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Personal Income Tax, New Businesses And Legislative News This West Virginia Morning

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On this West Virginia Morning, we explore a surprising change that has come out of the pandemic — an increase in the number of new businesses that have opened. Also, we have the latest news on bills that would affect transgender athletes and abortions, and we have a breakdown of the governor’s personal income tax reduction plan.

A bill requiring student athletes in middle and high school to play sports under the gender assigned to them at birth is moving through the West Virginia House of Delegates. Liz McCormick has more.

West Virginia lawmakers passed a bill out of the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday, which would give families more access in visiting loved ones at hospitals and long-term care facilities. WVPB has the story.

A bill being shaped by West Virginia lawmakers would dictate how doctors talk to patients about medication abortion. That’s a non-surgical process that involves taking two separate pills to abort a fetus. As June Leffler reports, the bill passed out of the House Health Committee without expert medical opinion.

West Virginia has been hemorrhaging population over the last decade. But Gov. Jim Justice has an idea to turn it all around. Justice wants to reduce the state’s personal income tax by 60 percent. He and some other leading Republicans at the Capitol hope the plan will reverse the state’s population drain and bring in thousands — if not hundreds of thousands — of new residents. Dave Mistich gives us a look at the governor’s plan and whether it could work.

The pandemic has been a nightmare for many businesses — with likely more than 100,000 small businesses shut down permanently nationwide, according to a survey from the National Bureau of Economic Research. But West Virginia saw an uptick in new businesses registered in 2020 compared to the last three years. Caitlin Tan has the story.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

Listen to West Virginia Morning weekdays at 7:43 a.m. on WVPB Radio or subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode. #WVMorning