Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731
Contact the Governor's Office
Revenue surplus projected despite pandemic
his latest daily press briefing Friday, Gov. Jim Justice
announced that he and state revenue experts now expect another
historic revenue surplus in West Virginia when the books close on
Fiscal Year 2020, despite the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic
has had on the state’s economy.
“Not only did the pandemic put our economy in jeopardy, but we also
moved the income tax filing deadline from April to July,” Gov.
Justice said. “We had a tremendous deficit at that point in time.”
After setting the all-time state record for revenue growth in
FY2019, those surpluses were built into initial budget estimates
“My revenue people told me that we could probably forecast a $525
million-dollar deficit,” Gov. Justice said. “It was really, really
difficult and we had to try to figure out what in the world to do.”
However, it was at this point that the Governor’s plan to guide
West Virginia through the pandemic began to bear fruit.
“Lo and behold, we’re going to run across the finish line on June
30th with a surplus,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s not going to be much
– it’s probably going to be less than $10 million – but we’re going
to go across the finish line with a surplus in a year that our
experts predicted we were going to be $525 million upside-down.”
announces plan to distribute $1.25 billion in CARES Act funding
Friday, Gov. Justice announced how he is proposing to distribute
$1.25 billion in federal funding through the CARES Act to benefit
all West Virginians.
A breakdown of the Governor’s proposed use of the funding is as
Governments – $200 million
This is the money that will reimburse West Virginia cities and
counties for COVID-19 related expenses. A web portal is available
for city and county government officials to apply for this grant
Interested parties can also call the helpline: 1-833-94-GRANT.
More information on these grants is listed further below in this
Businesses – $150 million
Calling West Virginia’s small businesses “the backbone of
everything we do in this state,” Gov. Justice is proposing to give
15,000 of West Virginia’s small businesses $10,000 each to help
recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Any small business in West Virginia that was in existence as of
February 29, 2020, that has anywhere from 5-35 employees will be
able to apply for this funding. Additional information on the
process for applying will be provided at a later date.
Hospital – $10 million
This funding will reimburse Fairmont Hospital for expenses incurred
while setting up as a COVID-19 surge hospital. WVU will continue to
operate this hospital until a new hospital is built.
related highway projects – $100 million
This is limited to projects that will improve access to medical
facilities. This will allow other money in the road fund to be
redirected for other projects.
Department of Transportation officials have taken on
this project as MARP – Medical Access Route Projects. Deputy
Secretary Jimmy Wriston says the DOT is identifying eligible
projects and plans to post them on an all-new online dashboard in
the weeks ahead.
“We utilized asset management principals in a data-driven manner to
identify and prioritize projects in this program,” Wriston said.
“We vetted these projects with local EMS, first responders, and
“I want to stress that we’re going to continue to do these projects
in the correct way,” Wriston continued. “Prior to paving, these
roads will be ditched, drainage pipes will be replaced, and
shoulders will be stabilized. As always, we’re going to do the work
in a completely transparent manner.”
Public Service Districts – $25 million
This money will help keep Local Public Service Districts solvent.
“They're having trouble collecting some dollars because they're
working with people on their water bills and things like that,”
Gov. Justice said. “We've got some extra money that we're going to
put over to them to assure that our public service districts are
well taken care of.”
contingency fund – $16 million
This is for the PPE and other equipment the State purchased prior
to the federal stimulus coming in.
COVID-19 expense reimbursement – $57 million
This is for reimbursements to State agencies for COVID-19 related
West Virginia 2020 – $287 million
These funds are to help support unemployed West Virginians in the
West Virginia 2021 – $400 million
These funds are to help support unemployed West Virginians over the
course of the upcoming fiscal year.
kicks off Week 9 of "The Comeback" plan
Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that the Week 9
phase of West
Virginia Strong – The Comeback is now
officially underway, meaning that several additional types of
activities are permitted to reopen, provided that all safety
guidelines are being properly followed.
Approved activity reopenings on Monday, June 22, included:
also marked the first day that high schools across West Virginia
were permitted to begin holding in-person graduation ceremonies,
provided that several strict
guidelines are followed; including that all
graduations must be held at outdoor venues and must be structured
to allow for adequate social distancing and for other safety
measures to be properly followed.
urges Myrtle Beach visitors to get tested
on Friday, Gov. Justice discussed the recent surge in COVID-19
cases being seen at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, cautioning
residents who are considering traveling to the popular vacation
destination that there are now cases in 18 West Virginia counties
that are tied residents traveling to the Myrtle Beach area. This
number is up from 11 counties experiencing cases as of Wednesday.
The following counties that have reported to DHHR that they are
investigating outbreaks: Berkeley, Boone, Cabell, Fayette,
Greenbrier, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mercer,
Monongalia, Putnam, Preston, Raleigh, Ritchie, Taylor, and Wood.
DHHR announce one-time payment to foster care providers for
Justice announced Wednesday that the West Virginia Department of
Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Children and Families will
soon issue a one-time payment to foster care families and providers
as part of the state’s ongoing response to COVID-19. This payment
will provide in-state foster families, child-placing agencies, as
well as residential and emergency shelters additional financial
help for costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past
several months. The payment will be based upon the number of
children in the home or facility at the end of June 2020. Payment
will be received in July 2020.
provides update on Raleigh County assisted living community
Justice reported Monday that one direct care staff member at the
Greystone Assisted Living Community in Raleigh County has tested
positive for COVID-19. The Governor reported that the employee had
worked in the facility both the day before and the day of the
positive test. However, the employee had been wearing a cloth mask
throughout their shift. Monday, county health officials tested all
residents and all staff members who live and work in the community.
At the direction of Gov. Justice, West Virginia
was the first state in the nation to
require the full testing of all assisted living facilities and the
first state in the nation to require the full testing of all
Curator Randall Reid-Smith host West Virginia Day celebration
Saturday, June 20, West Virginia Curator of the Arts Randall
Reid-Smith hosted a video presentation to celebrate the state's
157th birthday. Gov. Justice joined the curator to discuss the
great people of the state and all that the state has to offer. The
event also featured a message from West Virginia National Guard
Adjudant General James Hoyer, prayers and messages from religious
leaders, and musical performances.
vacation travel guidance
afternoon, officials with the West Virginia Department of Health
and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health (BPH) released safety
guidelines outlining the best practices
for West Virginians traveling for vacation.
community COVID-19 testing announced
COVID-19 testing in several communities
across the state this week, Gov. Justice also offered a
reminder that additional free testing opportunities will
be provided in Cabell, Hancock, Lincoln, and Mingo
counties in the coming days.
Testing is scheduled as follows:
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
A.D. Lewis Community Center: 1450 A.D. Lewis Avenue, Huntington, WV
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Mountaineer Casino: 1420 Mountaineer Circle, Track Side Building,
New Cumberland, WV
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Lincoln County High School: 81 Lincoln Panther Way, Hamlin, WV
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
183 East 2nd Avenue, Williamson, WV
declares State of Emergency for Greenbrier and Monroe counties
Saturday, Gov. Justice declared a State of Emergency for Greenbrier
and Monroe counties due to heavy rainfall that caused significant
local flooding. The Governor has authorized West Virginia
Division of Emergency Management to support these counties and to
use all State resources necessary.
pays tribute to fallen firefighter
Justice took time out of Monday’s address to discuss the tragic
loss this weekend of a member of the Iaeger Volunteer Fire
Department. According to the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s
Office, 42-year-old Iaeger VFD firefighter Russell Roberson passed
away while responding to a house fire in McDowell County.
clarifies active case numbers
Wednesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice offered additional clarification
on the remaining number of active COVID-19 cases in Randolph County
related to Huttonsville Correctional Center and Jail. In the last
several days, DHHR’s Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services
and the West Virginia National Guard have worked closely with the
Randolph County Health Department to close out 103 cases associated
with the outbreak at Huttonsville Correctional Center. This was a
unique situation specific to the outbreak investigation of
Huttonsville Correctional Center in that it required manual data
entry. The Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services will
be working with the Randolph County Health Department to learn if
there are additional case reports to be closed out associated with
announces unemployment decreases in all 55 counties
Justice reported on Wednesday that county-level
data from WorkForce West Virginia for the
month of May showed that the unemployment rates decreased in all 55
counties across the state. Last week, WorkForce West Virginia reported that
West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the month
of May dropped three percentage points to 12.9 percent. The
national unemployment rate decreased to 13.3 percent in May,
meaning West Virginia’s jobs rate is currently better than the
Virginians urged to participate in 2020 census
Gov. Justice asked all West Virginians to participate in the 2020
United States Census.
Every West Virginian who does not respond to the Census represents
a loss of $20,000 in federal funds over the next 10 years for the
state and its local communities. The funds can go toward things
like healthcare, education, infrastructure, school lunch programs,
Be counted in minutes: 2020census.gov
Office showcases Almost Heaven for West Virginia Day
week well spent virtually exploring the dreamy landscapes and
unbeatable destinations of our state, the Tourism Office released a
video of content from West Virginia travelers.
virtual Junior Conservation Camp
the West Virginia Department of Environmental
Protection offered a daily video playlist on its YouTube
channel, “Environment Matters,” in place of their annual Junior
Conservation Camp. The videos covering traditional camp activities
such as hunter safety, crafts, wildlife, kayaking, forestry, and
other environmental topics. There were also live webinars. The free
videos and lessons were tailored to camp-age viewers.
Virginian John Morris among 2020 recipients of nation’s highest
honor in the folk and traditional arts
Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, along with the
West Virginia Humanities Council and Gov. Justice, announced
Tuesday that old-time musician John Morris, of Ivydale, had been
selected as one of nine 2020 National Endowment for the Arts’
National Heritage Fellows, the nation’s highest honor in the folk
and traditional arts.
These lifetime honor awards of $25,000 are given in recognition of
both artistic excellence and efforts to sustain cultural traditions
for future generations.
An acclaimed fiddler, banjo player, guitarist, songwriter, and
life-long resident of Clay County, Morris is the living carrier of
the old-time fiddle and banjo tradition particular to his rural
home county and the surrounding area. Morris was nominated by West
Virginia state folklorist Emily Hilliard through the West Virginia
Folklife Program, a project of the West Virginia Humanities
announces Project Safe Neighborhoods grant award
Justice announced Thursday that he has awarded $80,385 in Project
Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) grant funds to the City of Huntington.
These funds will be used to create and foster safer neighborhoods
through a sustained reduction in violent crime. These funds are
provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs,
Bureau of Justice Assistance and are administered by the West
Virginia Division of Administrative Services, Justice, and
Virginia State Police secure $1 million grant to aid fight against
million federal grant awarded to the West Virginia State Police
will help troopers coordinate more closely and effectively with
county and local law enforcement to target methamphetamine and the
illicit trafficking of opioids, including prescription drugs.
WVSP was one of only 12 agencies nationwide that successfully
applied for the U.S. Department of Justice funding. The
department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
offers the grants through its COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program (CAMP).
wishes West Virginia a Happy Father's Day
to cities and counties now up over $16 million
Friday, Gov. Justice provided an update on cities and counties
throughout West Virginia applying for funds through the federal
CARES Act, reporting that more than $16 million has now been
distributed all across the state.
A web portal is available for city and county government officials
to apply for this grant funding: grants.wv.gov.
Interested parties can also call the helpline: 1-833-94-GRANT.
Each of the recipients of CARES Act funding, along with grant
amounts, are now available to view through the COVID-19
transparency web portal provided by West
Virginia State Auditor’s Office.
WVDNR highlights special license plates to support wildlife
education and research
State Superintendent provides update on Summer Food Service program
WVDE looking for community input regarding school re-entry in the
Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce