West Virginia's minimum wage workers got a raise as of today from $7.25 to $8.00 per hour. That was one of the biggest wins of last year's legislative session. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that this will benefit 88,000 workers, although local folks think that number is closer to 120,000. A lot either way.
Not only that, but it looks like around 6,000 new people signed up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act by year's end. A slightly smaller number changed their plans and a much larger number kept the plan they signed up for last year. People can sign up via the exchange until Feb. 15.
Over 150,000 working West Virginians gained coverage in 2014 through the expanded Medicaid program, and eligible people can sign up for that program at any time.
Not a bad start to the year. If only the rest of it could be like that...