The Obama Administration this week decided to delay the mandate in the Affordable Care Act which would require employers to provide health care for their employees or face penalties. Since this affects only those companies with 50 or more employees, few will be impacted in West Virginia. Read more in Brandon’s blog post on how this decision is expected to affect West Virginia (spoiler: not much).
This week, the interest rates on student loans doubled, making college even more expensive for many West Virginia students. West Virginia already ranks near the bottom in the percentage of workers who have college degrees. This ranking, however, belies the fact that, from 1979 to 2012, West Virginia increased the number of college-educated workers by about 200 percent, more than any other state. Read more in Ted’s blog post.
Business taxes in West Virginia are such a small cost of doing business, and have already been cut to such a low level, that cutting them further will unlikely have much affect on creating jobs and attracting new business to the state. In fact, the business franchise tax and the corporate income tax make up just 0.2% of business costs in West Virginia. Read more in Ted’s blog post.
To learn more about how a Future Fund could work in West Virginia, Senate President Jeff Kessler and other legislators will travel to North Dakota later this summer. As the most recent state to adopt a Future Fund, North Dakota has seen its fund grow at a rapid pace since it was started three years ago, as reported in the Charleston Daily Mail and the State Journal. The WVCBP has issued multiple reports on how a Future Fund could provide a source of long-term sustainability to the state, especially after nonrenewable energy sources are depleted. Here’s our report that talks about other states’ funds, including North Dakota. And here is a short video on why we need a Future Fund in West Virginia.
Some members of West Virginia’s congressional delegation seized on the opportunity to slam the Affordable Care Act this week after President Obama decided to delay the employer mandate by a year. Giving the other side of the story in the State Journal was Brandon Merritt, the WVCBP’s health policy analyst.
About 11,000 West Virginia military families rely on either the Earned Income Tax Credit or the low-income component of the Child Tax Credit to help them make ends meet as reported this week by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Nationwide, over 1.5 million military families rely on the federal safety net to stay out of poverty. Read the full report.