Governor Justice once again drew attention to a strong quarter of personal income growth for the state, with West Virginia having the highest 2019 Quarter 1 personal income growth in the country. But, as was the case the last time the governor highlighted this particular statistic, there is more to the story than one quarter’s worth of data can tell.
Total personal income in WV grew 1.4% in 2019 Q1 (an annualized rate of 5.6%), ranking WV first among the states. Yet, in the previous quarter, personal income grew by only 0.5%, with West Virginia coming in at 46th.
In fact, West Virginia’s personal income growth has been all over the place recently. In the past 8 quarters, West Virginia has ranked in the top 10 for growth 4 times, and the bottom 10 for growth 4 times as well. Highlighting the good quarters, while ignoring the bad quarters, paints a misleading picture of the state’s economy. Continue reading.
In March, West Virginia lawmakers passed Senate Bill 564 to raise the Medicaid eligibility for pregnancy coverage to 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) while guaranteeing coverage for 60-days postpartum.
The policy goes into effect on July 1st, expanding vital Medicaid coverage and ensuring healthier pregnancies for hundreds of pregnant folks across the state.
While SB 564 is a huge step in the right direction, extending Medicaid coverage to at least one-year postpartum would further improve the physical, mental, and financial health of West Virginia’s families. Read more here.
On Monday evening, while a tornado roared through the Kanawha Valley, the West Virginia State Senate passed, without amendment, House Bill 206, omnibus education legislation. While the bill does authorize charter schools in West Virginia, the WVCBP was successful in keeping Education Savings Accounts and other voucher-like schemes out of what is now headed to the governor for approval or veto. Because the special session has not adjourned ‘sine die,’ a lot can still happen, so keep paying attention. We certainly will be.
As state legislatures and officials around the country consider applying for Medicaid demonstration projects, or waivers, Indiana’s “Healthy Indiana Program 2.0” (HIP 2.0) is often touted as a more efficient way of delivering Medicaid services. But is it?
Research on Indiana’s Medicaid waiver shows that its complexity and burdensome reporting requirements have resulted in poorer coverage for those who need it, higher costs for state administration, and increases in uncompensated care for providers.
Rosemary Ketchum lives in Wheeling, West Virginia where she works as the Associate Director of the NAMI Marian House center for persons with mental illness. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the ACLU of West Virginia and is the President of the ACLU-WV regional chapter. As a community advocate, Rosemary helps create community solutions through grassroots collaboration focusing on the social and economic challenges facing the state.
Join us at the “Independence from Poverty” event in Mount Hope, WV on Wednesday, July 3 at the DuBois African American Museum on Main Street from 5:00- 7:30 pm. Light snacks will be available and all are welcome.
This event will highlight data-driven policies to address poverty and support West Virginia’s families, and attendees will make a game plan to take action. Sponsors include the WVCBP, WV Poor People’s Campaign and WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition. Email Seth for more information.
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