Debriefing the 2022 WV Regular Legislative Session ‚ÄĒ Elections

Brian Skinner Elections, Government & Policy, Legislation, Legislature

By Brian J. Skinner, Esq. After the 2020 general election, many state legislatures have made election integrity a priority. Many states have enacted legislation that affects everything from voter registration timelines and absentee ballots to election crimes, ballot harvesting, and drop boxes. The West Virginia Legislature‚Äôs efforts during the second session of the 85th Legislature …Read More

Legislature authorizes exemptions to employer COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Brian Skinner COVID-19, Employers, Government & Policy, Legislation, Workforce

By Brian Skinner, Esq. Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of vaccines critical to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. After determining the vaccines met applicable statutory standards and the agency‚Äôs specific safety and efficacy standards, the FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for the vaccines under Section …Read More

New Report Explains How Governments Can Leverage Federal Funds to Partner with Local Nonprofits

Brian Skinner ARPA, Government & Policy, Local Government, State Fiscal & Economic Policy

By Brian Skinner, Esq.¬† The‚ÄĮNational Council of Nonprofits‚ÄĮhas issued a‚ÄĮreport¬†on how state and local governments can¬†partner¬†with¬†nonprofit organizations in their¬†communities to¬†use¬†relief funds distributed through the¬†American Rescue Plan Act¬†(‚ÄúARPA‚ÄĚ)¬†by expanding existing programs or creating new ones.¬†¬† Congress expressly declared in the¬†ARPA¬†that state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments may use their allocations of the $350 billion in Coronavirus …Read More

West Virginia and American Rescue Plan Act Funds

Brian Skinner ARPA, Budget, COVID-19, Government & Policy, State Fiscal & Economic Policy

By Brian Skinner, Esq. State governments, including West Virginia, are beginning to receive the first allocations from $193.5 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The ARPA, signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, establishes the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund. ¬†The Fiscal Recovery Funds are intended to provide support to …Read More

HHS eliminates LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections.

Brian Skinner Adoption, Government & Policy, LGBTQ

  By Paige Winfield Cunningham, – Washington Post – January 13, 2021.   The Department of Health and Human Services has finalized a rule change that will permit social-service providers that receive government funds to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.   ‚ÄúCritics claim the new guidance could have wide-ranging implications for agencies that …Read More

Drug and Health-Focused Groups Urge Incoming Biden Administration to Address Opioid Abuse and End the Drug War

Brian Skinner Government & Policy, Opioid Drug Crisis

By Brian Skinner, Esq. The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that more than 200 drug and health-focused groups are urging the incoming Biden administration to address opioid abuse and end the drug war. The letter calls on the incoming administration to take bold, decisive, evidence-based action that shifts the government‚Äôs response to substance use. The The …Read More

The AMA Urges Governors and State Legislatures to Take Action to Curb Drug Overdoses

Brian Skinner Government & Policy, Opioid Drug Crisis
Opioid drugs

By Brian Skinner, Esq. An increasing number of reports in the national, state and local media suggests an upsurge in opioid- and other drug-related mortality‚ÄĒparticularly from illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs. Although nationwide data is incomplete, the data that is available suggests drug overdose deaths are on track to reach an all-time high. Prior to the arrival …Read More

It is Time For West Virginia to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis

Brian Skinner Government & Policy, Racism

By Brian Skinner, Esq. On October 6, 2020, the Wheeling city council and mayor unanimously approved a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis. The resolution cites several national institutions, such as the American Public Health Association, the American Medical Association, the American Association of Pediatrics, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and the …Read More

Offsetting Funeral Costs During the Pandemic – A Program WV Should Consider

Brian Skinner COVID-19, Government & Policy

By Brian Skinner, Esq. Many West Virginia families face difficult choices due to the health and economic pressures created by the pandemic. The isolation, loss of employment and impact to everyday activities has been overwhelming for many, and for families who have suffered the death of a family member during this pandemic, the impact is even greater.  …Read More

A State Project to Map Overdoses in Real Time

Brian Skinner Government & Policy, Opioid Drug Crisis

Route Fifty — By Kate Elizabeth Queram – October 14, 2020 A statewide project in Connecticut takes reports of suspected opioid overdoses from first responders and maps them in real time, helping community partners better direct their services to high-risk areas. Read more . . .        

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