Mountain State Spotlight – Lawmakers and members of the public are raising concerns about how Gov. Jim Justice’s office has used federal money related to the coronavirus pandemic — and whether those funds have gone towards helping the communities that need it most.
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West Virginia received two pots of federal money during the pandemic: in 2020 the state was given $1.25 billion under the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to pay for coronavirus-related expenses that were not previously accounted for in state and city budgets. The next year the state received an additional $1.35 billion under the American Rescue Plan to help state and local governments address public health issues and other “negative economic impacts” tied to the pandemic.
Now, Justice is seeking to transfer the state’s remaining $678 million in unallocated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. Under the bill lawmakers are considering, the lion’s share of the money, $500 million, would be allocated to the state’s Economic Development Authority.
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