West Virginia Week in Review - December 18, 2021


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Do it for Babydog Round 3: Gov. Justice, First Lady, and Babydog present $100,000 check, host party for students at Matewan Grade School
Gov. Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice traveled to Matewan PK8 in Mingo County on Friday, presenting students and staff with a $100,000 check as winners in Round 3 of the “Do it for Babydog” vaccination sweepstakes.

The Governor and First Lady brought along their pet English Bulldog and sweepstakes mascot, Babydog, and threw a party for the entire school to celebrate.
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Gov. Justice announces another historic 5% pay raise for teachers and state employees, plus one-time 2.5% INFLATOCINE bonus
On Thursday, Gov. Jim Justice announced that he has secured the support of the Republican-led Legislature to give all state employees – including public school teachers and service personnel – a 5% pay raise for the third time since 2018.

Additionally, Gov. Justice announced that all state employees will also receive a one-time 2.5% bonus to combat the rising costs of inflation. The Governor said the bonus will be known as the Inflatocine – short for Inflation Vaccine.
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Gov. Justice: West Virginia sets yet another state record for lowest unemployment rate ever

Gov. Jim Justice announced on Tuesday that West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.0% for November 2021; the lowest such rate recorded in all of state history.

November’s mark bested the previous state record of 4.3%, set just one month prior in October 2021.

“The net-net of the whole thing is that there’s never been a better time for jobs in the state of West Virginia than there is right now,” Gov. Justice said. “We want to continue to grow on this and attract anybody and everybody to come to this state.”

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West Virginia Department of Transportation remembers those lost on the Silver Bridge
The West Virginia Department of Transportation remembered the 46 people killed in the December 15, 1967, collapse of the Silver Bridge in Mason County. The bridge connected Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Gallipolis, Ohio.

The bridge collapsed without warning at 4:58 p.m., as many were scrambling to complete their Christmas shopping. The tragedy led to the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968, which established a National Bridge Inspection Program which created bridge inspection standards still in use today.

“Over the past 50 years, that law has saved countless lives by standardizing bridge inspection processes nationwide,” said State Bridge Engineer Tracy Brown, P.E.
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COVID-19 UPDATE: Governor, state health officials announce first case of Omicron variant identified in West Virginia
During Thursday’s briefing, Gov. Justice and state health officials announced that a case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been identified in West Virginia for the first time.

“It’s not good news, but we knew it was coming. It’s running across the entire country and the entire globe.” Gov. Justice said.
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Do it for Babydog Round 3: Gov. Justice announces final prize winners in vaccination sweepstakes – December 15, 2021
On Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice announced the winners of 126 prizes through his Do it for Babydog: Round 3 vaccination sweepstakes.

Emma Brumfield of Paden City has won the final grand prize of a $100,000 Educational Savings Fund.

An additional 25 young West Virginians have each won a prize of a $10,000 Educational Savings Fund. All Educational Savings Fund prizes will be in the form of a 529 plan, managed by the State Treasurer’s Office, which will be invested and grow over time. The fund can be used for any educational-related expenses, not just higher education.
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COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice celebrates anniversary of vaccine arrival in West Virginia
During his Tuesday briefing, Gov. Justice commemorated the one-year anniversary today of the arrival of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in West Virginia.

“West Virginia led the way for the entire nation right out of the gate,” Gov. Justice said. “While other states spent weeks cutting through federal red tape, West Virginia was getting the vaccine out to our most vulnerable people.”
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EZPass Discount Program: Turnpike Reminds Drivers to Renew
Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, drivers who took advantage of West Virginia’s E-ZPass Single Fee Discount Plan will be able to renew their plans for one year for $26.25. If a patron has a valid, unexpired credit card on file, the E-ZPass will be renewed automatically. The E-ZPass gives drivers of the West Virginia Turnpike unlimited use of the Turnpike for an annual fee.

On Jan. 1, 2022, the cash toll for Class I passenger vehicles will be adjusted to $4.25 per toll booth as provided for in legislation passed by the West Virginia Legislature.

A link to the fee schedule can be found here. 
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Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov


Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

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304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

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