The 2019 Legislative Session has just begun and Governor Jim Justice released his proposed budget and stated his funding priorities for the upcoming fiscal year in his State of the State speech on Wednesday. While promising to give state employees and school workers another five-percent raise, he also wants to eliminate the industrial property tax on inventory, machinery and equipment – a $140 million gift to mostly out-of-state corporations. It’s unclear how it would all add up.
Executive Director Ted Boettner released the following statement following Governor Jim Justice’s 2019 State of the State address:
Elimination of the industrial personal property tax could be a major threat to the state’s budget and schools. The move would benefit mostly the manufacturing, coal and natural gas industries by reducing their property taxes by approximately $140 million per year while doing little to help working families or small businesses. While proponents hail this tax change as a way to grow manufacturing jobs, the graph below shows that there is no obvious association between the tax and more job growth.
A few days prior to the first day of the session, legislators, advocates and the media got together for the WV Press Association’s Legislative Look-Ahead with a preview. WVCBP Executive Director Ted Boettner was there to discuss the harmful impacts of the tax cuts legislators and the governor are considering.
Here are other keys areas we will be watching as the 2019 Legislative Session takes shape summarized by Senior Policy Analyst Sean O’Leary.
The governor’s budget is the most important bill of the session, impacting the lives of us all in many ways. For more on how the process works, and how you can get involved, check out the latest edition of Your Guide to the State Budget.
Want to know more about this year’s budget? Come to the 6th annual Budget Breakfast this Wednesday, January 16. There a just a handful of tickets left and registration closes Monday. We hope you can join us!
Breakfast starts at 7:30 and our program runs from 8:00 – 9:00 AM.
Kicking off the morning will be Ted’s annual analysis of the governor’s proposed budget.
Last month, in a major victory for West Virginians, Congress passed a farm bill that protects the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps thousands in our state, and millions across the country, put food on their tables. On the same day that President Trump signed the farm bill, however, his administration announced it would try to implement some of the harmful policies, that were rejected in the farm bill, through regulations. The WVCBP will continue to fight cuts to SNAP as part of our anti-hunger work within the Food for All Coalition.
Read the full story in Policy Outreach Coordinator Kelly Allen’s op-ed in the Beckley Register-Herald this week.
The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy is currently seeking a Communications Specialist.
The Communications Specialist is responsible for creating and implementing a comprehensive communications strategy that advances public policies that improve the quality of life for all West Virginians. This includes media relations, public campaigns, publication design, social media, and website and database management. Interested applicants are encouraged to send their resumes to email@example.com.
Jessie Ice has joined our staff as Senior Policy Analyst. She is a native West Virginian originally from Braxton County. She holds a B.A. in History and African American Studies from the University of Virginia, Masters of Public Administration and Social Work from West Virginia University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Florida State University.
Jessie’s experience focuses on using data to understand the impacts of state and local public policy. She has authored in the “Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government” and presented at conferences around the country and in Canada. She has taught public policy and data analysis at Florida State University and West Virginia University and online as well as numerous adult education classes within the community. Jessie also serves on the Board of Directors for West Virginia Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Email Jessie.
The State Policy Fellowship Program is now accepting applications for its 2019-2021 class of State Policy Fellows! This an exciting career opportunity for master’s level students and recent graduates to develop firsthand expertise in state-level policy analysis and research.
The Fellowship is a project of the State Priorities Partnership, a national network of independent state policy organizations in 43 states coordinated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), one of the nation’s premier policy institutes. Since 2010, CBPP and the State Priorities Partnership have placed fellows in leading state-based policy organizations across the country. Program alumni have assumed leading roles in many policy, advocacy, and philanthropic organizations, actively shaping policy and political debates at the federal and state levels.
The fellowship is designed to:
Eligible candidates must have received a graduate degree within the past two years or expect to receive a degree before August 1, 2019. Candidates must also have a strong academic record and be eligible to work full-time in the United States for the two-year duration of the program. Apply online before February 10!
Tune in on Facebook for a weekly recap of legislative highlights. This week features Senior Policy Analyst Sean O’Leary’s discussion of the impact of the business inventory tax cut.
Join us for the 6th Annual Kids and Families Day at the Capitol sponsored by the Our Children Our Future campaign. Be part of one of the largest legislative events as we educate and advocate for issues concerning working families and children in West Virginia. Kids and Families Day 2019 will showcase exhibits, actions/advocacy events with local legislators, and educational opportunities for everyone!
Join a coalition of state and local organizations to learn how to advocate for the issues most important to you!
This training will provide information about the process of a bill becoming a law, resources on how to speak with your elected officials, and taking effective actions.
We’ll also dive into some messaging tips on a variety of issues and how to connect these issues in a strategic and effective manner. Networking time will be included in the training to learn more from policy/issue experts and get involved in organizations or groups you’re most interested in.
Workshops are free and all are welcome! We hope to see you there!