Political science often is more of an art than a science.
For proof, look closely at how West Virginia's elected leaders sometimes allocate the state's scarce resources. One recurring phenomenon is the package deal: A leader or group with power (but not enough power to get what they want for their pet project) puts together a package that contains many additional projects. There is something for everyone, so the package draws more support than the pet project ever would have if it had been left to stand on its own.
In both examples, it could be argued that some of the money was spent on worthy projects. Perhaps the bigger question is: Are projects prioritized and funded in the best ways possible?
Another recurring phenomenon: Failing to act on a pending crisis until a key stakeholder deems it is truly at risk.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said in his 2014 State of the State address the unfunded liability is expected to be less than $500 million by the end of the year. Also since privatization, workers' comp loss cost rates — a key ingredient in determining workers' comp insurance premiums — have dropped by a cumulative total of 69.7 percent.
In both examples, lawmakers showed a willingness to tweak the status quo, but a reluctance to make those sweeping changes until the status quo reached crisis level.
Yet another state government phenomenon could be construed as quid pro quo — the Latin phrase that means "something for something."