West Virginia Update
IN THIS ISSUE
BIRTHPLACE OF RIVERS
The proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument is a citizen initiative designed to protect a part of the southern Monongahela National Forest that includes the headwaters and tributaries of the Gauley, Greenbrier, Elk, Williams, Cranberry, and Cherry Rivers.
The League of Women Voters supports this proposal, under our national Resource Management position: “promote an environment beneficial to life through the protection and wise management of natural resources in the public interest.”
This section of the Allegheny Mountains possesses some of the most iconic natural features and best outdoor recreation in the eastern United States. It features dense forests of red spruce, trout streams and black bear habitat. In addition, Cranberry Glades hosts a unique series of tundra-like bogs which shelter migratory birds and rare plants.
The League has often taken positions in favor of saving public lands for recreational and aesthetic purposes. We contacted our Members of Congress, asking their support for this National Monument, and we encourage other citizens to do so too. More information can be found at http://www.birthplaceofrivers.org/ .
AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE IN WEST VIRGINIA
As everyone knows, the West Virginia health insurance exchanges are up and running and are proving extremely popular. The national league‘s 1993 position on health care states in part “a basic level of quality health care at an affordable cost should be available to all US residents.” The remainder of the lengthy position may be found in the booklet Impact on Issues by going to: http://www.lwv.org/content/impact-issues and downloading the Social Policy section IoI2012_SocPol.pdf.
Several local leagues in the state, including Morgantown and Wood County have held public meetings to help the public get ready for this important and complex new program.
Constitution Day was established by Congress in 2004 after being proposed by our own Senator Robert C. Byrd. All K-12 schools as well as all colleges and universities receiving federal funds must have some program or activity that features the United States Constitution.
The West Virginia League of Women Voters was one of the sponsors of this year’s celebration on September 17 at our state capitol in Charleston. The League has played an active part in this program for the last three years; in addition, the Huntington league has also participated in Constitution Day activities.
WV WOMEN’S COMMISSION REPORTS
Here’s some news from the WV Women’s Commission from their recent newsletter.
Findings Released on Status of Women and Girls in West Virginia
The report examines the status of women and girls in five regions of the state, as well as in the nation as a whole. Key findings showed that women in West Virginia have made significant gains in education and entrepreneurship. In fact, the number of women-owned business in West Virginia increased by nearly 3,500 between 1998 and 2007. Additionally, the proportion of women who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher increased from 11 percent in 1990 to 18 percent in 2010. In brief:
Employment – In 2010, 50% of women in West Virginia were in the labor force compared with 59% of men On average, women who work full-time annually earn $29,000 compared to $42,000 for men.
Economic Security – West Virginia women are more likely than men to live at or below the federal poverty line.
Health and Well-Being – More than 1 in 5 women aged 18—62 lack health insurance in West Virginia
The report was written by the Institute for Women’s Public Policy Research in collaboration with the West Virginia Women’s Commission. The WV Women’s Commission is a Commission within the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources For more information, visit http://www.wvwomenscommission.org/
BOARD OF DIRECTORS TO MEET
The League’s state board of directors will meet in Parkersburg on November 16, 2013. Any League member may attend. If interested, please contact Nancy Novak for more details.
Nancy Novak, President