WVCBP executive director Kelly Allen recently published an op-ed expressing support for the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan, both of which would provide much-needed support to hundreds of thousands of West Virginians simply by asking the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. Excerpt below:
A higher tax rate on about 1% of the state’s income, all of which goes to 600 millionaires, would not hurt our state, especially when you consider the investments in the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan that would benefit us. Compared to the 140,000 veterans in West Virginia benefiting from improved health care facilities, 31,000 residents being newly insured, 22,000 children being lifted out of poverty and 51,000 school children gaining access to free school meals, the investments far outweigh the increased taxes on a tiny sliver of statewide income.
Like the rest of the revenue proposals in the Jobs and Families Plans, the tax change for capital gains and dividends is a commonsense reform that would make our tax code fairer. West Virginia’s congressional delegation should support it.
Read the full op-ed here.
Under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), West Virginia state government will receive $1.355 billion and cities, municipalities, and counties will receive a total of $676.6 million. ARPA funds are already flowing into communities and our state and can be used on eligible costs incurred through December 31, 2024.
Our new Fast Facts sheet highlights both best practices and US Department of the Treasury guidance to inform government officials and residents about the parameters for spending and the best ways to utilize these funds to make long-term improvements in our communities.
We also explored these best practices and guidance in our Facebook Live on Wednesday. If you couldn’t tune in, you can view the recording here.
Treasury has identified five key areas of approved usage for ARPA Fiscal Recovery Funds:
– To Support Public Health Expenditures
– To Address Negative Impacts Caused by the Public Health Emergency
– To Replace Lost Public Sector Revenue
– To Provide Premium Pay for Essential Workers
– To Invest in Water, Sewer, & Broadband Infrastructure
You can find further explanation of each of the above categories, as well as examples of expenditures by category in the full Fast Facts sheet here.
For additional ARPA information, check out West Virginians for Affordable Health Cares’ American Rescue Plan WV County and City Funds Toolkit.
More than 3,000 people leave West Virginia prisons annually. Tuesday’s episode of West Virginia Morning, featuring insight from WVCBP’s criminal justice policy analyst Quenton King, explored some of the obstacles returning citizens face which contribute to high rates of recidivism, and what the state’s reentry councils are doing to provide support.
Listen to the full segment here.
Quenton recently co-authored a report on reentry and the biggest barriers for returning citizens in West Virginia. You can access his full report here to learn more.
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 recent Twitter thread.
Learn more about how the AFP would serve as equitable tax reform in Sean’s full blog post.
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 two informational sessions:
The webinars are free of charge. Please register in advance so that the presenters have an idea of what the audience for each session will look like. You can find registration here.
WVCBP’s new Elevating the Medicaid Enrollment Experience (EMEE) Voices Project seeks to collect stories from West Virginians who have struggled to access Medicaid across the state. Being conducted in partnership with West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, EMEE Voices will gather insight to inform which Medicaid barriers are most pertinent to West Virginians, specifically people of color. Existing data asserts that structural barriers and stigma impact Black and brown West Virginians’ interactions with the Medicaid program. However, more precise investigation is necessary for specifying these disparities and transforming them into meaningful policy choices. Overall, this project will synthesize quantitative data with the stories collected to provide a holistic understanding of Medicaid barriers. Addressing the obstacles West Virginians of color face will improve Medicaid for all West Virginians, contributing to a healthier state.
Do you have a Medicaid enrollment story to share? We’d appreciate your insight. If you are a Medicaid enrollee, please tell us about your experience here. If you are a Medicaid provider, please fill out our questionnaire here.
You can watch WVCBP’s health policy analyst Rhonda Rogombé and West Virginians for Affordable Health Care’s Mariah Plante further break down the new project and its goals in this FB Live.
You can find full project details on our webpage here.
The American Families Plan (AFP) is a historic opportunity to support the success of families and workers, and few places in the country will benefit as much as West Virginia – but only if the plan is passed.
Have you been impacted by lack of access to child care? We welcome you to share your experience with us by completing our survey. We’d appreciate your insight — responses will be used to help us show our leaders in Congress just how much the AFP would serve parents in the Mountain State.
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.
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!
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.
For more on the importance of paid leave and how it can help more women remain in the workforce, check out this recent article featuring insight from WVCBP executive director Kelly Allen.
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