How Jim Justice's $4.8 million in unpaid fines could benefit West Virginia

How big a difference could a thousand more Promise Scholarships make for young people across West Virginia?

The cost of a thousand more Promise scholarships — which fund the college education of West Virginia students — would be just under $4.8 million. As it turns out, that’s roughly what Governor Justice’s coal companies owe in delinquent penalties and fines for mine safety violations.

Last week, the federal Department of Justice broke that news when they filed suit against Justice’s companies to try to get back what he owed in several states.

It’s bad enough that West Virginia taxes middle class people more heavily than the rich. But when the Mountain State's rich governor won’t even pay the penalties for his mismanagement of mine safety, that’s just an insult to working people, and to taxpayers who are owed the money.

It’s time to elect a governor who respects and protects workers, instead of dodging fines for safety violations.

And it’s time for the rich to pay their fair share so that the rest of us can get the education and other services we need in order to thrive.