Budget Beat

November 22, 2019 by WVCBP
Another Proposed SNAP Rule Threatens Food Security for West Virginia Families

Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Trump Administration unveiled their third attack in a year on the nation's nutrition safety net, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This latest proposal would essentially force families to choose between paying their utilities and putting food on the table. The proposed rule, which…

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November 15, 2019 by WV Center on Budget and Policy
Health Care Premiums Just Taxes By Another Name

While the United States is a low-tax country compared to most industrialized nations, for a majority of Americans it doesn't feel this way. That's largely because private health insurance companies receive a large portion of our income every month. If we sent our money to a publicly run health insurance plan (e.g., Medicare) instead, almost…

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November 8, 2019 by WVCBP
Protect West Virginians With Pre-Existing Conditions

If the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a lower court's decision, the entirety of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could be invalidated (though it would almost assuredly go before the Supreme Court for a final decision before action is taken). Twenty million Americans, including 162,000 West Virginians, stand to lose their health care coverage…

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November 1, 2019 by WVCBP
It’s Time to Raise the Natural Gas Severance Tax

What if we used the wealth from our natural resources to invest in a brighter future for West Virginians instead of sending that wealth out of state? Our new video out this week shows all the investments we could make in our people and communities if the natural gas severance tax was raised. This tax…

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October 18, 2019 by WVCBP
PILOT Agreements Cost State Millions in Tax Revenue

A Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) agreement is a property tax abatement where a company (sometimes a non-profit) agrees to make annual payments to local governments instead of paying the property taxes it would normally owe. Usually these payments are just a fraction of what otherwise would have been paid over the time of…

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October 11, 2019 by WVCBP
Food for All Coalition Adopts 2020 Priorities

On a beautiful day yesterday in Summersville, West Virginia, over 100 people from across the state and beyond came together for the second annual Food For All coalition meeting. Participants briefly celebrated victories from 2019 and then got to work planning a bold vision to make Food for All a reality in West Virginia through…

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October 4, 2019 by WVCBP
Medicaid Block Grants are Just Cuts By Another Name

Earlier this year, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma and the Trump Administration began encouraging states to apply for "block grant" waivers for their Medicaid programs. These waivers would allow states to bypass federal standards and beneficiary protections in exchange for agreeing to caps on the federal Medicaid funding they receive.…

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September 27, 2019 by WVCBP
West Virginia’s Personal Income Growth Cause for Concern, Not Celebration

Earlier this year, Governor Justice, as well as the Chamber of Commerce celebrated the fact that West Virginia had the nation's highest personal income growth in country in the first quarter of 2019, using the single data point as proof that their preferred policies were growing the economy. In fact, the Chamber of Commerce went…

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September 20, 2019 by WVCBP
Protect SNAP Benefits in West Virginia

Please take a moment to comment on a proposed change to a key SNAP (food stamps) rule which, if implemented, would take away basic food assistance from an estimated 3.1 million people, mainly working families with children, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. The SNAP proposal would take over $19 million annually out of our state…

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September 13, 2019 by WVCBP
Gains in Access to Health Care Appear Stalled

U.S. Census data out this week show gains in health care coverage in West Virginia since the passage of Obamacare have stalled. Despite the state's positive job growth in 2018, the was no reduction in the number of uninsured West Virginians. With an estimated 114,000 West Virginians without health coverage, it is imperative that policymakers…

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