Attorney General Patrick Morrisey Unveils Progress Report for First 100 Days
CHARLESTON - West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today announced that the 17 goals he set for his first 100 days in office have been met or are on their way to being met.
Last year, Morrisey unveiled an ambitious 17-point plan that highlighted very specific goals he wanted to accomplish within the first 100 days of serving as Attorney General, or more specifically by the end of the day on April 23.
“The goals of the plan were to advance ethics reforms, promote freedom, begin the process of taking on the federal government, and improve the state’s business climate,” Morrisey said. “Much more work remains, but I firmly believe we have honored our promises to the public and have made significant efforts to achieve all of the points of the plan.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day. Similarly, it will take more than 100 days to fundamentally improve our state’s business climate,” Morrisey added. “But at least West Virginians know we will always follow through on our word.”
While achieving his objectives outlined in the 100-day plan, Morrisey noted that his office has continued to meet its daily client demands, enforce rigorous consumer protection policies, handle a major internal review, and begin writing many policies and procedures that will guide how his office is managed.
The goals, which Morrisey announced during his campaign and reiterated at a Nov. 8 news conference, are as follows:
1. Eliminate self-promoting trinkets emblazoned with the Attorney General’s name or likeness.
2. Send settlement monies back to the State Legislature and taxpayers.
3. End taxpayer-funded campaigns by prohibiting the use of broad-based office advertising for at least six months prior to an election.
4. Establish and use competitive bidding for hiring outside counsel to reduce political influences and restore integrity to the Attorney General’s office.
5. Commence a full-scale audit of past AG office expenditures and ensure that all employees are acting in a manner consistent with the highest ethical standards.
6. Collaborate with the Legislature to enact ethics reforms - Work with the Legislature and Governor to ensure that the policies described under 1, 2, 3 and 4 are enacted by the Legislature.
7. Take on the EPA by reviewing all existing lawsuits pending by Attorneys General and, after consultation with the Legislature and the Governor, determine which lawsuits the State of West Virginia should join against the federal government.
8. Create an Office of Federalism and Freedom to refocus some of the Office’s priorities on challenging federal policies that have a tenuous nexus to law or the U.S. and West Virginia Constitutions.
9. Hold a “Jobs Summit” to identify any and all overreaching regulations that may impair business growth in the State of West Virginia. Since the Office of Attorney General possesses the legal power to play a significant role in the regulatory process and may institute legal challenges against the federal government when an Agency oversteps its authority, we should identify the regulations that are having the most negative impact on economic growth.
10. Address Medicaid in a meaningful way by working with the Governor and the Legislature to help address the budget shortfall facing the State’s Medicaid Program.
11. Crack down on Medicaid fraud.
12. Fight prescription drug abuse - Request new prosecutorial authority from the Legislature to help pursue criminals who facilitate our prescription drug abuse problems in West Virginia. Prescription drug abuse cuts across county lines.
13. Prosecute election law fraud - Request that the Legislature clarify the role of the Attorney General and the Secretary of State so that the Attorney General gains authority to prosecute violations of ethics and election law fraud and that the Attorney General plays a more proactive role in election law policy.
14. Educate West Virginians on Health Care - Work with the Department of Health and Human Resources to conduct consumer education forums about the State’s Medicaid Program, Medicare enrollment issues, and any other existing health care programs in place.
15. Defend Second Amendment rights - Accelerate state reciprocity agreements on concealed carry permits to advance our Second Amendment protections.
16. Join religious liberty lawsuits.
17. Evaluate potential ethics violations - After the audit referenced under 5 is complete and all employees within the Office are interviewed, determine whether disciplinary action is warranted for any past behavior.
“The goals we set many months ago were aggressive and viewed by some to be impossible, but the Office has taken great steps to tackle each point,” Morrisey said. “Obviously some of these issues cannot be completed in 100 days or even four years, but by taking these 17 steps now and continuing to work toward solutions for the remainder of my term, we will be able to see substantive changes in not only the Office of the Attorney General, but the state as a whole.”
A copy of the Attorney General’s 17-point plan progress report may be found online at www.wvago.gov.