HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (WV News) — Riley Moore, who previously served as GOP assistant majority whip in the West Virginia House of Delegates, hopes to unseat long-serving State Treasurer John Perdue in the November general election.
Moore, who is the grandson of former Gov. Arch A. Moore Jr. and the nephew of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is running on a platform of fiscal transparency, responsibility and modernization.
During his time as a state lawmaker, Moore crafted 24 bills that were signed into law, including one establishing the State Police Forensic Laboratory Fund.
The special revenue fund is specifically dedicated to processing the backlog of DNA evidence at State Police Forensic lab, Moore said.
“We had a backlog of over 5,000 different cases that had not been processed. Those ranged from date rape kits to homicide evidence, drug tests and things of that nature,” he said.
He also wrote a bill allowing motorists in the state to donate to the fund when they renewed their driver’s licenses, Moore said.
“Those two pieces of legislation put together allowed for the opportunity to have consistent funding year in and year out for that fund,” he said. “That backlog of 5,000 has been reduced by thousands. The turnaround time was reduced from nine months, on average, to 90 days.”
Among his top priorities if elected will be to perform a “top-to-bottom” audit of the Treasurer’s Office to identify any inefficiencies, unnecessary spending and staffing redundancies, Moore said.
“How are we doing the exact same job in the Treasurer’s Office and it’s costing us more money? There’s something going on there,” he said. “Why has payroll been increasing? Why has payroll over seven years increased by $750,000?”
His platform also includes the creation of the “Jump Start Savings Plan,” which would be an educational savings account for students attending trade schools or vocational education programs.
“This program that I’m proposing would allow individuals, just like a college savings account, the 529 college savings account, but it’s for people coming out of trade and technical school to save money to buy tools, equipment, and licenses or certifications in their trade or vocation,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a huge enabler to starting small businesses and getting people’s best foot forward in their career path.”
He would also like to add a portal to wvcheckbook.gov, the website that allows citizens to explore how state funds are spent, tracking the state’s investments.
“It’s the taxpayers’ money,” he said. “I think they should have the ability to know how their dollars are being invested. I think that is not only right, but I think we need to make it clear that transparency is the cornerstone of good governance.”
When it comes to Gov. Jim Justice’s plan to spend the state’s allotment of $1.2 billion from the federal CARES Act, Moore said he believes the governor’s plan makes sense, but he would like to see more involvement from the Treasurer and the State Auditor.
“I do think someone like the Treasurer’s Office should be involved in ensuring that money is spent correctly — the Treasurer and the Auditor,” he said. “To ensure that we don’t have waste and overrun or we’re paying for things that aren’t taking place.”
BY CHARLES YOUNG, Senior Staff Writer with Exponent Telegram.