So, the pepperoni roll was recently voted America’s favorite food in the “Taste of America” contest and West Virginia has some of the best to offer. Here are some other things about West Virginia we thought you might like to know:
This week the Equal Pay Act turned 50. While some women are now earning closer to what their male counterparts take home, women with children have seen less narrowing of the gender pay gap. Not only do they earn less, they are less likely to be hired. Read more in Sean’s blog post.
The full implementation of the Affordable Care Act next year is expected to boost the state’s self-employed by 6,000 or 13 percent. Since people will no longer face “job lock” or the need to stay in a job because it is where they get their health insurance, they will have more freedom to start their own businesses and purchase insurance in the ACA’s marketplace. Read more about how the ACA will be good for the state’s small business owners in Brandon’s blog post.
While the nation recovers from the recession, West Virginia is one of just eight states enacting budget cuts for its upcoming fiscal year. The effects of past business tax breaks are now being felt and policymakers are reacting by cutting funding to higher education and other important programs. Another option, however, would be to tap the state’s rainy day fund, the third-biggest in the nation. Read more in Sean’s blog post.
Our new health policy analyst, Brandon Merritt, experienced first-hand this week why the reforms coming from the Affordable Care Act are a good thing. Read more about the red tape he is experiencing as he switches health care providers.
Brandon and Ted’s OpEd in the Charleston Gazette explains how Governor Tomblin’s decision to expand Medicaid will do much more for the state than reduce the number of people without access to health care. It will also help alleviate other problems like unemployment, prison overcrowding and substance abuse.
Another OpEd by Brandon on health care appeared in The Huntington Herald-Dispatch, this one on how the Affordable Care Act will help promote entrepreneurship in West Virginia since people will have another option, besides their job, to get health insurance.
Check out this testimony given by Nick Hanauer, one of the first investors in Amazon.com, before the U.S. Senate in which he credits the middle class with being the Job Creators, not corporations. He points out that businesses actually want to create the fewest number of jobs necessary, thus lowering costs and increasing profits, and that businesses cannot thrive without a prosperous middle class to buy their goods and services.
This week the WVCBP welcomed Alyson Clements on board as its Outreach Coordinator. Alyson comes to us with experience in state policy from her work at the ACLU’s West Virginia office. She will be the Center’s lead on the Our Children Our Future campaign and its symposium this fall, and will also work with our other coalition partners on all of our areas of policy and research focus. You can reach Alyson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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