West Virginia Senate Majority Leader John Unger, (D-Berkeley), announced today his intention to create a senate select committee to act to alleviate child poverty at start of the 2013 regular legislative session.
"With 30 percent of West Virginia children under age six living in poverty, the time for action is long overdue. To address this scourge, I will introduce a resolution to create a Select Committee on Children and Poverty that will focus our efforts to meet our children's basic needs and expand their opportunities to reach their full potential," said Senator Unger.
In 2010, West Virginia had a child poverty rate of nearly 30 percent with 11 percent in extreme poverty, according to the Children's Defense Fund. By 2011, West Virginia was estimated to have 384,794 children under the age of 18.
"In West Virginia, more than one in four children are in poverty. This is simply unacceptable. We can do better," Senator Unger continued, "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."