Blog

October 14, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Breaking Down More Poverty Data

Last month saw the release of the 2018 American Community Survey from the Census Bureau, which included state level poverty and income data for 2018. As we reported at the time estimated 312,118 West Virginians lived in poverty in 2018, for a total poverty rate of 17.8 percent, the 4th highest in the country. Here are…

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October 2, 2019 by Kelly Allen
Medicaid Block Grants are Just Cuts By Another Name

Earlier this year, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma and the Trump Administration began encouraging states to apply for “block grant” waivers for their Medicaid programs. These waivers would allow states to bypass federal standards and beneficiary protections in exchange for agreeing to caps on the federal Medicaid funding they receive.…

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September 24, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
West Virginia’s Personal Income Growth Cause for Concern, Not Celebration

Earlier this year, Governor Justice, as well as the Chamber of Commerce celebrated the fact that West Virginia had the nation's highest personal income growth in country in the first quarter of 2019, using the single data point as proof that their preferred policies were growing the economy. In fact, the Chamber of Commerce went…

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September 19, 2019 by Seth DiStefano
SNAP Work Requirements Are Increasing Food Insecurity

In May of 2016, West Virginia enacted a time limit on SNAP benefits for childless adults in the 9 counties with the lowest unemployment. Those 9 counties were Berkeley, Cabell, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, Marion, Monongalia, Morgan and Putnam. While proponents maintained that cutting low-income childless adults from SNAP would boost employment, there is no evidence…

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September 5, 2019 by WVCBP
Guest Post: Proposed SNAP Rule Will Harm our Families and Depress our Food Economy

Josh Lohnes, Food Policy Research Director for West Virginia University's Food Justice Lab, authored this guest blog post. The WVU Food Justice Lab is an experimental space for research and action focused on challenging food system inequalities. As part of their food security work, Dr. Lohnes and his team estimated the potential impacts in West Virginia…

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September 3, 2019 by Ted Boettner
Misusing Data on West Virginia’s Economic Recovery

While West Virginia has experienced positive job growth over the last two years, it is imperative that we don't use employment data incorrectly so we can have a full understanding of how West Virginia's economy is rebounding.  Unfortunately, the WV Chamber of Commerce keeps misusing employment figures to overstate West Virginia's economic recovery. And even worse,…

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August 30, 2019 by Ted Boettner
Five Charts for Labor Day 2019

The decline in union coverage in West Virginia and across the United States is one of the central reasons for wage stagnation and the loss of hard-fought union benefits like pensions. West Virginia can help reverse this trend by eliminating "Right to Work" and by letting public employees collectively bargain.   Even as workers are…

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August 26, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
West Virginia’s Business Tax Cut Experiment Failed

It has been 12 years since West Virginia began its tax cut experiment, phasing out the business franchise tax and cutting the corporate net income tax rate from 9% to 6.5%, and nearly 5 years since the cuts have been fully in place. While we've explored before why business tax cuts aren't likely to work…

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August 14, 2019 by Kelly Allen, Sean O'Leary
Public Charge Rule Violates Our Values, Harms Our Families

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Trump Administration finalized their public charge rule, which will allow immigration officials to deny green cards and citizenship to immigrants or would-be immigrants who are determined likely to receive even modest assistance from programs like SNAP and Medicaid at any point over their lifetimes. This…

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August 9, 2019 by Kelly Allen
West Virginia’s Municipalities Have the Authority to Expand Worker Benefits

Everyone gets sick, but not everyone gets paid time off work to get better. Nearly half of West Virginia’s private sector workers, 46 percent, lacks paid sick leave, and people of color and low-income workers are the least likely to have access to this benefit. This means that those who have the most to lose by…

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