But raising the minimum wage above what other states require may be another barrier to new investments in the state, and many mom-and-pop business owners simply may not be able to afford the higher wages without cutting their own pay or laying off employees.
Due to the cold weather, 55 county superintendents closed their schools on Monday and 54 did on Tuesday. They did so without having to worry about having the space on the school calendar to make up their snow days.
This is one benefit of the Legislature finally giving counties flexibility in setting their school calendars. The push to move the beginning of the school year back to August means superintendents can base snow days on weather conditions instead of whether there is enough room left in the school year to make up snow days.
That means 280,000 children won't be shivering as they wait for buses to take them to a cold school.
The primary purpose of the calendar shift was to help more schools meet the 180-day minimum of instruction the Legislature set back in the 1930s.
While coal industry executives complain of President Obama's "war on coal" jeopardizing the livelihood of up to 50,000 people in West Virginia, including 22,000 or so miners, another "war" by this administration has business booming in Clarksburg.
The Washington Times reported that more than 21 million people applied for permission to buy a gun from an authorized dealer in 2013, another new record. That meant the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division handled more than 21 million criminal background checks for gun purchasers alone.
To be fair to the president, gun application background checks have set new annual records for 11 consecutive years following the 9/11 attacks. That has kept more than 2,700 workers at the center busy, busy, busy.
This protection of public safety is part of West Virginia's post-coal economy. Robert C. Byrd served the nation and his home state well when he secured this facility back in the 1990s.