Blog Posts > West Virginians and State Economy Will See Outsized Benefits from the Build Back Better Act
October 8, 2021

West Virginians and State Economy Will See Outsized Benefits from the Build Back Better Act

The Build Back Better Act would create long-lasting change for West Virginia families, workers, and our state economy. Senator Joe Manchin can play a critical role in its passage. It is urgent that he capitalize on this historic opportunity to invest in our communities.

Our newest blog post explores how the Build Back Better Act would benefit West Virginians. Quick summary here:

– Continues Historic Expansions of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

– Invests in Child Care Affordability

– Establishes a Paid Family and Medical Leave Program for All Workers

– Expands Home and Community-Based Services

– Makes Housing More Affordable

– Fights Child Hunger

– Addresses the Climate Crisis and Creates Jobs Through Clean Energy Investments

In addition to critical programs and services that will benefit nearly all West Virginia families, the plan also reduces economic inequality and raises revenue by closing tax loopholes and increasing tax rates for the very wealthy and profitable corporations.

Learn more in Kelly’s full blog post here.

Listen to our colleague from Prevent Child Abuse WV, Jim McKay, discuss the positive economic impacts of the pro-family policies in the Build Back Better Act here.

Continuity of Care for West Virginia’s Medicaid Enrollees Must be Prioritized When Pandemic-Initiated Protections End

In partial thanks to the implementation of the continuous coverage requirement prohibiting state Medicaid agencies from disenrolling people through the end of the pandemic, Medicaid enrollment is higher than ever, but many West Virginians could eventually lose their coverage if the state isn’t proactive.

There are several opportunities for both the federal and state governments to ensure that as few eligible folks as possible lose health care coverage once the public health emergency (PHE) and the accompanying continuous coverage protection ends. Two policies that could help West Virginia mitigate the consequences of the unwinding of the PHE are conducting more ex parte renewals and ensuring that folks enrolled in Medicaid update their contact information.

Read Rhonda’s full blog post here.

Join us at Smart Justice Advocacy Days!

The WVCBP is a proud member of the West Virginia Criminal Law Reform Coalition. In January 2021, the coalition hosted a virtual Criminal Justice Reform Summit to build knowledge and awareness of the myriad flaws and prejudices currently ingrained into West Virginia’s criminal legal system. Now, we’re hoping to translate that knowledge into action through the Smart Justice Advocacy Days event. We hope you join us.

To gear up and get organized to advocate for systemic changes to our state’s criminal legal system, the coalition is hosting a series of three virtual learning sessions providing the lay of the land and diving into some issues we’d like to tackle during the 2022 legislative session. These webinars will be followed by an in-person citizen lobbying and story-telling training in Charleston on Sunday, December 5 to prepare participants for our Smart Justice Advocacy Day that will be held on Monday, December 6 at the State Capitol during legislative interims.

We welcome you to join us in any and all ways you are able! Please know that your inability to attend any one component of this event does not preclude you from participating in the convening’s other pieces (all of which are free!). We would love to have you fighting alongside us in whatever way makes sense for you.

For more information, check out the event landing page and registration here, and follow the Facebook event here for ongoing updates and reminders.

We hope to see you there!

Register Today for the WVCBP’s 2022 Budget Breakfast

Join us for our 9th annual Budget Breakfast!

Each year, the WVCBP holds this event to provide analysis of the Governor’s proposed budget. You’ll hear from our executive director, Kelly Allen, our senior policy analyst, Sean O’Leary, and our chosen keynote speaker, to be announced closer to the event.

Please find further event details below. You can purchase a ticket for the event here.

WHAT: WVCBP’s 9th Annual Budget Breakfast
WHEN: January 21, 2022. Breakfast will be available starting at 7:30am. The WVCBP’s analysis of the Governor’s 2023 proposed budget will begin at 8am, followed by keynote speaker presentation and time for Q&A. 
WHERE: Charleston Marriott Town Center (200 Lee Street East, Charleston, WV 25301)

  • Kelly Allen, WVCBP executive director
  • Sean O’Leary, WVCBP senior policy analyst
  • Keynote Speaker (to be announced)

PLEASE NOTE: The cost of a single standard ticket is $50, but if you take advantage of our Early Bird Special (available to all who register by 12/31/21), you will receive $10 off.

We appreciate your support of the WVCBP and our work, and we hope to see you in January!

ICYMI: Who Pays? An Overview of 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 direct reflection of their collective values.

And in West Virginia, we’ve seen perennial efforts to shift who pays taxes from the highest-income earners and corporations onto low- and middle-income families. Over the past two decades, state taxes paid by individuals and families increased while taxes paid by businesses declined. At the same time, low- and middle-income families have been paying a greater share of their income in taxes than wealthier West Virginians. This has coincided with either flat or less investment in the public programs and services that benefit us all.

Last week, we hosted a webinar that dove into West Virginia’s tax system, who pays, and how we can protect current programs and services while growing the pie for everyone. You can view the recording here (Access Passcode: bHUn.5GC).

Later this year, we will host two more webinars in this series, our second on effective and values-based tax messaging and our third on what lies ahead during the 2022 legislative session. Dates for those webinars will be announced soon!

Take Back Our Health WV Student Policy Research Fellowship

Take Back Our Health WV! (TBOHWV!) is a multi-sector partnership of health advocates and researchers driven by a vision of a healthier West Virginia.

The Take Back Our Health WV Fellowship supports undergraduate and graduate students to contribute to policy research focused on improving access to healthy food, physical activity infrastructure, and safe drinking water for all. This fellowship opportunity grants individual students at institutions of higher education in West Virginia an award to advance policy and systems research and share their findings with TBOHWV partners, practitioners, and policy-makers. Students will also gain firsthand experience with public health policy and systems change by connecting with mentors and organizational partners. Undergraduate fellows will be awarded $500 and graduate fellows will receive an award of $1,000.

Find further details and fellowship application here.

Share Your Medicaid Experience with Us!

The WVCBP’s Elevating the Medicaid Enrollment Experience (EMEE) Voices Project seeks to collect stories from West Virginians who have struggled to access Medicaid across the state. Being conducted in partnership with West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, EMEE Voices will gather insight to inform which Medicaid barriers are most pertinent to West Virginians, specifically people of color.

Do you have a Medicaid experience to share? We’d appreciate your insight. Just fill out the contact form on this webpage and we’ll reach out to you soon. We look forward to learning from you! 

You can watch WVCBP’s health policy analyst Rhonda Rogombé and West Virginians for Affordable Health Care’s Mariah Plante further break down the project and its goals in this FB Live.

Urge West Virginia’s US Senators to Support the Build Back Better Act

Earlier this year, our federal policymakers sent money to families so people can pay their rent and put food on the table, helped school districts protect teachers’ health and get kids back into the classroom, and boosted vaccine distribution—all of which will help accelerate our economy and address the immediate health and economic impacts of the pandemic.

Congress acted because we raised our voices together and demanded help. With short-term relief on the way, now Senator Manchin and Senator Capito need to look to our future and pass economic recovery legislation that ensures everyone can thrive, no matter what we look like or where we come from.

Our elected officials are negotiating recovery legislation now, so it’s time to make yourself heard again. Tell them you want our government to support working families and invest in our economic recovery by making health care coverage more available and affordable, permanently expanding relief for struggling people, and ensuring children get the support they need to succeed.

Please join us in urging Senators Manchin and Capito to support the Build Back Better Act by sending them a letter here.

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