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Build Back Better Agenda Great for West Virginia Cities

The Build Back Better Agenda is exactly the boost West Virginia cities so desperately need right now. It will create jobs, lower taxes for those most in need, and reduce costs for working families. We are thankful and proud Sen. Joe Manchin is working diligently to negotiate the best deal for all West Virginians which will lead to a plan that helps everyone, while ensuring a strong financial future for our country.

We have all witnessed the strain that high healthcare and childcare costs have placed on working West Virginians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lowering costs on these essential services is seriously needed.

The Build Back Better Agenda would directly address this need.

By allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug costs, all West Virginians would benefit from decreased costs of everyday medications. In addition, this plan would reduce childcare costs, make universal preschool a reality and provide 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave — initiatives that are of vital importance to working families across our State.

A little bit of help can go a long way.

One of the most crucial components of the Build Back Better Agenda would be the permanent extension of the health care tax credits–which were expanded temporarily though the American Rescue Plan Act–under the Affordable Care Act. Thanks to these expanded tax credits, nearly 17,000 additional West Virginians became eligible for affordable health insurance.

By lowering taxes for working families–through the Build Back Better Agenda–hundreds of thousands of West Virginians will directly benefit during this time when folks are continuing to recover from the economic struggles of the pandemic.

The cost of raising a family has never been higher. Extending the Child Tax Credit expansion will be a tremendous boost to West Virginia working families and go a long way toward ensuring a strong economic future. In addition, the Build Back Better Agenda would permanently extend the American Rescue Plan’s increase to the Earned-Income Tax Credit. This extension alone will benefit millions of Americans, including those who have helped to keep our country moving during these difficult times — cashiers, cooks, food preparation workers and childcare providers.

Job creation is the backbone of the Build Back Better Agenda.

The creation of the Rural Partnership Program would provide West Virginia communities the tools necessary to attract high paying jobs and long-term job growth.

In addition, the plan would provide job training investment for careers in growing industries such as construction, clean energy and health care, not to mention addressing the increased demand for teachers. The Build Back Better Agenda has funding to upgrade school infrastructure, as well as address teacher shortages.

This critical legislation represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for states like West Virginia to level the playing field by ensuring that economic prosperity and opportunity are not moored to the East and West coasts. The Build Back Better Agenda was created with states like ours in mind, and we thank Senator Manchin for playing such an important role in the creation of this plan.

Its passage will ensure a brighter future for cities throughout the Mountain State.

Glenn Elliott is mayor of Wheeling. Amy Shuler Goodwin, a Wheeling native, is mayor of Charleston. Steve Williams is mayor of Huntington.

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