Our Broken Budget and More
Jennifer Jett Prezkop writes, "West Virginia's financial situation is a precarious one at best," in her West Virginia Executive Magazine article. Read.
WVCBP Executive Director Ted Boettner had this to say on the matter: "policymakers will need to address the revenue problems in order to improve the state's fiscal health and make much needed investments that will help the state's economy."
"Policymakers need to take a more balanced approach by exploring more progressive options," Boettner added.
With President-elect Donald Trump's promise to bring back West Virginia's coal industry, WVCBP Executive Director Ted Boettner explores "What will it take for coal to make a comeback?" in this blog post. Read.
According to the latest forecast from West Virginia University, West Virginia will extract 80 million tons of coal per year for the foreseeable future. The state's production figure would need to be much higher -- 140 million tons per year or at least 100 million -- for the state's coal industry to be revived.
In the News
This week, Governor Tomblin announced a statewide $11.1 million cut to K-12 schools.
The Inter-Mountain talks with Upshur County Board of Education officials and WVCBP Executive Director Ted Boettner about the cuts, which Boettner says are just the beginning. Read.
"Our budget gap next year is going to be in excess of $350 million. There is going to be a large debate on how to close that gap," Boettner said. "Businesses won't invest in West Virginia if they don't know whether infrastructure is going to be maintained or that state schools will produce the workforce they need."
WVCBP Executive Director Ted Boettner discusses President-elect Donald Trump's campaign promise to bring back West Virginia's coal industry in this Public News Service story. Read.
"The chances of a rebound, especially in southern West Virginia, are close to zero," Boettner said of the coal industry.
"According to the WVCBP , the decline in state coal production is being driven by cheap natural gas, low-cost wind and solar, competition from coal mined in Western states, and the fact that the easy-to-get Appalachian coal is gone."
Andrew Brown writes about U.S. Human and Health Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell's visit to West Virginia's Capital City in the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Read.
WVCBP Policy Outreach Coordinator Tara Martinez participated in the event's panel discussion, speaking about the importance of maintaining the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) and its Medicaid expansion provision. Her daughter, who needs the life-saving Epipen drug, is insured through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Martinez told the crowd she didn't know what the family would do if they had to pay out of pocket for the Epipen prescriptions.
West Virginians for Affordable Health Care is hosting its annual reception and fundraiser on Friday, December 9 at the University of Charleston.
Malene Smith Davis is the event's featured speaker and President and CEO of Capital Caring, the first and largest hospice and palliative care organization in the country.
Register before December 5 online at wvahc.org, by calling 681.256.9008 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.