January 21, 2021 by Quenton King
Criminal Justice Priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session

February 10 marks the beginning of West Virginia’s 85th Legislature, and with this session lawmakers will have the opportunity to build upon their 2020 criminal justice reform efforts. The following are the criminal justice priorities for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. Immediately Protect Incarcerated People and Correctional Facility Staff Evidence is clear…

Read More
January 14, 2021 by Rhonda Rogombe
Funding Cuts to Local Health Departments Harmful for Public Health

West Virginia’s local health departments have served as the cornerstone of public health initiatives for decades. Providing services such as immunization, family planning, harm reduction, environmental and food inspections, and much more, local health departments deliver a holistic approach to ensuring health and wellness for West Virginia residents across the state. They have been crucial…

Read More
December 21, 2020 by Quenton King
Decarceration Needed to Protect Correctional Facilities from COVID-19 Spread

As COVID-19 cases rise across the country and throughout the state, West Virginia’s correctional facilities continue to be at heightened risk of outbreaks. Outbreaks are particularly concerning in these facilities because incarcerated people tend to have both more health challenges and less access to quality medical care than the general populace. With the state entering…

Read More
December 17, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
School Enrollment is Falling During the Pandemic, Which May Lead to Budget Cuts

Statewide enrollment in West Virginia's public schools fell by 9,300 students this past year, as states across the country are seeing declining school enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Declining enrollment could mean budget cuts for school districts, even as schools struggle with the extra costs of improving remote learning offerings and adopting safety procedures…

Read More
December 9, 2020 by Kelly Allen
One in Five West Virginia Adults Will Gain Access to Dental Benefits on January 1

One of the most significant bills passed during the 2020 legislative session is expected to go into effect on January 1, 2021. SB 648 adds a dental benefit to the state’s adult Medicaid program, extending this important coverage to an estimated 310,733 West Virginia adults. The legislation provides for each adult Medicaid recipient to be…

Read More
December 3, 2020 by Rhonda Rogombe
Major CARES Act Provisions Will Expire at the End of the Year Without Action from Congress

In March, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which established several programs that have since proved critical for stabilizing the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act's remaining provisions will expire on December 31, leaving Americans anxiously awaiting Congress's next economic relief package. But with no precise…

Read More
November 19, 2020 by Quenton King
New West Virginia Criminal Law Coalition Website Tracks Jail Populations and Cost for Counties

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, West Virginia law enforcement and corrections officials moved quickly to reduce jail and prison populations. And while the prison population has remained lower than normal, since April, the jail population has steadily increased and was more than 35 percent overcapacity as of November 12. Among the reasons for the burgeoning…

Read More
November 18, 2020 by WVCBP
The High Cost Of Losing Harm Reduction in Kanawha County

This blog was guest written for WVCBP by Jill Kriesky, former associate director of the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project and author of our upcoming report on the cost of the addiction epidemic in Kanawha County. Someone, let’s say your sister, partner, or friend, gets hooked on opioids or stimulants, or a combination of both. We…

Read More