The Working Families Tax Relief Act would boost incomes for 131,000 moms and 276,000 children in West Virginia by expanding the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). The benefits of lifting families out of poverty include healthier birth weights, lower maternal stress, better childhood nutrition, higher school enrollment, higher reading and math test scores, higher high school graduation rates, less use of drugs and alcohol, more positive behavior, and higher rates of college entry, the committee noted. Read more from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Another way to help working moms is to create a West Virginia Earned Income Tax Credit. State EITCs help families struggling on low wages make ends meet and provide basic necessities for their children. Twenty-nine states plus the District of Columbia have established state EITCs. State EITCs build on the benefits of the federal EITC and are easy to administer, with nearly every dollar going directly to the working families that the credits were created to help. Learn how much a WV EITC could help your community from our website that provides district-by-district breakdowns.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is rolling back a rule that requires predatory payday lenders to make affordable loans. Without this rule, payday loan sharks can prey on vulnerable consumers with debt trap loans causing default on other bills, overdraft fees, and even bankruptcy. Even though payday lending is illegal in West Virginia, many people fall victim to predatory lending in our neighboring states or online. A strong rule is so important to protect people from falling into the debt trap.
West Virginia is one of 16 states that is payday-lending free! Help keep it that way!
Please take a moment and add your name to the voices calling for the CFBP to keep its strong payday lending rule! Send in your comments by May 15.
With this month’s Special Session on education reform looming, legislative leadership is floating the idea of replacing one controversial policy proposal, Education Savings Accounts (ESA), with another, tax credit scholarships.
Like ESA’s, tax credit scholarships are another voucher-like policy that create financial incentives for students to leave the public school system and enter into the private school system. While ESA’s simply provide a public stipend to help pay for private school tuition for students leaving the public school system, tax credit scholarships are more complicated, while aiming for the same goal.
Read more in Sean’s blog post.
This year the WVCBP created its first-ever Advisory Committee. Made up of citizens, coalition partners, advocates and former public officials from across the state, the Advisory Committee will help guide our organization into the future, bringing new ideas and power to our mission.
This week we highlight one of our members: Reverend Ronald English.
Reverend Ron English just completed his third charge as an Interim Minister at the Antioch Baptist Church in Huntington, WV. He is trainer/facilitator in race relations and nonviolent communications for law enforcement and collaborative organizations committed to criminal justice reform.
Reverend English has moderated and produced public affairs programs for commercial and public television and is featured in the documentary “Blood On the Mountain” which was nominated for an Emmy currently running on Netflix. English worked on the administrative team that opened the Mt. Olive Correctional Complex, the state’s maximum security prison for adult offenders in Fayette County Under the WV Division of Corrections. He has taught African- American history at the University of Charleston, West Virginia State University and West Virginia Tech.
His essays and editorials have been featured in local newspapers and other publications, particularly on the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1989, he participated in a delegation of African American leaders in the Anti- Apartheid Movement in America who were invited by Bishop Desmond Tutu to South Africa upon the release of Nelson Mandela. He was the 2012 recipient of the Governor’s Martin Luther King Living the Dream Award for Peace.
Please join members of the community as we discuss poverty in Greenbrier County and solutions through public policy to lift up our neighbors who struggle and our community as a whole. The WVCBP is cosponsoring this event with the Poor People’s Campaign.
The event will take place from 6:00 – 7:30PM at the Lewisburg United Methodist Church. Learn more here.
The U.S. is an increasingly unequal society: the average CEO makes nearly 800 times more than the average worker, and the wealthiest 1% of households own 40% of the wealth. It is impossible to have a functioning democracy when so few people control so much wealth.
Join us on May 19 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at Temple Israel (2312 Kanawha Blvd E, Charleston) for a free workshop with Les Leopold, director of the Labor Institute and author of “Runaway Inequality,” to explore what inequality has to do with our current political situation and how people across the political spectrum can find common cause to fight for a fair economy. Register here.
Les will also lead a “Runaway Inequality” book talk on Monday, May 20, 6pm at Taylor Books (226 Capitol St, Charleston) to lead a discussion on:
What has made our economy less fair and left most of us less secure?
How does the US really compare with other developed countries?
What does economic inequality have to do with other critical issues, including education, criminal justice, racism, climate change, foreign trade and war?
What concrete steps can we take to begin building a fair and just society?
This year’s SPI will be held from July 26-28 at WV State University in Institute, WV and will center around criminal justice reforms. Panelists and speakers will highlight recent criminal justice reform victories as well as innovative policies that would help even more folks across the state avoid the criminal justice system when possible and improve the reentry process for those coming out of the justice system. Interactive sessions, including a re-entry simulation with officials from the U.S Department of Justice, will set the tone for the weekend.
Apply today! Deadline extended to May 31!