Sunday, December 4, 2022

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Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

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The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

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The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

What Would a Real PEIA Fix Look Like?

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Monday, March 5, 2018   

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Striking teachers are angry about rising health care premiums and eroding benefits from West Virginia's Public Employee Insurance Agency. But what would a real PEIA fix look like?

School workers, who are away from their classrooms for an eighth day today, say they want more than a temporary premium freeze and a task force. According to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, PEIA needs a regular stream of new revenue worth $50 million a year.

Perry Bryant, former longtime PEIA finance board member, said past funding didn't match the wildfire pace of medical inflation.

"This goes back a number of years. There were years under Gov. Tomblin's administration where they gave no increases," Bryant said. "That's what truly created the crisis, is this chronic under-funding of PEIA."

So far, legislative leaders have opposed new taxes. One proposal to increase gas severance taxes was quickly shot down by opponents arguing that the industry pays less in neighboring states.

Bryant said given the high rate of medical inflation, any long-term fix is going to have to include cost containment. Supporters of increasing taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and sugary drinks argue these could nudge people toward healthier choices. But Bryant said those wouldn't be enough.

"Sugary soft drinks or tobacco, or alcohol or severance-tax increases, they are going to fill in the gap,” he said. “But controlling health care costs is the real solution."

Teachers are also voicing frustration with the Senate's handling of the pay raise in House Bill 4145. Confused voting ended with that body rejecting a 5 percent raise, changing it to 4 percent and sending that into a conference with the House.


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