Blog

April 22, 2020 by Seth DiStefano
Policies to Support Communities Post-Coal and Post-COVID-19

Congress must take specific action to help coalfield communities rebound from the economic challenges that existed before COVID-19 and that continue to worsen amidst the pandemic. At the same time, actions to stimulate the economy must have the support of communities directly impacted by abandoned mine sites, including when and whether to start working in…

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April 21, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
Work Sharing Could Help Both Businesses and Workers During the Coronavirus Downturn

With tens of thousands of West Virginians losing their jobs and filing for unemployment insurance benefits as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts the economy, there is renewed interest in "work sharing" programs. Work sharing gives businesses the option of reducing the hours and wages of their employees instead of laying them off. Workers with reduced wages…

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April 15, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
Keeping Track of the Federal Coronavirus Assistance Available for West Virginia

Over the past several weeks, Congress has passed three major bills in response to the coronavirus crisis: the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act which provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which provided for paid sick leave, insurance coverage…

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April 9, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
Who Are West Virginia’s Frontline Workers?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 186,000 workers in West Virginia were employed in six broad industries that are now considered the frontlines of the response. Nurses, janitors, grocery clerks, child care staff, bus and truck drivers, these are the essential workers in our state and our economy, and the current crisis has done little to…

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April 7, 2020 by Kelly Allen, Seth DiStefano,
What You Need to Know: Accessing the Safety Net During COVID-19

At the WVCBP, we are tracking policy changes and flexibilities that impact the ability of West Virginians to utilize the safety net during the COVID-19 crisis. This post highlights changes to Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps) and TANF, as well as additional flexibilities in state and federal law that West Virginia should utilize to improve access…

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April 1, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
What Should be the Next Steps in the Coronavirus Response?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law last week, included many important provisions to help mitigate the sharp economic decline that millions are struggling with. But while the bill expanded unemployment insurance and provided financial assistance to families, individuals, state and local governments, and businesses, there is more that will…

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March 25, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
Senate Compromise Coronavirus Relief Bill Improves for Low Income West Virginians

According to reports, the Senate agreed to a compromise coronavirus relief bill last night that improves on flaws in its initial bill, which would have left out thousands of low-income West Virginians. The compromise bill provides up to $1,200 in payments or rebates for individuals with income up to $75,000 a year and $500 per…

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March 23, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
Preparing for the Coronavirus Fiscal Fallout

Crises like the coronavirus outbreak create a double challenge for state governments. Demand for vital public services escalate just as the revenues to support those services take a major downturn. West Virginia is already in a tight budget situation, with resources stretched thin. Before the effects of the crisis were really felt, the state revenues…

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March 19, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
Coronavirus Will Have a Profound Impact on West Virginia’s Economy

The daily lives of West Virginians have already been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, with schools closing this week and the announcement this week from the governor that bars, restaurants, and casinos will also be closed. The federal government is recommending to avoid groups of more than 10 people, and to practice "social distancing." All…

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