August 4, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
What Does West Virginia’s Revenue Picture Tell Us About the Economy?

Yesterday, Governor Justice held a press conference to provide an update on the state's fiscal situation at the start of the 2021 fiscal year (FY) and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the governor, West Virginia is starting FY 2021 with a $243.9 million surplus, and ended FY 2020 with a $23…

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July 30, 2020 by Kelly Allen
Leverage Medicaid to Strengthen our Recovery

July 30 marks the 55th anniversary of Medicaid. Medicaid is a powerhouse state-federal partnership, providing health coverage to over 560,000 West Virginians, bringing over $3 billion in federal health care funding into our state each year, and supporting hospitals and health care jobs all over the state. While always essential, Medicaid is especially effective during…

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July 28, 2020 by Quenton King
Jail Bookings Dropped during Initial Months of COVID-19 Emergency, but Momentum is Reversing

This post is co-authored by Bryan Phillips, the WVCBP's Summer Research Associate As the Huttonsville Correctional Center outbreak and numerous outbreaks around the country have demonstrated, jails and prisons are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 transmission. Earlier analyses looked at the overall jail and prison population reduction in the state and the change in arrest rates in Charleston, WV in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic.…

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July 23, 2020 by Seth DiStefano
Addressing Food Insecurity during a Pandemic

As the United States Senate reconvenes to negotiate what may well be the final COVID-19 relief package, addressing food insecurity must be a top priority. The lasting negative impacts of hunger, especially for children, are widely known. Congress has not only the opportunity, but the duty to act to avoid those consequences and support families…

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July 21, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic are Leading to Housing Insecurity in West Virginia

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt strongly in West Virginia. In just a matter of weeks, the state lost 92,000 jobs and the unemployment rate spiked to 15.9 percent. As West Virginia has begun to reopen, some jobs have returned, but the unemployment rate remains above 10.0 percent, more than double…

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July 16, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
Letting Enhanced Unemployment Benefits Expire Would Create Hardship for Families and Hurt West Virginia’s Economy

Since the end of March, when unemployed West Virginians began receiving Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) payments – the $600 per week enhancement to unemployment benefits that were part of the CARES Act – West Virginia has received at least $753 million through the federally funded program. However, that aid is set to expire at the…

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July 15, 2020 by Seth DiStefano
The RECLAIM Act and Social Determinants of Health

Recently, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. The bill is a comprehensive infrastructure package that includes public money for broadband, water systems, renewable energy investments, and two critical components that would support well-paying jobs and the revitalization of coalfield communities across the country-- the RECLAIM Act and the reauthorization of the…

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July 14, 2020 by WVCBP
Single Member House Districts Put Population Shifts in the Spotlight

This post is authored by Ryan Brij Stewart, the WVCBP's 2020 Summer Research Associate with the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium in Poverty. He studies Government and Philosophy at Hamilton College. Every 10 years after the decennial census, West Virginia, like every state, redraws its electoral districts in a process known as redistricting. While this process…

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July 9, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
How to Best Use West Virginia’s $1.25 Billion in CARES Act Funding

Last month, Governor Justice unveiled his plan for using the $1.25 billion in CARES Act funding that West Virginia received to help the state respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Treasury Department guidance forbids states from using the funds to offset revenue losses due to the pandemic, limiting what states can do with the funding. This…

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July 1, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
Government Job Losses Are Weakening West Virginia’s Recovery

West Virginia added 13,300 jobs in May, welcome news after losing 92,000 jobs in April as the state struggled with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as food service, health care, and other private sector jobs saw modest gains after April's massive losses, state and local government jobs continued to decline, partially offsetting…

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