CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — At his Monday COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Jim Justice announced he is sending $1.34 million dollars from his contingency fund.
The funds are to be divided up among 392 fairs and festivals that have been canceled this year, including the State Fair in Greenbrier County.
Many of those events live on a shoe-string budget from year-to-year and shutting down even one year could doom an event forever.
“Because of planning costs, or maybe down payments, or whatever it may be. Our fairs and festivals, we stand to lose 50% of our fairs and festivals that will just go under. We can’t have that happen. I mean that’s all there is too it. We just plain can’t have that happen,” said Gov. Jim Justice, R-WV.
Meanwhile, Congress is back in Washington, D.C., trying for forge ahead on another COVID-19 aid package. The US Senate unveiled a $1 trillion dollar plan today, cutting the extra $600 a week in unemployment to $200 or 70% of an applicant’s wages before being laid off. That last $600 payment comes Friday.
“I think what we are looking at is probably a much less amount than $600. I think what’s happened is, the $600 a week has created an opportunity for a lot of people to make a lot more on unemployment than actually working. And that’s stymieing people from going back to work,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV.
Some are still looking to send another $1,200 in stimulus to every American. Both Capito and Justice believe Congress will change the rules and allow states to offset budget deficits with COVID-19 aid money.
“As of today, more than 160 local governments in the state have divided up nearly 60 million dollars in federal aid. But there are another 140 million of those funds available, and the Gov. Justice is urging more cities and counties to apply,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.