Posts by Sean O'Leary

July 15, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
What Happened to Weirton? Part 4: Where is God Today?

The consequences of deindustrialization manifest in many different ways. Read/Listen. Sherry Linkon and John Russo, two prominent scholars in working class studies, have written several books and articles about this topic, and at this point, they find you can easily make a list of what will happen when industry leaves. Let’s run down it. In…

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July 15, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
What Happened to Weirton? Part 5: Moving Forward

West Virginia Public Broadcasting - If someone had a crystal ball, they could tell you exactly what the future holds for Weirton. Sadly, there are no magic tools to make this a short story. But, with a bit of help from the gift of gab, I’ll tell you about the current trajectory of the area.…

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May 18, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Sean O’Leary: Trump’s Tax Cut and Jobs Act Hasn’t Kept Its Promises

It has been over a year since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), and despite efforts from its proponents to massage the data and deceive the public about its effects, it’s clear that TCJA has completely failed to deliver on its promises, and has left the nation worse off. Link to…

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May 2, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
What Happened at the West Virginia Legislature?

WVCBP Senior Policy Analyst Sean O'Leary gave this recap of the 2019 Legislative Session at the National Association of Social Workers - WV Conference on May 2, 2019 in Charleston. View PDF of presentation.

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March 2, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Sean O’Leary: Severance Tax Cuts Will Hurt Budget, Unlikely to Help Miners

Charleston Gazette - On Wednesday, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed two bills intended to boost coal production and put coal miners back to work. Unfortunately, delegates chose to do so in a very ineffective and expensive way, through cuts and rebates to the severance tax. Read op-ed. With little debate, the House passed…

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March 1, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Left Behind in a Nationwide Jobs Recovery: Charleston, W.Va.

Wall Street Journal - A soup kitchen downtown in the state’s capital city has been busier than usual in recent months, while a nearby health clinic is serving 12,000 more patients, many of whom are juggling multiple low-wage jobs, than it served five years ago. Read article. Despite the emergence of some new small businesses on…

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February 8, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Missed Opportunities: The West Virginia FY 2020 Proposed Budget

Governor Jim Justice’s FY 2020 budget includes new spending initiatives and pay raises while avoiding spending cuts as the state’s financial situation shows signs of stability. While the FY 2020 budget is an improvement after years of budget cuts, it represents a missed opportunity to reverse the damage of past mistakes and invest in a…

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February 7, 2019 by Sean O'Leary, Ted Boettner
West Virginia Shale Development Falls Short of Economic Promise

The nearly six-fold increase in West Virginia’s natural gas production in the last decade, due largely to shale development, or fracking, has fallen short of expectations for economic growth, job creation, and tax revenue generation, according to a new report released by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and the West Virginia…

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January 31, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Public Money for Private Schools: Education Savings Accounts Can Grow Costly While Doing Little to Improve Education

West Virginia legislators are considering enacting voucher-like programs to transfer tax-payer money to private schools. This week they introduced a proposal to create Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) as part of the omnibus education reform bill, SB 451, which would set public money aside for educational services, including private school tuition, textbooks and curriculum materials, private…

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