July 28, 2021 by Kelly Allen, Rhonda Rogombe
Dental Benefit Already Making a Significant Impact in West Virginia

At the beginning of this year, West Virginia began offering a dental benefit for adults over the age of 21 who are enrolled in West Virginia Medicaid. This was a result of SB 648, a piece of legislation passed in 2020 which the WVCBP, the West Virginia Oral Health Coalition, and many partners and community members advocated on…

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July 22, 2021 by Quenton King
A Look at Student Loan Debt in West Virginia

Federal student loan debt has more than tripled since 2007, jumping from $516 billion in 2007 to nearly $1.6 trillion in March 2021. West Virginia borrowers hold $6.5 billion of that debt. The freeze on student loan payments and the temporary zero percent interest rate have been a relief to borrowers since implemented in March…

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July 13, 2021 by WVCBP
Strong Unions Serve an Essential Role for Black Workers in West Virginia

This post was written by the WVCBP's summer research associate, Myya Helm. Throughout West Virginia’s history, labor unions have played a significant role in bargaining for higher wages and better benefits for workers. During the peak of unionization, West Virginia’s workers enjoyed higher wages, stronger economic output, and lower income inequality than workers in many…

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July 8, 2021 by WVCBP
Children in Foster Care Must Be Considered in Addressing Academic Losses with American Rescue Plan Act Funding

This blog post was written by the WVCBP's summer research associate, Tamicah Owens. The closing of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, while necessary, created a myriad of issues for learners and parents. Teachers and schools in some areas were able to quickly transition to virtual schooling for students. However, some student populations suffered higher levels of academic losses…

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July 7, 2021 by Sean O'Leary
Signs of Caution in West Virginia’s FY 2021 Surplus

While the COVID-19 pandemic created havoc in the state's economy over the past year, the state's revenue collections have exceeded expectations. West Virginia ended FY 2021 with total general revenue collections of $4.989 billion, which is $413 million above the original estimates for the year. And while Governor Justice celebrated the revenue report as being…

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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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