How will West Virginia spend an extra $250 million?

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Millions of surplus dollars are headed to different state programs after West Virginia state lawmakers held a special session Thursday.

The special session was all about budget appropriations. Legislators discussed what to do with the $250 million surplus dollars Governor Jim Justice requested.

Despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, legislators find themselves with a $250 million surplus that will go to various programs like education, state parks, transportation, corrections and other capital expenditures.

“The one in particular I’m excited about is, and I think it’s really important for the counties, is there’s $9.4 million that will be appropriated to the regional jail authority to offset the increase that was coming in the rate that the counties have to absorb,” Del. Brent Boggs said.

While some legislators are excited about corrections, others are excited about outdoor adventure.

“One of the governor’s supplemental appropriations would continue to those capital improvement projects to continue to improve our state parks and make them facilities visitors will want to come to West Virginia,” Del. Paul Espinosa said.

Lawmakers say allocating the money will do better than just stashing it away in a rainy day fund since the state has so many unmet needs.

This special session gives officials the chance to better understand proposals for the money and make the best decision for taxpayer dollars

“Any money that we free up by using surplus money now from the fiscal year that ends June 30. That’s an opportunity that we can use other money for other things and may advance some things forward that were going to be on the back burner for a long time,” said Boggs.

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