CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — On this week’s Inside West Virginia Politics, host and Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis and our guests discuss a variety of topics such as a new education scholarship, the support of the American Jobs Plan and West Virginia Patrick Morrisey’s recent announcement of his opposition of confirming Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy plan. 

What is the Hope Scholarship? 

In Segment 1, West Virginia’s Treasurer Riley Moore discusses the Hope Scholarship. According to Moore, the Hope Scholarship Program is an education savings account that allows parents to receive $4,600 per-pupil state funding already set aside for their children’s education onto an electronic, parent-controlled fund for educational expenses. Those expenses can include private school tuition, tutoring, credentialing, therapies, transportation and more. 

This program can also allow parents to take students out of traditional schooling and use that money to help home-school them. 

For years, the teachers’ unions in the state effectively fought and defeated bills for the program. They worry that it’s diverting public money from the public education system and will only hurt the public schools’ system by taking money away and putting it in the private school system. Moore says this money is from state funding, not federal funding. Teachers will not lose federal money in schools.

“The [state] money will follow the student, so they’re not going to have to continue to provide the educational services for that student,” said Moore. 

The Application for the Hope Scholarship Program is expected to open no later than March 1, 2022. If you’re interested in the Hope Scholarship Program, you can sign up here for more information. 

Why the WV Working Families Party supports the American Jobs Plan

In Segment 2, Ryan Frankenberry from the West Virginia Working Families Party discusses the pressure on U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to support President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure bill. The Biden infrastructure plan is $2.3 Billion, while Manchin’s plan is roughly $1 trillion. 

The West Virginia Working Families Party is a progressive grassroots political party building a multiracial movement of working people to transform America. They have been working to educating West Virginians on the infrastructure plan, including how this plan can create jobs for West Virginians with the American Jobs Plan

WV AG addresses opioid lawsuit pay opposition 

In Segment 3, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) discusses his recent press conference, saying he was opposed to the bankruptcy settlement by Purdue Pharma

Morrisey says his decision to oppose the bankruptcy settlement due to the larger states involved in the lawsuit got together and proposed a population-based formula for the fund allocation plan. Despite being at the epicenter of the opioid pandemic, West Virginia has a smaller population and wouldn’t receive as much settlement money. 

Should we favor Morrisey’s settlement opposition?

In Segment 4, Attorney Rusty Webb shares why he favors West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s decision to oppose the Perdue lawsuit settlement formula.

“Because this formula that they came up with over two years gives West Virginia very little money and it’s based on population, and it gives large states with large populations like New York and California and Texas that don’t have an opioid problem and would get a lot of money,” said Webb.