Reports & Briefs

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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January 13, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
The State of West Virginia’s Immigrants

West Virginia’s immigrants come from all over the world and while a small share of the populations, they are broadly represented throughout the state’s workforce and economy. Read PDF of report. But a fuller conversation about immigrants tends to be overshadowed by the controversy in the U.S. around immigration reform. This conversation all too often…

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January 7, 2020 by Kelly Allen, Ted Boettner
Adding Adult Dental Coverage to Medicaid Can Improve Health in West Virginia

Poor oral health is widespread in West Virginia. It significantly affects the employability of our workforce, contributes to higher emergency room utilization, and is often both an indicator of and a contributor to other chronic health conditions. According to a 2014 report, only 40 percent of West Virginians have dental insurance.[1] While Medicaid expansion has…

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October 24, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Banning the Box in West Virginia: Giving Workers with Criminal Records a Fair Chance

When people leave the criminal justice system, a combination of family support, community assistance, and economic opportunity is needed to help them stay out. Having access to employment opportunities is key, providing not just financial resources, but also connections to society that help those with criminal records reintegrate successfully. Read report. Unfortunately, people with a…

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August 28, 2019 by WVCBP
Wage Theft in West Virginia: Solutions for a Hidden Epidemic

Wage theft is one of the most prevalent but under-reported problems confronting working people in the United States. Wage theft is a violation of workers’ rights in which an employer fails to pay an employee what that employee is owed. The national scale of wage theft is tremendous. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI),…

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February 8, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Missed Opportunities: The West Virginia FY 2020 Proposed Budget

Governor Jim Justice’s FY 2020 budget includes new spending initiatives and pay raises while avoiding spending cuts as the state’s financial situation shows signs of stability. While the FY 2020 budget is an improvement after years of budget cuts, it represents a missed opportunity to reverse the damage of past mistakes and invest in a…

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February 7, 2019 by Sean O'Leary, Ted Boettner
West Virginia Shale Development Falls Short of Economic Promise

The nearly six-fold increase in West Virginia’s natural gas production in the last decade, due largely to shale development, or fracking, has fallen short of expectations for economic growth, job creation, and tax revenue generation, according to a new report released by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and the West Virginia…

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January 31, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Public Money for Private Schools: Education Savings Accounts Can Grow Costly While Doing Little to Improve Education

West Virginia legislators are considering enacting voucher-like programs to transfer tax-payer money to private schools. This week they introduced a proposal to create Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) as part of the omnibus education reform bill, SB 451, which would set public money aside for educational services, including private school tuition, textbooks and curriculum materials, private…

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January 28, 2019 by WVCBP
Medicaid Work Requirements: Challenges and Alternatives

West Virginia is one of the poorest states in the nation, and West Virginians face some of the highest rates of illness and disability. Among the few bright spots are public-funded programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The number of uninsured West Virginians has plummeted since the state’s expansion of Medicaid…

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