- Associated Press - Thursday, June 28, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A member of a task force studying funding for West Virginia public employees’ health insurance program said most town hall participants believe a dedicated source of revenue is needed for the program.

Helen Matheny of West Virginia University Health Sciences Center is chairwoman of the Public Outreach Subcommittee of the Public Employees Insurance Agency Taskforce. She gave a report to a joint meeting of two subcommittees Wednesday.

Ideas for revenue streams for expected $50 million annual increases include increasing the soda tax, bringing back the food tax, taxing medical cannabis or raising natural gas severance taxes.

News outlets report Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow told the group that severance taxes can be extremely volatile.

The task force held 21 public meetings around the state to hear from public employees on how to best fix PEIA.

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