March 23, 2023 by Rhonda Rogombe
Health Policy, the Social Safety Net, and the 2023 Legislative Session

West Virginia has long faced significant health-related challenges, many of which could have been meaningfully addressed by bills introduced during the 2023 legislative session. Maternal and infant mortality rates continue to rise nationally, and the most recent pre-pandemic state data indicated that infant mortality in West Virginia outpaces the national rate.[1] Opioid overdose deaths continue to take the…

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March 10, 2023 by Rhonda Rogombe
Four Things You Need to Know About Upcoming Changes to Medicaid and CHIP

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government passed legislation to help families and health care providers amid an unprecedented health and economic crisis. Among the provisions, states were required to keep people who receive health insurance via Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) continuously enrolled in the programs in exchange…

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March 2, 2023 by Sara Whitaker
Senate Bill Would Double Down on Failed Drug Policies

On Tuesday, the Senate passed Senate Bill 547, a radical reimagining of the Controlled Substances Act that doubles down on decades of failed drug policies. West Virginia has been called ground zero of the drug overdose crisis. For the last decade, West Virginia has had the highest fatal overdose rate in the country–more than twice…

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February 25, 2023 by Kelly Allen
Senate Compromise Tax Plan Looks Much Like Their Initial Plan

On Saturday afternoon of day 46 of the West Virginia legislative session, the Senate Finance committee unveiled and passed their second attempt at a tax cut without discussion or questions and then suspended rules to pass it out of the chamber. The legislation, HB 2526, looks very much like the plan they passed earlier this…

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February 24, 2023 by Sean O'Leary
Senate FY 2024 Budget Once Again Relies on One-time Money, Punts on Future Questions

This afternoon the Senate Finance Committee introduced their version of the FY 2024 budget. Notably–to account for their plan to cut taxes for the state's wealthiest households and businesses–the Senate's proposed budget is significantly smaller than the budget proposed by the governor. The Senate budget proposal relies on one-time surplus funds to pay for ongoing,…

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February 14, 2023 by Kelly Allen
Two Big Tax Breaks for the Coal Industry Could Cost Nearly $100 Million, Do Little to Increase Production

Two significant tax breaks for the coal industry are currently moving through the West Virginia Legislature, and together they could cost nearly $100 million in state coal severance tax revenue annually. HB 3133 would enable the state’s coal producers and processors to reduce their severance tax responsibilities by 20 percent annually, by allowing them to…

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February 13, 2023 by Kelly Allen
What’s a Sustainable Plan for West Virginia’s “Surplus”?

The 2023 state legislative session has seen both chambers heavily focused on turning the state’s revenue “surplus” into personal income tax cuts, despite the clear need for new spending after four years of austerity forced by flat budgets. We’ve covered at length the temporary factors driving the surplus, as well as the fallacy of calling…

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February 10, 2023 by Kelly Allen
Senate Tax Cut Plan Not What Was Promised to Average West Virginians, Poses Significant Risks of Future Tax Increases or Budget Cuts

Over the course of a six-hour period, the West Virginia Senate unveiled their tax cut proposal, rushed it through committee (without a fiscal note, hearing testimony from a single witness, or any members asking any questions), and suspended the rules requiring three days of readings to pass it out of the chamber. While lawmakers repeatedly…

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February 9, 2023 by Kelly Allen, Sara Whitaker, Rhonda Rogombe
A Recap of the First Half of the Legislative Session

With a relatively short 60-day legislative session, the bills that get considered—and the ones that don’t—tell us a lot about our lawmakers’ priorities. Now that we are exactly halfway through the 2023 session, the WVCBP team lends insight into what we’ve seen prioritized so far and what we would like to see prioritized during the…

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