Easy Action to Oppose SNAP Eligibility Changes

The LWV-WV has sent a letter to US Department of Agriculture opposing proposed changes to SNAP eligibility requirements. These proposed changes would deny nutrition assistance to 3.1 million people and more than 25,000 West Virginians.  

Please take a few minutes and join us in submitting comments opposing this proposed rule. 

Click here to send a letter. Comments must be received on or before Monday, September 23, 2019. 

Below is the letter sent by LWV-WV. Thanks for taking action!


Julie Archer
1st Vice President, LWV-WV

September 14, 2019

USDA, Food and Nutrition Service
Program Design Branch, Program Development Division
3101 Park Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22302

Re: Docket ID Number FNS-2018-0037 – Revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Dear Secretary Perdue,

I am writing on behalf of the League of Women Voters of West Virginia to oppose the proposed rule to eliminate SNAP’s broad-based categorical eligibility (BBCE) option that allows states to streamline the process for households with slightly higher incomes that still experience financial hardship to participate in SNAP.

SNAP plays a critical role in food security in West Virginia. In fiscal year 2017, SNAP benefits reached 340,000 West Virginia residents, or 19% of our state population.

Eliminating the BBCE option would deny access to food assistance to more than 3 million people, including thousands of West Virginians, and punish families for saving money for emergencies or for their children’s future.

This proposed policy change would also be counterproductive and remove incentives for people to enter and stay in the workforce. Allowing them to continue to receive assistance lets them focus on being successful rather than having to worry about how they will pay for food.

Additionally, this attack on those struggling to get by sidesteps Congress by eliminating an option that has been in place for more than 20 years and was recently upheld in the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill. Eliminating this option takes food off the tables of working individuals and families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities.

The League of Women Voters supports programs and policies to prevent or reduce poverty and to promote self-sufficiency for individuals and families, and believes those who are unable to work, whose earnings are inadequate or for whom jobs are not available have the right to an income and/or services sufficient to meet their basic human needs for food, shelter, and access to health care.

SNAP helps millions of Americans and thousands of West Virginians make ends meet. Please reject these unnecessary changes to this proven program.


Jonathan Rosenbaum, President
531 Woodland Circle
Morgantown WV 26505
304-599-2370, jr@lwvwv.org


League Urges Senators to vote NO on Kavanaugh

Washington, DC – The League of Women Voters President Chris Carson and CEO Virginia Kase issued the following joint statement:

“We urge the Senate to reject Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“Judge Kavanaugh has shown the country that he does not possess fair and unbiased judicial temperament. Indeed, he engaged in unprovoked, partisan attacks, and treated United States Senators—the people conducting his job interview—with shocking disrespect. Senators have the right to ask questions of nominees. In fact, it is their responsibly to ask them on behalf of the American people.

“In addition, troubling allegations about his past and misleading if not untruthful testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee cast further doubt on his judicial credibility. Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist Papers that “all judges who may be appointed by the United States are to hold their offices during good behavior.” That’s not what we saw from Judge Kavanaugh during the confirmation process.

“We urge Senators to vote NO on Kavanaugh.”

Contact: Sarah Courtney | 202-263-1332 | scourtney@lwv.org

Join Us Feb. 8 for All Kinds Are Welcome Here Lobby Day

The LWV-WV is excited to join with other organizations and individuals committed to moving West Virginia forward as a supporting partner of the 2018 All Kinds Are Welcome Here Civil Liberties Lobby Day on February 8 at the State Capitol in Charleston.

Come stand with us in solidarity to show the West Virginia Legislature that West Virginia should be a place that welcomes and respects ALL people!

There will be an advocacy training starting at 9 am to make sure you are comfortable talking with your elected officials about issues that matter to you, followed by a large press conference and rally featuring our lawmakers and other members of the community. Following the press conference, attendees will watch a floor session from the House or Senate galleries at 11 am when legislators convene.

The afternoon is devoted to meeting with your elected officials. Attendees are encouraged to arrange their own meetings with their legislators, but there will be a table were folks can connect with others from their area to attend meetings as a group. 

Please register here to let us know which parts of the day you’ll be attending, and which issues matter the most to you.

We look forward to seeing you there. Please stop by our table in the lower rotunda. 

All kinds are welcome and all voices must be heard! Please join us and invite your friends today.

Decision on FirstEnergy’s Bad Deal for WV Coming Soon – Speak Out Now!

The WV Public Service Commission is considering whether FirstEnergy can transfer a power plant from one subsidiary company to another subsidiary company. The PSC heard from more than 100 people during public hearings and received more than 2,000 written protests.

Now is a critical time and we need your help.

If you are a Mon Power or Potomac Edison customer and have not submitted a letter to the PSC, please go on the record with your opposition to FirstEnergy’s bailout. Below are links to talking points and other resources to help frame your arguments. Need help writing a letter to the PSC? Just reply to this email and we’ll help you out.

Online Resources to Help You Write Your Letter to the PSC:

A decision from the PSC on this Bad Deal for WV is coming soon, and if FirstEnergy gets its way, Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers will be on the hook for the $400 MILLION and pay higher rates.

Letters can be mailed or FAXed to the PSC as follows:

Public Service Commission of West Virginia
Ingrid Ferrell, Executive Secretary
201 Brooks Street
Charleston, WV 25301
FAX: (304) 340-0325

Please reference Case No. 17-0296-E-PC. 

Please take action today. Tell the PSC to say NO to FirstEnergy’s bailout scheme.

League Opposes Pleasants Power Station Boondoggle

The State Board invites you to support this opposition.  Please sign the petition at http://energyfreedomwv.org/take-action-1-1/,  and/or send your own letter to the PSC.

Statement Opposing Pleasants Power Station Boondoggle

In 2013, the League of Women Voters of West Virginia opposed Mon Power and Potomac Edison’s proposed purchase of 80% of the Harrison power plant.  At that time we sent a clear message to the West Virginia Public Service Commission:

Customers should not be forced to pay for a  purchase that will raise the costs of their electricity. Furthermore the purchase of the Harrison power plant would lock in costs for many generations, so that better alternatives would be precluded. 

Rather than paying for the high costs of the Harrison power plant, Mon Power and Potomac Edison could bid for cheaper power from other sources and install more energy efficiency into its production. Also they could lessen demand by aiding customers in energy efficiency means as many power companies have done. All would result in smaller energy costs to ratepayers.

Once again, we are confronted with a similar  situation, this time involving the purchase of the Pleasants Power Station that is currently operating in a deregulated electricity market where it is struggling to compete against less expensive power sources.  The League firmly opposes this new attempt by FirstEnergy Corp. to offload this plant to our regulated market because of debt the company has acquired due to its own lack of foresight in the transitioning energy markets.

The state of West Virginia is a net exporter of electricity, providing almost 5% of the nation’s total energy, largely because of its coal production.  However, many states receiving our electricity from the grid are phasing out coal generated electricity.   It is time that West Virginia does the same. Even as this statement is being written, a massive iceberg the size of Delaware is very close to breaking free from Antarctica, due to a huge, widening crack in the 10,000 year-old Larsen ice shelf.

The financial costs for West Virginians from climate change will vastly exceed any profits for FirstEnergy Corp. shareholders.  Switching the power station’s financial risks from stockholders to ratepayers will not benefit the people of West Virginia, and in the final analysis they will be the net losers.

Therefore, we ask the Public Service Commission not to approve passing the costs from FirstEnergy’s own boondoggle to the ratepayers of West Virginia

League of Women Voters of West Virginia 

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Board Member

Nancy Novak, President

You Should Run for Office in West Virginia

Our Children, Our Future is offering their successful candidate trainings again, and they want to know which days work best for you, and what office(s) you are interested in.


ALERT: Tell Manchin to oppose the SAFE Act

Please call Senator Manchin TODAY! 

You can call his home office in West Virginia at 304-342-5855 or Senator Manchin’s Washington, D.C. office at 202-224-3954. In addition, West Virginians with a 304 or 681 area code can contact Senator Manchin’s office through our toll-free number at 855-275-5737.

What Legislation?  The U.S. Senate plans to vote this Wednesday, January 20th on H.R. 4038, “The American Security against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act,” which would grind to a halt the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. This bill was passed by the House of Representatives in November, so it is critical that it does not pass the Senate. Such proposals and the anti-refugee sentiment that has accompanied them are morally reprehensible and go against who we are as a nation. It is critical that Senators hear from their constituents NOW.

Urge Manchin to vote NO to H.R. 4038 and any legislation that would stop, pause or defund the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Sample Script: “I am your constituent from WV, and I support the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. I am opposed to any bill that would stop or pause the resettlement of refugees of any nationality or religion. I urge you to vote NO to H.R. 4038, The American SAFE Act.”

Below are some helpful points on the security checks involved in refugee resettlement, which is the focus of this legislation. The most important points to mention, however, are your story and why your community wants to welcome Syrian refugees.

  • The U.S. government handpicks the refugees who resettle here, and the U.S. resettlement process has the most rigorous screening process in the world.
  • Refugees are the most thoroughly vetted people to come to the United States, undergoing interagency screenings by the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Department of Defense, National Counter Terrorism Center and multiple intelligence agencies, including biometric checks, forensic document testing, medical tests and in-person interviews.
  • Continuing refugee resettlement while maintaining national security is not an either/or situation. The United States can continue to welcome refugees while also continuing to ensure national security. We can and must do both.

The League of Women Voters believes that immigration policies should promote reunification of immediate families; meet the economic, business and employment needs of the United States; and be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises. Provision should also be made for qualified persons to enter the United States on student visas. All persons should receive fair treatment under the law.

The League supports federal immigration law that provides an efficient, expeditious system (with minimal or no backlogs) for legal entry of immigrants into the United States.

To complement these goals the League supports federal policies to improve economies, education, job opportunities and living conditions in nations with large emigrating populations.

TAKE ACTION – PSC Harrison power plant transfer case

The State board of LWVWV wants League members around the state to take action concerning PSC Case No. 12-1571.  The hearing will run from this Wednesday, May 29 to May 31, and can be watched live by webcast on each day beginning at 9:30 a.m:

The League of Women Voters of West Virginia opposes Mon Power and Potomac Edison’s proposed purchase of 80% of the Harrison power plant. Customers should not be forced to pay for a  purchase that will raise the costs of their electricity. Furthermore the purchase of the Harrison power plant would lock in costs for many generations so that better alternatives would be precluded.

Rather than paying for the high costs of the Harrison power plant, Mon Power and Potomac Edison could bid for cheaper power from other sources and install more energy efficiency into its production. Also they could lessen demand by aiding customers in energy efficiency means as many power companies have done. All would result in smaller energy costs to ratepayers.

The State Board is a member of Energy Efficient West Virginia.  Please learn about the background of this case and about different ways to take action at the website:

1. Sign a petition
2. Write a letter online to PSC Executive Secretary, Sandra Squire.
3. Submit a letter to the editor of your local paper.
4. Come to the public hearing: May 29th at 9:30am at the Public Service Commission (201 Brooks St., Charleston, WV).  There will be vans leaving from Morgantown WalMart off of I-68 at 6:00 a.m. on the 29th.   Contact Daniel Chiotos <daniel.chiotos@gmail.com> or call 304-886-3389 to reserve a spot.


Jonathan Rosenbaum
President of LWV of Morgantown-Monongalia County

Citizen Groups Challenge WVDEP’s Flawed Attempt to Weaken Water Quality

March 27, 2013


CONTACTS:     Cindy Rank, WV Highlands Conservancy, 304-924-5802

Angie Rosser, WV Rivers Coalition, 304-637-7201 

Charleston, WV (March 27, 2013) – At today’s public hearing, WVDEP will hear arguments from citizens on the lack of scientific justification and consideration of the public interest in its attempt to pass an emergency rule that would allow drastically higher levels of dissolved aluminum into West Virginia streams. Exposure to aluminum at concentrations in the hundreds of micrograms/liter has been shown to stunt and kill aquatic organisms, including algae and fish. The proposed rule would result in a 13-fold and 46-fold increase over the current criteria for acute and chronic aluminum toxicity to aquatic life respectively, raising serious concerns over the future health of West Virginia waterways.

WVDEP cites that the revised criteria needs to be adopted as an emergency rule instead of going through the regular rulemaking process, which fails to adhere to public participation requirements of the Clean Water Act.  Groups’ submitted comments state there is no emergency that justifies the promulgation of this rule.  “The only emergency seems to be that our water is too clean and DEP believes that they are therefore somehow required to help a small number of polluters avoid the cost of treating their toxic waste.” said Jim Kotcon, Conservation Chair for the West Virginia Chapter of Sierra Club.

The lack of scientific study on the impact of the weakened criteria on aquatic ecosystems in West Virginia is of primary concern. Groups working to protect water quality contend that WVDEP must withdraw the proposal and carry out more extensive scientific research justifying water hardness as a mitigating factor in aluminum toxicity. “DEP is rushing this rule through without the scientific evidence to assure aquatic life and public health is protected,” said Don Garvin, Legislative Coordinator for the WV Environmental Council.

If adopted some streams may benefit from this change, but many more will suffer further impairment. Angie Rosser, Executive Director of the WV Rivers Coalition noted, “The public has an interest in being able to use and enjoy healthy rivers and streams. There’s too much at stake to adopt such a drastic change without scientific certainty that we’re adequately protecting all headwater streams.”

Citizen’s groups submitted comments: http://www.wvrivers.org/articles/aluminum comments.pdf

Report by Dr. Carys Mitchelmore: http://www.wvrivers.org/articles/Aluminum Summary.pdf


About WVDEP Public Hearing:

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Division of Water and Waste Management have scheduled a public hearing and comment period on emergency rule changes to 47CSR2, “Requirements Governing Water Quality Standards.”  The DEP proposes an emergency rule to revise the dissolved aluminum criteria and human health Category A beryllium criterion in 47CSR2. The hearing will be held at DEP’s Charleston headquarters, 601 57th Street S.E., Charleston, WV 25304, in the Coopers Rock Training Room on March 27th at 6:00 p.m.  Copies of the emergency rule and other rule documents are available from the Secretary of State’s office or from the agency website www.dep.wv.gov/wqs.

About League of Women Voters of WV:

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

About Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC):

OVEC, based in Huntington WV, is dedicated to the improvement and preservation of the environment through education, grassroots organizing, leadership development and coalition building.

About Sierra Club WV Chapter:

Sierra Club WV Chapter enjoys, explores and protects the environment and natural resources of West Virginia. www.westvirginia.sierraclub.org 

About WV Environmental Council:

The mission of the West Virginia Environmental Council is to facilitate communication and cooperation among citizens in promoting environmental protection in West Virginia, to assist in organizing grass roots groups, to facilitate interaction among established environmental organizations, and to correspond with all appropriate local, state, and federal agencies involved in the management of West Virginia’s environment.

About WV Highlands Conservancy:

Working since 1965 for the conservation of West Virginia’s natural resources. Publishers of the Highlands Voice and the Monongahela National Forest Hiking Guide. www.wvhighlands.org

About WV Rivers Coalition (WVRC):

WVRC’s mission is to “seek the conservation and restoration of West Virginia’s exceptional rivers and streams”.  WVRC values clean water as the foundation of life and believes that all people should respect and be able to enjoy clean West Virginia rivers and streams. Learn more at www.wvrivers.org.

TAKE ACTION: Support the Voting Rights Act

League of Women Voters


Dear Supporter,Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965, a case which will ultimately decide whether millions of voters could face new barriers when trying to exercise their right to vote. The Voting Rights Act is an essential part of American democracy. It ensures that every American citizen, regardless of race, has an equal right to vote.

If the Justices overturn the Voting Rights Act, it would be the single biggest setback for voting rights in history. Join with us in pledging to protect the Voting Rights Act and the right to vote.

The VRA is indispensable to the League’s work. The League protects and defends voting rights across the country in order to ensure that our elections are fair, free and accessible to all eligible citizens. The VRA has helped the League work to defeat restrictive state voter photo identification laws, block such laws where they have already been passed, and fight laws designed to curb organizations like ours from registering voters.

Civil Rights March

The thought that the Supreme Court might take away voting rights should send a chill down the spine of every American. We’re working with our partners to ensure that the justices of the Supreme Court understand what is truly at risk if the VRA is overturned – join us and take a stand to support the Voting Rights Act.

Rooted in the movement that secured the right to vote for women, the League of Women Voters has always been committed to registering and turning out voters, and we’re not stopping now. The VRA remains critical to ensuring that every American can cast a ballot and have it count. Join us in defending the VRA and ensuring all Americans have the right to vote!

Thank you for helping make our democracy work.

Elisabeth MacNamara Sincerely,Elisabeth MacNamara
President, League of Women Voters

P.S. This morning, while the oral arguments are taking place inside, we’ll be outside on the steps of the Supreme Court rallying with our partner organizations in support of the Voting Rights Act. Follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates!



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League of Women Voters
1730 M Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-429-1965