Reports & Briefs

January 6, 2021 by Quenton King
Overcrowded and Overburdened: West Virginia Counties Struggle to Pay Regional Jail Bills

Introduction Because county governments must ultimately pay the costs associated with keeping people behind bars in their local jails, the explosion of county jail incarceration is driving enormous and growing pressure on county budgets. County spending on jails is rising, and the amount billed to counties by the Regional Jail Authority is rising even more…

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December 15, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
The Case Against Austerity: Why Protecting Investments in West Virginia Families and Communities is Key to COVID-19 Recovery

Introduction With West Virginia still feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic recession, the state’s leaders face difficult choices in the upcoming legislative session. The choices legislators make will help determine whether or not West Virginia will have a swift and equitable recovery with an economy that works for everyone. Read the full issue brief.…

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November 3, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
State of Working West Virginia 2020: The State of Racial Inequality

Foreword In 1967, Black Americans marched, protested, and even rioted as decades of systemic racism and oppression came to a head. In response, President Lyndon Johnson established the Kerner Commission, which spent the next year researching, holding hearings, and visiting communities to examine racial inequity in the country. In 1968, the Commission issued its report,…

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October 20, 2020 by Kelly Allen
Smoothing the Transition: A Medicaid Buy-in Could Reduce Churn and Expand Health Insurance Coverage to Thousands of West Virginians

Introduction Despite major gains under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), too many low- and middle- income West Virginians still lack consistent affordable health care coverage options. West Virginia saw the largest drop in the uninsured rate in the country after implementation of the ACA and Medicaid expansion, going from 13.5 percent of the population uninsured…

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September 15, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
A CHIP Buy-in Could Help West Virginia Achieve Universal Coverage for Kids

Introduction The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides low-cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid. CHIP is administered at the state level and is usually tied closely to state Medicaid programs. Each state program has its own rules about who qualifies for CHIP. Read the full policy…

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June 24, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
West Virginia’s Prescription Transparency Law Can Address Rising Drug Costs

The cost of prescription drugs is one of the leading health care issues in the United States, accounting for $335 billion of total health care spending in 2018 [1] and over 23 percent of total health insurance premium costs.[2] And the cost of prescription drugs is rising. The cost of prescription drugs is one of…

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February 13, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
Trouble Ahead: The West Virginia FY 2021 Proposed Budget

Governor Jim Justice’s FY 2021 budget is largely unchanged from FY 2020, with stagnating revenues preventing any major new spending and one-time budget maneuvers preventing any spending cuts. While the FY 2021 budget is stable because of a large surplus in Medicaid, the state faces significant budget gaps in the coming years that may require…

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January 21, 2020 by WVCBP
Unemployment Insurance in West Virginia: A Good System With Room For Improvement (NELP Report)

This report was written by Michele Evermore, Senior Policy Analyst with the National Employment Law Center (NELP) While the US economy is flashing signs of a potential economic downturn in the future, West Virginia’s unemployment insurance system is in a precarious situation that needs immediate attention. Unemployment Insurance (UI) is more than just a lifeline…

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January 15, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
Who Pays? Rethinking West Virginia’s Tax System

To get a sense of a state’s values, one often need look no further than its tax system. What a state spends its tax dollars on and how it acquires those tax dollars typically reveals a lot about the priorities of its people—what they care about and what they stand for. In theory, it’s a…

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