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West Virginia lawmakers to review $250M in special session

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia lawmakers will convene Thursday to take up $250 million in spending proposed by Gov. Jim Justice.

The spending comes after a “tremendous” budget surplus, the Republican governor said last week.

He has proposed moving the millions to a wide variety of state departments, from tourism to natural resources. There are proposed upgrades to correctional facilities and expansions to some West Virginia State Parks.

The legislature will meet at noon to act on the funds.

Earlier in June, the legislature met to pour federal funds and extra state cash into road repairs, health care and education programs such as school lunches. It included about $902 million in federal funds received through President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

Much of those funds were grants directed by the federal government to be spent on programs such as substance abuse prevention and aid for needy families and for child care services.

Another $150 million from a state budget surplus was dedicated to fund 702 miles (1,130 kilometers) of road paving and projects on 40 bridges across all 55 counties.