Blog Posts > Missed Opportunities in Proposed West Virginia Budget
January 18, 2019

Missed Opportunities in Proposed West Virginia Budget

On Wednesday, legislators, community partners and concerned citizens took part in the 6th Annual Budget Breakfast for an overview of Governor Jim Justice’s proposed budget. Those who would benefit from the governor’s proposed tax cuts are largely high-wage earners, leaving low-wage families to continue to pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes.

Here are policy recommendations, currently left out of the governor’s budget, that would help lift up the state’s working families:

In case you missed it, you can watch the video of Wednesday’s event, read Ted’s presentation, or watch the news.

You can also watch the amazing and inspiring words from our keynote speaker, Seema Sadanandan, from Alliance for Safety and Justice, and the importance of the budget as a moral document.

House Committee Votes to Repeal SNAP Ban

The first ten days of the 2019 Legislative Session saw progress on legislation impacting individuals transitioning from incarceration to life outside of prison.

Bills moving include those related to expungement, restoration of driving privileges, and, a repeal of the lifetime ban on SNAP benefits for people convicted of drug felonies (HB 2459), which just passed out of House Judiciary Committee today with overwhelming bi-partisan support. West Virginia is one of only three states that still has this policy in place.

HB 2459 heads to the floor for a vote of the full House. Here is our fact sheet on the issue.

Advisory Committee Launched

On January 16, our Policy Advisory Committee held its inaugural meeting to discuss and offer suggestions on the WVCBP’s policy and research agenda. Partners working in early childhood education, food security, health policy, criminal justice, and other areas came together to address what they would like to see from the organization and how our groups can work together to improve the lives of all West Virginians.

Check out Budget Beat in the coming months when we will profile members of our advisory committee and board!

Tuesday: Live Discussion of Gender Pay Gap

Join us live on Tuesday for a discussion with our public policy fellow, Tara Holmes, on the gender pay gap in West Virginia.

We will discuss her findings on the results of the pay gap and the policies that would help to close it to benefit all women and families in West Virginia.

We Are Hiring! Join Our Team!

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

Make a Difference in West Virginia: Apply for the State Policy Fellowship Program Today!

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:

  • Bring diverse perspectives to state policy debates.
  • Make a difference for vulnerable families and communities.
  • Launch careers.

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!

Every Friday during the Legislative Session:

Tune in on Facebook for a weekly recap of legislative highlights. Wonk’s World is hosted by Rick Wilson and Lida Shepherd with the American Friends Service Committee.

January 26: How Things Work Story Time in Morgantown

Curious how a bill becomes a law? Want to learn about how citizens (regardless of age) can get involved? Join our guest readers Mollie and Kelly for the exciting tale of House Mouse, Senate Mouse plus fun activities.

January 30: Data For the Win~ Advocating for Equitable State and Local Tax Policy (Webinar)

Who should attend? This webinar is designed for policy professionals, leaders of advocacy and grassroots groups and new policy staff with a professional interest in equitable tax structures. Register today!

Upcoming Legislative Engagement Workshops

Join a coalition of state and local organizations to learn how to advocate for the issues most important to you!

January 23: Wheeling, 6-8PM, First State Capitol Building

January 30: Parkersburg, 6-8PM, Judge Donald F Black Courthouse Annex

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!

February 7: Unequal Happy Hour
Sam’s Uptown Café, Charleston, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Please join us along with Boss Babes and WV Free at an Unequal Happy Hour to draw attention to the gender pay gap and to highlight policies that would help to close it. West Virginia has the third-largest gender pay gap in the nation. Women working full-time, year-round are paid, on average, 74 percent of what their male counterparts are paid.

The numbers are even more stark for women of color with black women making just 63 cents to every dollar a man makes and Latina women making just 60 cents. Legislators and advocacy groups will be on hand to discuss policies that they are championing in West Virginia to close the gap for all women.

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