January 19, 2022 by Kelly Allen, Rhonda Rogombe
Buy-in Policy Could Help Address Medicaid Cliff Effect

In December, West Virginia state lawmakers in the Joint Committee on Finance discussed the "cliff effect," a phenomenon wherein a small increase in household income makes an individual or family ineligible for public programs like Medicaid and food assistance. The result can often mean less economic security for the individual or family, as the cost…

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January 17, 2022 by Sean O'Leary
Unemployment Reform Bills Are Another Attack on Workers

On the first day of the 2022 legislative session, the West Virginia Senate introduced bills that would make major changes to the state's unemployment insurance system, to the detriment of the state's workers. While Senate Bill 3 would add additional strict work search requirements for unemployed workers collecting unemployment insurance, Senate Bill 2 would reduce…

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January 6, 2022 by Sean O'Leary
Checking in on West Virginia’s Economy as 2022 Arrives

West Virginia's economy continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly two years after impacts were first felt in the state. After historic job losses in the spring of 2020, the state underwent a steep, but partial recovery in the summer. However, growth has been sluggish in recent months, and a substantial jobs gap…

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December 21, 2021 by Sean O'Leary
Can West Virginia Afford to Cut the Severance Tax (Again)?

West Virginia levies a severance tax on the production value of coal, natural gas, oil, and other natural resources produced in the state. During the most recent legislative interim session, the Joint Committee on Finance proposed legislation to -- yet again -- cut the state's already low severance tax. This comes on the heels of…

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December 14, 2021 by Kelly Allen
50,000 West Virginia Children at Risk of Slipping into Poverty if Enhanced Child Tax Credit Provisions Expire

Under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Congress temporarily increased the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for more than 65 million children nationally, including 346,000 in West Virginia where it reaches 93 percent of children. Since July, most households with children have received $250- $300 per child monthly via the increased CTC, but the final payment…

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November 18, 2021 by Sean O'Leary
Inflation Concerns are No Reason to Scale Back the Build Back Better Agenda

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the overall year-over-year inflation rate in October was 6.2 percent, a notably high rate. While there are many reasons to believe that inflation will ease in the coming months, some, including West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, are arguing that current high rates of inflation are not…

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November 11, 2021 by Rhonda Rogombe
As Pandemic Persists, Open Enrollment Provides West Virginians Opportunity to Access Critical Health Care

The open enrollment period to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) started on November 1 and continues through January 15. This period allows individuals without existing health coverage to enroll in a private insurance plan or Medicaid – all in one place. As the nation continues to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic,…

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November 3, 2021 by Rhonda Rogombe
Build Back Better Would Increase Health Equity

The US House of Representatives recently introduced its version of the Build Back Better plan. Under the House plan, 7.6 million people across the country would gain health coverage. Furthermore, health care would become more accessible to millions of Americans via increased subsidies on the individual marketplace. This plan aims to make health care accessible…

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October 26, 2021 by Sean O'Leary
Five Scary Charts About West Virginia in 2021

It's Halloween week -- time to get spooky! Who needs ghost stories when you have spine-tingling bars and trend lines? Here are five ghoulish charts about West Virginia in 2021 that will make your bones rattle and your blood curdle. At the beginning of the pandemic, West Virginia lost an unprecedented 101,000 jobs as total…

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