West Virginia Groups Call for Action Against Government Shut Down
For Immediate Release
Contact Tara Martinez
A coalition of statewide organizations came together this morning to take action on the looming fears of a state government shutdown. The politics no longer matter. The real issue of jobs and services to our citizens has hit a boiling point.
"When we consider the extent to which citizens depend on our state government services we begin to understand the catastrophe that could unfold should a shutdown occur," stated Ted Boettner, Executive Director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.
"Nearly 800,000 West Virginians are dependent on the state for their health care. What happens if they get sick, what happens to people in nursing homes, what happens to our hospitals without payments from the state?" asked Renate Pore, Director of Health Policy of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.
"Over 60% of the births in West Virginia are covered by Medicaid. Those babies are going to be born whether or not our state government shuts down. They deserve a healthy start. It is time for the legislature to put West Virginia families ahead of their own political agendas. All we are asking is #dontshutdownmystate," explained Margaret Chapman Pomponio, Executive Director of WV FREE.
"With West Virginia Day, June 20, being the deadline for account reconciliation for state employees to be paid, it's time to govern," said Stephen Smith, Executive Director of the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition.
Legislators passed a budget bill last Friday after three weeks of debate during a Special Session. Their version drew too heavily from the state's Rainy Day Fund for Governor Earl Ray Tomblin who vetoed the budget this week. The state's fiscal year ends June 30 and without a budget, the government faces a likely shutdown of essential services and agencies.
The coalition is sending out action steps citizens can take to express their concerns to their senators, delegates and the governor.