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PRESS RELEASE for Friday, January 14, 2022
Media Contact: Lida Shepherd (304) 356-8428
West Virginia Groups Urge Senator Manchin To Negotiate Extension of Child Tax Credit
Charleston, West Virginia — On Friday January 14th, a coalition of West Virginia organizations and directly impacted parents and grandparents held a press conference on the steps of the State Capitol to tell Senator Joe Manchin that families in West Virginia are worried that no deal has been made in Congress for an extension of the child tax credit.
The event marked the day when tens of thousands of families in West Virginia did not receive the monthly CTC dollars into their bank account. Parents who directly benefited from the CTC shared the struggles they anticipate in the months to come.
Angelica Willis of Charleston said, “I am currently a graduate student and full time working mother of 2. The child tax credit helps me afford child care as I work to build a better life for my family. We are not asking for another government handout, this is a fair way to have our tax dollars distributed. Those who have been able and willing have continued to contribute during this pandemic and have been the spine of this state. We are educating ourselves, attending college, maintaining families, raising children all while working to keep a roof over our heads. Let’s support our workers by extending the CTC. We did not let you down, so please do not let us down.”
Another parent from Charleston, Hunter Starks shared, “For a lot of families like mine, the Extended Child Tax Credit was the line between having a utility turned off, or rent being paid, or food on the table.”
Also displayed at the event were posters featuring testimony from parents around the state, including Christy from Culloden, who wrote, “ We will have to be selective about what we purchase at the grocery store. If it gets too tight I will have to get a part time job. I also provide care to my aging parents. If I have to get a part time job, I am not sure who will be able to provide care to my parents.”
Over 90 percent of parents report spending their CTC payments on meeting basic household needs. The expanded CTC was responsible for historic reductions in child poverty– reducing it by more than 40 percent nationally. In West Virginia, 50,000 children are at risk of slipping back into poverty or deeper into poverty if it is not renewed while over 300,000 kids will see their household incomes reduced.
A recent survey by Parents Together Action found 86% of West Virginia parents reported the monthly payments made a “huge difference” for their families, and 88% said the credits made them less anxious about their finances.
Other speakers at the event included Kirsten Olson, Jeff Allen with WV Council of Churches, Marissa Sanders with WV Foster Adoptive and Kinship Parents Network, Delegate Sean Hornbuckle, Delegate Danielle Walker, Kelly Allen with WV Center on Budget and Policy, Joanna Vance with American Friends Service Committee, and Senator Owens Brown.
The coalition supporting the press event included: West Virginia Council of Churches, Young West Virginia, West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, West Virginia Citizen Action Group, Rattle the Windows, American Friends Service Committee West Virginia, TEAM for West Virginia Children, National Association of Social Workers West Virginia Chapter, Race Matters West Virginia, and Community Change Action.
Photo credits: Carling McManus, 84 Agency