February 15, 2022 by Kelly Allen, Sean O'Leary
Artificially Low Revenue Estimates Will Accelerate Proposed Tax Cuts for the Wealthy Even as State Programs are Denied Needed Resources

West Virginia is one of very few states where revenue estimates are made by the governor alone. Official revenue estimates determine the total size of the state budget, and lawmakers cannot exceed the official estimates when funding state agencies and programs. Governor Justice’s administration seems to be exploiting that power by setting flat budgets year…

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January 26, 2022 by Sean O'Leary
Low Revenue Estimates Are Not a Reason to Pursue Tax Cuts

Earlier this month, Governor Justice released his FY 2023 budget proposal. Once again, the governor is proposing a relatively "flat" budget with few changes from the previous year. However, like with the FY 2022 budget, low revenue estimates and a lack of a six-year plan are complicating the budget picture, preventing investments in the state's…

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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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