Posts by Sean O'Leary

January 15, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
Who Pays? Rethinking West Virginia’s Tax System

To get a sense of a state’s values, one often need look no further than its tax system. What a state spends its tax dollars on and how it acquires those tax dollars typically reveals a lot about the priorities of its people—what they care about and what they stand for. In theory, it’s a…

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January 13, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
The State of West Virginia’s Immigrants

West Virginia’s immigrants come from all over the world and while a small share of the populations, they are broadly represented throughout the state’s workforce and economy. Read PDF of report. But a fuller conversation about immigrants tends to be overshadowed by the controversy in the U.S. around immigration reform. This conversation all too often…

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November 25, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
West Virginia Employment Numbers are Promising but Don’t Tell Full Story

West Virginia Metro News - Gov. Jim Justice is touting impressive West Virginia employment figures, although those numbers likely don’t tell the whole story. Read full article. Justice put the spotlight on federal labor statistics showing West Virginia gained 19,000 jobs over the past year. Moreover, the governor said, these are the best employment numbers for…

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October 24, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Banning the Box in West Virginia: Giving Workers with Criminal Records a Fair Chance

When people leave the criminal justice system, a combination of family support, community assistance, and economic opportunity is needed to help them stay out. Having access to employment opportunities is key, providing not just financial resources, but also connections to society that help those with criminal records reintegrate successfully. Read report. Unfortunately, people with a…

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September 11, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Rate of Uninsured in WV Remains Unchanged, but Worries Shared on Lack of Progress

Charleston Gazette-Mail - While West Virginia made progress years ago in decreasing the number of uninsured people in the state, a U.S. Census Bureau report released Tuesday suggests that progress may be slowing after no change in the rate of insurance coverage between 2017 and 2018. Read article. In 2018, 114,000 — or 6.4 percent…

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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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