West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy

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In a policy brief, a progressive policy research organization said a sugar-sweetened beverage tax or “soda tax” would reduce consumption – potentially impacting West Virginia’s obesity rates – and bring new revenue to the state.

In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found West Virginians consumed sugar-sweetened beverages at the third highest rate in the nation.

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy said that a tax of just a penny per ounce could raise around 98 million dollars and prevent more than 17,000 cases of obesity.

On The Legislature Today, we hear two very different perspectives on budget policy. As lawmakers continue holding budget presentations for state agencies and continue to grapple with how and where to spend state dollars, we’ve asked the directors of two West Virginia policy research organizations – with very different philosophies – to join host Andrea Lannom and offer us all something to think about. Garrett Ballengee is the Executive Director of the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy and Ted Boettner is the Executive Director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

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ForestWander.com

New federal data show 319,063 West Virginians living below the poverty line last year, a 17.9 percent rate unchanged from the year before and slightly lower than a measured peak in 2011.

The U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey shows 88,351 children under 18 years old in poverty, or 24 percent of those living in West Virginia in 2016.

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Data released Tuesday by the United States Census Bureau shows the Affordable Care Act continues to reduce the number of West Virginians without health insurance.

In 2016, 96,000 West Virginians lacked health insurance coverage – that’s down 12,000 from the previous year, according to a news release from the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy – which studied the U.S. Census Bureau’s data.