West Virginia Week in Review - July 1, 2023


West Virginia Week in Review
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Gov. Justice: West Virginia shatters all-time financial records with close of fiscal year
Gov. Jim Justice announced that West Virginia’s cumulative revenue collections for Fiscal Year 2023 will come in at $1.8 billion over estimate – shattering the all-time record for biggest single-year revenue surplus in state history for the second straight year in a row. 
“This is an unbelievable accomplishment, and is undeniable proof that the days of West Virginia being known as poor, backward, and behind-the-times are over once and for all,” Gov. Justice said. “West Virginia is growing, our people are employed and raising their families here, companies from all over the world are investing in us, and we’ve changed the image of our state to the outside world in a major way.

“All West Virginians should take a lot of pride in this historic announcement, because, at the end of the day, this money belongs to them. The records we’ve shattered with the close of this fiscal year are all-time historic and will be written into the history books forevermore.

“I’m going to work with the Legislature to take what’s left unappropriated and continue to make wise investments in what we know will bring us more goodness, like infrastructure, federal matches, and tourism, because the more we tell the world about West Virginia, the more people will want to live, work, and raise their families here.” 
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Gov. Justice continues recovery after successful gallbladder removal surgery
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Gov. Justice declares holiday for state employees on Monday, July 3, 2023
Gov. Justice has issued an executive order declaring that Monday, July 3, 2023, will be an official holiday for all public employees of the state.
View the Proclamation
“It’s immeasurably important to pause on Independence Day every year and remember all the freedoms we have in our great country and all the sacrifices made by our veterans and active duty military members," Gov. Justice said. "Their sacrifice is the reason we can all celebrate in peace, knowing that we live in the greatest country in the world. I hope all our state employees take time to reflect on this and spend time with their family and friends this weekend. 
"Truly, there is no better place than Almost Heaven to spend this long weekend. Whether it’s exploring one of our Mountain Rides, or discovering a hidden gem on our Waterfall Trail, I encourage everyone to get out and explore our beautiful state in some way, shape, form, or fashion.
“I thank all our state employees for their hard work and wish all West Virginians a happy Independence Day weekend!”
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WVDNR Police announce increased lake, river patrols during July 4 weekend
As part of a nationwide campaign to promote safe and sober boating, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Police officers will increase their patrols of the state’s waterways during the July 4 weekend.

Because the Fourth of July holiday is one of the busiest times of year for boating recreation in West Virginia, WVDNR Police are also reminding boaters to perform safety checks on their boats to make sure horns and lights are operational and that personal floatation devices are accessible and available for all passengers.
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Gov. Justice thanks Dr. Jeff Coben for his service; announces progress on transition to three departments
Gov. Justice announced that Dr. Jeff Coben, Interim Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, will make his planned departure from DHHR effective July 5, 2023. 

“Dr. Coben has done a tremendous job heading up DHHR and assisting through the many facets of the upcoming transition to three new departments,” Gov. Justice said. “I ask all West Virginians to join me in thanking him for his service to our state. As he resumes his duties as the Associate Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Public Health at West Virginia University, I am also thankful for his continued leadership and vision on behalf of the people of West Virginia.”

Gov. Justice appointed Dr. Sherri A. Young, DO, MBA, FAAFP, as Interim Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources until the statutory termination of the DHHR and creation of the successor Departments of Health, Human Services, and Health Facilities, on January 1, 2024, pursuant to the terms of House Bill 2006. Her appointment is effective July 5, 2023.
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Air Quality Update - WVDEP, DHHR continue to monitor air quality throughout West Virginia
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's (WVDEP) Division of Air Quality and the state Department of Health and Human Resources' (DHHR) Bureau for Public Health (BPH) are continuing the statewide air quality advisory as smoke from Canadian wildfires continues to adversely impact air quality.

According to AirNow.gov, the Air Quality Index for most of West Virginia is in the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" (Orange) to "Unhealthy" (Red) ranges. Sensitive groups include children, people suffering from asthma, heart disease or other lung diseases, and the elderly.

Please continue to check AirNow.gov for the latest updates on your local air quality. 
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WVDNR seeking public input for river otter citizen science project
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources announced the start of a new citizen science project to identify the distribution of river otters across the state and is asking members of the public to report sightings through an online survey.

The survey can be completed online or by using the Survey123 mobile application. To learn more about participating in the survey, visit WVdnr.gov/surveys and scroll down to River Otters.

As part of the survey, participants will be asked to report river otter sightings and provide details about the otter’s location, the number of otters observed and what the otter was doing. Submitting a photo of the otter is encouraged.
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Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov; CJ Harvey, cj.harvey@wv.gov


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

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

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