Skip to Content

WEST VIRGINIA

West Virginia

State Recovery Act Website: http://www.recovery.wv.gov/

West Virginia's state Recovery Act website scored 64 out of 100 possible points (ranking 11th) on Good Jobs First's updated 51-state study of state stimulus websites entitled Show Us the Stimulus (Again). The state earned points for breaking down stimulus allocations by category and by county, and for using an interactive map to provide limited details on individual contract and grant projects.

For detailed scoring information, see the West Virginia appendix of Show Us the Stimulus (Again).

Coordination & Oversight

According to an email dated April 22 from the Deputy Director of Policy, Emily Castleberry, Gov. Joe Manchin is working on stimulus matters with his Chief of Staff Larry Puccio, who is the "primary contact," and Director of Policy Lara Ramsburg, who handles "day to day communications." However, Stateline lists State Rep. Nancy Guthrie as the point person for West Virginia.

The House has created the Select Committee on Stimulus Utilization, an oversight body headed by Democratic Delegate Nancy Guthrie. Other committee members include Delegates Sam Cann, Tim Ennis, Clif Moore and Robert Schadler. The Committee is currently assisting the governor to get ARRA-related business started, but will soon switch to a watchdog role.

Policy Debates

During a recent special session, lawmakers gave unanimous approval to extending unemployment benefits an additional 20 weeks for those workers who have exhausted their regular benefits. The National Employment Law Project reports that as a result of the ARRA incentive funds for unemployment, West Virginia also enacted legislation to adopt the alternative base period. This qualified the state for only a portion of the stimulus funds offered for unemployment benefits.

Republicans in West Virginia express the same concerns as Republicans around the country. They fear state funding will increase when the stimulus funding for these new programs runs out. During the most recent legislative session, Republicans criticized Democrats for ignoring their agenda and "dragging their feet."

On May 10 the Charleston Gazette published an op-ed by Steve Roberts, president of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, arguing that the state was getting short-changed by ARRA "because large portions of the overall federal spending will go to reward states that have not followed responsible fiscal discipline, as our state has done recently.

Last updated on: 27 January, 2010

Quick Facts

Population:
1,814,468

Median Household Income:
$37,060

Unemployment Rate:
9.0%

Poverty Rate:
16.9%

Estimated Recovery Act Funding:
$1.3 billion

Resources

West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy:

What the Federal Recovery Act Means for Low- and Moderate-Income Families, March 17, 2009; online here.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: What It Would Mean for West Virginia, Feburary 6, 2009; online here.

Find a State