West Virginia's fresh-faced attorney general is on a mission to transform his office into "an efficient and effective law firm," he told an audience of local Republicans Saturday.
Addressing attendees of the annual Randolph County Lincoln Day Dinner - which got underway at 6 p.m. Elks Country Club - Morrisey outlined a few of his recent accomplishments as well as his future goals for the state attorney general's office.
"Voters need to have faith in their elected officials," said the Harpers Ferry resident who was sworn into office Jan. 14 and is the first Republican to be elected state attorney general since 1933.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Katie Kuba
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey addresses an audience of local Republicans at the annual Randolph County Lincoln Day Dinner Saturday at the Elks Country Club.
"As public officials we shouldn't use public coffers as our personal piggy banks."
To that end, Morrisey said he was proud to announce that on Thursday, the Legislature passed a Senate bill that restores to the Legislature its constitutional authority to appropriate money as it sees fit.
"It was the first time ever we took monies from one account our (lawsuit) settlements account and transferred it to the Legislature, and they were then able to appropriate that money to the attorney's general's office for the purchase of phones we needed," Morrisey said. "In the past, the practice was to buy whatever (the previous administration) wanted when they wanted it."
"It's not just about phones and technology; it's about the correct constitutional procedure," he added.
Morrisey said he also prioritizes reciprocity rights, meaning the rights of West Virginia gun owners to carry guns into other states.
"It's (gun ownership) a right under the U.S. Constitution and the West Virginia Constitution, and it must be protected," Morrisey emphasized.
Morrisey is also particularly concerned about "job creation, job creation, job creation," he said, and is preparing to launch a tour called the Job Summit and Listening Tour in which he plans to hear from citizens and businesses across the Mountain State about state and federal regulations the impede economic growth.
"West Virginia deserves to have a comprehensive review of its economic state," the attorney general said, "and the attorney general's office can issue legal opinions, file lawsuit to deal with the overreach of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and work with legislators to draft legislation."
One societal problem stunting economic growth in the state is prescription drug abuse, which prevents people from getting or holding down good jobs, Morrisey said, saying that West Virginians "need to eradicate this plague on our society."
In that vein, Morrisey recently joined a group of state attorneys general in writing a letter to the FDA asking that they add tamper-resistant tops to generic prescription drugs.
Following Morrisey's keynote speech, Carolyn Jackson, chairperson of the Randolph County Republican Executive Committee, announced that Barbara Tyre had been named Republican of the Year.
Contact Katie Kuba by email at email@example.com.