Blog

October 4, 2018 by Sean O'Leary
West Virginia’s Cuts to Higher Education Threaten Access and Equity

A decade since the Great Recession, state spending on higher education has yet to recover from years of deep cuts, including in West Virginia, according to a new report released today from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. West Virginia was one of 45 states that spent less per student in the 2018 school year than in 2008.…

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October 2, 2018 by Seth DiStefano
Cutting Food Assistance Won’t Help West Virginia

Despite the rosy rhetoric, everything is not okay in West Virginia. Unemployment remains stubbornly high compared to the rest of the country, and, even as Appalachian counties overall seem to be on the rebound, West Virginia is not so lucky. We have seen a net increase in economic insecurity,with multiple counties heading in the wrong…

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September 27, 2018 by Sean O'Leary
WV Job Growth Slowing Down in 2018

After adding jobs throughout most of 2017, West Virginia's economy is showing signs of slowing down in 2018, and the state has yet to fully recover from the Great Recession. Between May 2017 and February 2018, West Virginia added a seasonally adjusted 9,300 jobs. Since then, job growth has essentially stopped, with the exception of…

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September 25, 2018 by Tara Martinez
So the Hungry Can Eat

Former West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy Outreach Coordinator and current Manna Meal Inc. Executive Director Tara Martinez penned this guest blog piece. Martinez brings a provider perspective that urges Congress to reject cuts to food assistance and pass the Senate Farm Bill. The House version - which dramatically cuts food assistance - and the Senate version - which…

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September 20, 2018 by Sean O'Leary
West Virginia Projects a Low-Wage Future for the State’s Workers

Last year's edition of the State of Working West Virginia report focused on the issue of low-wage work. The report found that nearly a quarter of the jobs in the state were low wage, paying less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of two, or $24,108 per year. Low-wage work is now the…

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September 18, 2018 by Ted Boettner
Don’t Double Down on Failed Federal Tax Cuts

House Republicans and President Trump are hoping to pass a second-round federal tax cuts that are aimed at giving more money to those that have the most while jeopardizing funding for critical programs, such as Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and education. Last week, the House Ways And Means Committee advanced what they are calling “Tax Reform 2.0”. The center-piece…

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September 13, 2018 by Sean O'Leary
Census Data Shows Lack of Progress for West Virginia

Releases from the U.S.Census Bureau this week on health insurance coverage and income and poverty levels show that it is not quite time to break out the leis and celebrate the state's economy. First, despite recent health coverage gains in the years following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, fewer West Virginians were covered by health insurance in 2017 than…

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September 11, 2018 by Caitlin Cook
West Virginia Needs the Senate Farm Bill

Among our West Virginia hills, it's likely the most common questions heard upon entering someone's home are: "are you hungry?" and "would you like something to eat." Food bonds us and fuels us. It's engrained in our culture - from garden canning to church meals - making sure our neighbors have enough to eat is…

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September 6, 2018 by Ted Boettner
Tax Collections Are up, but Not Back to Pre-recession Peak

This week, Governor Justice held a press conference to announce much stronger than anticipated general revenue fund collections for the first two months of Fiscal Year 2019 - which began July 1, 2018. Altogether, revenues are $65.8 million or 11 percent above the revenue estimates. Approximately 92 percent of the current two-month surplus is due to sales ($16.1m), personal income ($14.3m), and severance taxes…

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September 4, 2018 by Caitlin Cook
My Students Can’t Afford Cuts to Nutrition Assistance

Julia Hamilton, Extended Day Director for Monongalia County Schools, penned this guest blog on how the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps her students and why they can't afford cuts to the program. Congress returns to Washington this week, and members of the conference committee will debate the Senate and House versions to finalize the Farm Bill.  One…

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