The Charleston Gazette named Senator Dan Foster as the West Virginian of the Year for 2012. Senator Foster is wrapping up a decade of legislative service this month and will be missed at the Capitol. He was a champion of issues that affect low-income West Virginians such as health care, civic engagement, education and the environment. We applaud his years of service!
Just before the holidays, WVCBP Executive Director Ted Boettner was nominated to serve as a primary member of the Department of Interior’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI) Advisory Committee. This committee will oversee and guide implementation of the Initiative and represents government agencies, companies and public stakeholders.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is “a voluntary, global effort designed to increase transparency, strengthen the accountability of natural resource revenue reporting, and build public trust for the governance of these vital activities.”
The committee’s first meeting is next month.
This week’s blog posts touched on education and health care. Ted Boettner’s post on Wednesday stressed that West Virginia needs to break its “resource curse” as it plans for a future in the current natural gas boom. West Virginia cannot afford to lose sight of the need to diversify its economy and the influx of jobs related to the natural gas industry could veer the state off course. The Charleston Gazette picked up on Ted’s blog post in Coal Tattoo when it discussed the politics of usual surrounding the decline of coal.
Ted and Stuart made a case for expanding Medicaid to 130,000 West Virginians under the Affordable Care Act: the cost to hospitals. By expanding Medicaid, a large portion of hospitals’ uncompensated costs will disappear.
Sean continued his series on the impacts of eliminating the personal property tax. Perhaps hardest hit would be West Virginia’s school systems which rely on personal property taxes for 30 percent of their funding. See what the impact would be in your county.