Panhandle (W.Va.) Grassroots for Democracy

The Panhandle Grassroots for Democracy is working to improve our corner of eastern West Virginia, our state and our nation.

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Sunday, April 03, 2005

Panels to decide on cuts to programs

From the Charleston Gazette-Mail:

In Washington, D.C., this week, about 50 people will meet to decide how deeply to cut programs that provide at least a half million West Virginians with nutrition, health care and other basic needs.

Their decisions could touch the lives of almost a third of the state’s population.
Depending on what they do, West Virginia stands to lose as much as $250 million over the next five years for programs such as food stamps, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicaid, and foster care and adoption, according to a budget analysis released by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

No member of West Virginia’s congressional delegation is on the House and Senate budget committees, so they won’t be at those meetings.

After the meetings, about 2,500 of the state’s wealthiest people stand to receive a federal tax break of about $70,000 next year. Working people in the lowest tax brackets may get a break of about $100, but they could also lose Earned Income Tax Credits and food stamps.

The budget committees are meeting to reconcile areas of disagreement in the budget resolutions the House and Senate passed two weeks ago. All of West Virginia’s delegations voted no on those resolutions, except for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who voted yes.

The conferees will try to set a ceiling on the dollars the federal government can spend next year in each funding category. If they butt heads, it could take months.

In most areas, they don’t have much to reconcile. Following President Bush’s lead, the House and Senate cut similar large amounts from money for tax cuts and a wide swath of state programs, including funding for police and firefighters, water and sewer projects, education programs and homeland security.

All those cuts could cost West Virginia a major chunk of its budget: between $600 million and $1 billion by 2010.


At Sunday, April 03, 2005 12:36:00 PM, Blogger Panhandle (WV) Grassroots for Democracy said...

The message is getting out there. Are people hearing it?


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