June 23, 2021 by Sarah Hutson
American Families Plan and its Child Care Provisions Key Companion to Jobs and Infrastructure Investments

The American Jobs Plan, which Congress will consider this year, outlines a bold set of initiatives to invest in America’s infrastructure and renewable energy while ensuring there will be well-paying jobs for generations to come, including for West Virginia workers who have been displaced by the decline of coal. However, these investments will fail to…

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June 15, 2021 by Kelly Allen
A Broad and Equitable Economic Recovery Requires Prioritizing Paid Leave

The last time a permanent national policy was passed to address the need for family and medical leave was 28 years ago. In 1993, Congress passed the Family Medical Leave Act, which provided some private sector employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the arrival of a child, time off for one’s…

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June 10, 2021 by Seth DiStefano
Public Input Needed to Ensure ARPA Funds Reach Struggling Communities

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) will allocate more than $1.355 billion in federal relief funds to the state of West Virginia to address the ongoing economic and health impacts of the pandemic. Recently, members of legislative leadership have called for a special session to fulfill the mandate set forth in House Bill 2014, which provides for…

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June 8, 2021 by Kelly Allen
New Research Confirms SNAP Time Limits Fail to Spur Employment, Result in Large Benefit Losses

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides crucial nutrition assistance to low-income individuals and households whose incomes are at or below 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level ($16,744/annually for an individual and $28,548/annually for a household of three). Along with unemployment insurance, SNAP is the most responsive aid program providing assistance during economic downturns.…

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May 28, 2021 by Rhonda Rogombe
Enhancing Child Welfare and Supporting West Virginia’s Foster Care System

May is National Foster Care Month. Federally recognized since 1988, National Foster Care Month recognizes the 463,000 children and youth in the foster care system across the country, as well as their caretakers and families, policymakers, and the countless individuals who coalesce to support them. West Virginia has been one of the leading states in the number…

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May 17, 2021 by Sean O'Leary
Proposed Tax Increases in the American Families Plan Would Affect Only 0.1 Percent of West Virginians

Last month, President Biden announced the American Families Plan (AFP) proposal, featuring major investments in K-12 education, child care, higher education, health care, and paid leave, as well as extended tax cuts for families and workers with children. The AFP also includes revenue-raising proposals that would affect only very high-income taxpayers. And while the benefits…

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May 14, 2021 by Sean O'Leary
Are Unemployment Benefits Causing a Labor Shortage, or is the Economy Adjusting After a Pandemic?

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the April jobs report, showing that job growth slowed significantly in April and raising concerns about the economy. Following these disappointing jobs numbers were anecdotes from businesses claiming to struggle to find workers willing to work, particularly in the restaurant industry. "Generous" unemployment benefits were quickly blamed,…

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May 12, 2021 by Seth DiStefano
Economic Supports in American Families Plan are Historic Opportunity for WV

The American Families Plan framework as outlined by the Biden Administration represents the single biggest investment in the economic security of workers and families since FDR’s New Deal. Two specific policies, permanent expansions of both the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), will directly increase the household incomes of hundreds of…

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May 5, 2021 by Quenton King
Criminal Justice Policy and the 2021 Legislative Session

The 2021 West Virginia legislative session ended last month, and now that the majority of the bills have been signed by the governor or passed into law without his signature, we can take stock of how criminal justice policies fared at the Capitol.  The 2020 session saw several bills that were strides toward reform and…

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