On December 4, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Trump Administration finalized their rule on SNAP time limit waivers. The rule restricts states’ flexibility to waive SNAP’s three-month time limit in areas with insufficient jobs and will take basic food assistance from 700,000 Americans including 10,100 West Virginians who struggle to find steady work.
The rule’s impacts could be even more severe in future recessions or economic downturns. Under the rule change, states experiencing sharp increases in unemployment could lose their ability to waive time limits. In West Virginia, we’ve seen firsthand that these policies do nothing to help struggling people find work. Instead, they increase food insecurity and strain our food banks and pantries.
This rule reflects the Trump Administration’s larger desire to defy Congressional intent and chip away at the safety net. Just this year, the Administration has proposed three separate rules that would take SNAP away from those who need it. If all three rules are implemented, over 38,000 West Virginians will lose critical food assistance.
For more on the local impact of this damaging rule, read or listen to coverage from West Virginia Public Broadcasting and its interview with Policy Outreach Director Seth DiStefano.
Coming off a courageous, down-to-the wire filibuster from State Senator Mike Romano during the final moments of the 2019 regular session, you can count on multiple attempts to pass “Article V” resolutions in 2020. Attempts to amend our Constitution via Article V are problematic for many reasons, the biggest among them is the likelihood of a runaway convention that could drastically restrict or eliminate our fundamental rights.
Take some time this weekend to read up on the basics from CBPP’s Michael Leachman and Georgetown Law professor David Super on why states are unlikely to control the outcome of an Article V convention.
Over the years, pro-Article V groups have embraced the ‘single issue’ strategy to advance their agenda. Groups tend to zero in on a specific issue that is generally popular (Term Limits for Congress, for example) and try to convince lawmakers that any potential convention can be limited to that one issue.
Many constitutional scholars disagree and our nation’s founding document provides no recourse for a runaway convention. It’s a bad idea and lawmakers need to understand the liabilities to our fundamental rights.
Stay tuned for more updates.
As the 2020 Legislative Session rapidly approaches, it is expected that industry groups will promote further business tax cuts. specifically the Business Personal Property Tax.
Watch Seth on WOWK-TV this Sunday at 6:00AM or at wowktv.com when he is interviewed on further tax cuts making it even harder to maintain our public education system.
Read more on how property taxes in West Virginia compare to other states, and the role taxes play in business decision-making. It suggests policies that the state could pursue to boost manufacturing and build a brighter future for all.
Between 2016 and 2018, over1,500 West Virginia children under the age of six lost health coverage and became uninsured, representing a 69.8 percent increase in the uninsured rate among that population. Over the same period nationally, the uninsured rate increased by only 12.7 percent. West Virginia is one of only 11 states to see statistically significant increases in both the rate and number of uninsured young children.
In 2018, 3.4 percent of West Virginia’s youngest kids were uninsured. West Virginia hasn’t seen an uninsured rate above 3 percent among that population since 2013, prior to the Affordable Care Act’s implementation.
Read more in Kelly’s blog post.
On Monday December 16 at 10:00am in the House Government Organization Committee Room, the Joint Judiciary Committee will hear from Jeff Hayes, Program Director for Job Quality and Income Security at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
He will present on the benefits of implementing paid family and medical leave for all West Virginia workers. The public is invited to attend and show support for comprehensive paid leave for new parents, caregivers, and those who experience chronic illness.
You can also share your story about how paid leave helped your family or when you needed it here.
Mark your calendar for January 15, 2020 for our 7th annual Budget Breakfast as we kick off the 2020 Legislative Session.
We have a great newsletter, join below: