Blog Posts > A Broad and Equitable Economic Recovery Requires Prioritizing Paid Leave
June 18, 2021

A Broad and Equitable Economic Recovery Requires Prioritizing Paid Leave

Nationwide, workers and people who would like to work are frequently forced to choose between their jobs and caring for themselves or a loved one. Our new blog post from executive director Kelly Allen highlights the need for a national paid family and medical leave policy.

The United States is the only Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country not to have a national family leave program, and the impacts of going without one are significant to workers and families. Congress will spend the coming months deliberating on how and whether to pass legislation with the elements of the President’s proposed American Families Plan, which marked the first time a U.S. President has called for a national paid leave policy and would guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for workers. Such a policy would benefit workers, families, businesses, and the economy.

Learn more in Kelly’s full blog post here.

Enhanced Unemployment Benefits Ending this Week Per Gov. Justice Decision

As recently released data from WorkforceWV shows that the state’s jobs recovery is starting to falter, Governor Justice’s decision to forgo enhanced unemployment benefits months before they expire will soon go into effect. The $300 weekly boost to benefits will end for West Virginians this week.

These enhanced benefits have been serving as a lifeline for unemployed West Virginians throughout the pandemic. Without them, many individuals and families will struggle to meet their basic needs.

You can read more about how this decision harms our state’s people in Sean’s op-ed here and more about how it harms the state’s economic recovery and long-term economic health here.

Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge to Affordable Care Act, Keeps Law Intact

Fantastic news for the health and well-being of West Virginians and folks across the country!

“The Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to the Affordable Care Act on Thursday in a decision that will leave the law intact and save health care coverage for millions of Americans. The justices turned away a challenge from Republican-led states and the former Trump administration, which urged the justices to block the entire law.

“The justices said that the challengers of the 2010 law did not have the legal right to bring the case.”

Find further details in the full article here.

Read WVCBP executive director Kelly Allen’s statement on the challenge’s dismissal below.

Child Tax Credit Survey for Parents

The American Rescue plan authorized significant but temporary changes to the Child Tax Credit. Here are four changes that might help you with the financial burden of raising a family:

1. The credit amount has been increased. The American Rescue Plan increased the amount of the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under age 6, and $3,000 for other children under age 18.

2. The credit’s scope has been expanded. Children 17 years old and younger, as opposed to 16 years old and younger, will now be covered by the Child Tax Credit.

3. Credit amounts will be made through advance payments during 2021. Individuals eligible for a 2021 Child Tax Credit will receive advance payments of the individual’s credit, which the IRS and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service will make through periodic payments from July 1 to December 31, 2021. This change will allow struggling families to receive financial assistance now, rather than waiting until the 2022 tax filing season to receive the Child Tax Credit benefit.

4. The credit is now fully refundable. By making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable, low- income households will be entitled to receive the full credit benefit, as significantly expanded and increased by the American Rescue Plan.

If any of these circumstances apply to you, we’d love to hear how your family will be impacted! Please let us know by taking our survey here.

Urge West Virginia’s US Senators to Support the American Families Plan

President Biden recently announced the American Families Plan (AFP) proposal, featuring major investments in K-12 education, child care, higher education, health care, and paid leave, as well as extended tax cuts for families and workers with children.

The AFP also includes revenue-raising proposals that would affect only very high-income taxpayers. And while the benefits of the AFP would be broadly shared, these tax increases would impact only .01 percent of West Virginia taxpayers — the smallest share in the nation — and work toward a tax system that raises more adequate revenue from those who have seen disproportionate income wealth gains in recent decades.

Join us in urging Senators Manchin and Capito to support the AFP and do their part to invest in West Virginia’s economic recovery and fund our future by sending them a letter here.

Find details of how the AFP benefits West Virginia children, workers, families, uninsured individuals, and veterans in our Twitter thread.

Learn more about how the AFP would serve as equitable tax reform in Sean’s full blog post.

Paid Leave Works for WV Story Collection Effort and Letter Campaign

Paid Leave Works for WV (PLWWV) is a broad coalition of stakeholders focused on advocating for a robust paid family and medical leave policy that ensures no one has to choose between their job and caring for themselves or a loved one.

The coalition is looking to collect stories from across the Mountain State. If you and your family have benefited from paid leave or have struggled due to lack of access to paid leave, please share your story and help us advocate to make this policy available for all West Virginians. We encourage you to share the form with relevant friends and family members, too!

In a recent video with PLWWV, WVCBP executive director Kelly Allen dispels the myth that the need for paid leave will go away once we emerge from the pandemic.

PLWWV has also begun a letter writing campaign to urge Senators Manchin and Capito to prioritize paid family and medical leave. You can send a letter here.

The WVCBP is a proud member of this new coalition. To stay up to date on the coalition’s work, follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

WV Cannabis Expungement Seminar

Our friends at the West Virginia Family of Convicted People are co-hosting this online seminar about West Virginia’s expungement laws to help those with qualifying criminal convictions clear their records.

You can find further event details in the graphic below and register here.

West Virginia Food for All ARPA Webinar

Counties and municipalities in West Virginia will be receiving $677 million in the coming months through the American Rescue Plan Act. What could this mean for advancing community food security across our state? Join the Food for All coalition’s partner, the WVU Food Justice Lab, as they present preliminary research about ARPA and ways to build local advocacy networks to advance the right to healthy food in the Mountain State.

The Food Justice Lab will be offering their second informational session on June 30 at 3pm. You can access the Zoom link to join here.

The webinar is free of charge. Please register in advance so that the presenters have an idea of what the audience for the session will look like. You can find registration here.

Appalachian Prison Book Project Education Scholarship

The Appalachia Prison Book Project is a West Virginia-based nonprofit that challenges mass incarceration through books, education, and community engagement. APBP sends free books to people imprisoned in six Appalachian states, hosts book clubs inside prisons in the region, and is leading an effort to bring for-credit college courses into prisons.

APBP is excited to announce that they are offering two $2,500 education scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year. Each scholarship will be awarded to a person who has been released form a West Virginia Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation state prison or federal prison in WV and who will be beginning or continuing their undergraduate or graduate education at a college or university in WV. The applicant must have been released within three years of the application deadline.

You can find full scholarship details and instructions to apply here.

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