, shows that West Virginia now has the second-lowest “tort tax” in the nation, at $563.54. The tort tax is defined as the per capita loss of gross product in the state due to litigation costs.
But our work isn’t done yet. Major reforms have been made in the areas of legal, tax, labor and education reform, and those changes are seeing positive results in job creation. Gov. Jim Justice and our legislative leaders, including Senate President Craig Blair, RBerkeley and House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, deserve credit for many of these major reforms, and the successes resulting from these reforms. So, what is up next for West Virginia? It is time to double down on these reforms — more legal reform, labor reform, tax reform and continued education reform.
West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse is the only statewide legal reform organization, and has been active in our state for 25 years. With more than 20,000 members across the state, WV CALA has been leading the charge on legal reform, and continues to do so. This year, we hope the Legislature will finally put an end to our medical monitoring ruling, will make changes to “phantom damages” and will continue to reform our state’s consumer protection act that was used and abused by former attorney general Darrell McGraw and his campaign contributors. This is an exciting time to be a West Virginian, and we are very grateful to our WV CALA members and to our state’s leaders for the work everyone has done to get here.