WV Senate Leader Unger wants committee to focus on child poverty - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

WV Senate Majority Leader Unger wants a committee to focus on children, poverty

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West Virginia Senate Majority Leader John Unger, D-Berkeley, announced Jan. 28 that he wants to see a select committee within the Senate to focus on child poverty issues during the 2013 Legislative session.

Select committees must be created by the leader of either the House or the Senate.

"With 30 percent of West Virginia children under age 6 living in poverty, the time for action is long overdue," Unger said in a news release. "A child's socioeconomic status has a significant effect on many aspects of our communities, especially in education, health and criminal justice.

"We need this special committee to take a holistic approach to solving the issue of child poverty and its effects."

According to information from the Children's Defense Fund included in Unger's news release, West Virginia had a child poverty rate of nearly 30 percent in 2010, with 11 percent of that considered in extreme poverty.

The West Virginia Legislature has seven types of committees, and select committees are created by the House and Senate to address specific issues, then report their findings and any recommendations to the full Legislature. A select committee is then dissolved when its specified tasks are completed.