FILE - West Virginia capitol

The West Virginia state Capitol on the Kanawha River in Charleston.

(The Center Square) – The West Virginia Legislature passed 21 bills, which would provide about $250 million of funding for various projects throughout the state.

Gov. Jim Justice called the lawmakers into session to allocate money that was made available thanks to a budget surplus. The Senate passed all 24 of the governor’s proposals, but the House only passed 21 of the bills and did not hold a vote on the other three.

Allocations include an additional $24 million to the Department of Education for increasing the school construction fund for fiscal year 2022, $42 million for parks to expand access for guests, and $30 million for the West Virginia Development Office, which is designed to attract more businesses to the state.

Lawmakers also approved $24.4 million for the Civil Contingent Fund and $5 million for the West Virginia Tourism Office. They approved $50 million of unappropriated money to the state’s rainy day fund.

Counties will also get a break after the legislature extended a freeze on the amount the county governments are required to contribute for housing inmates. The state requires the county pay $48.25 per day for each inmate. The extension allows counties to continue at this rate, rather than pay $54, which was a 14% increase that had been set to go into effect.

A bill that liberalizes the state’s liquor laws also passed. This bill allows liquor to be sold at 6 a.m. daily, except on Christmas and Easter, when there are no liquor sales. 

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.