Justice Outlines CARES Act Spending Before End-Of-Year Deadline
Gov. Jim Justice detailed how he will spend $122 million of remaining federal COVID-19 relief funding.
A total of $1.25 billion in CARES Act funding was allocated to the state in 2020. States have until the end of the year to spend, or allocate, that money. Otherwise, they risk losing the remaining funds. These allocations don’t account for American Rescue Plan funding Congress approved in 2021.
The plans include:
- $48 million for three nursing programs in the state. Justice announced this expenditure Wednesday. He said it could train 2,000 new nurses in the state over the next four years.
- $22 million into a back to work program. Justice said an incentive will be available to those who re-enter the workforce and stay on their job for at least three months. “We now have an unemployment rate that is really, really low. But we still have a bunch of folks that are still at home,” Justice said.
- $10 million for an emergency crisis fund that will go to first responders.
- $7.25 million to food banks, homeless shelters and other services that fight hunger in the state. These organizations include Facing Hunger Food Bank, Mountaineer Food Bank, the state National Guard and local charities.
- $6 million to the Salvation Army servicing Raleigh, Wyoming, Fayette, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Webster and Pocahontas counties.
- $500,000 for Shepherd University.
- $3 million to WVU to expand remote work facilities across the state.
- $2 million towards the West Virginia Game Changers program that will bring counselors to schools to address issues related to drug use.
- $1.3 million towards ongoing Do It For Babydog vaccine incentives.
- $17.9 will go to state agencies. At least $2.7 million will go towards the Department of Health and Human Resources for vaccination and testing related costs. “This last cleanup will ensure us that we have run a store to the finish line and run the store in a proper way and not got caught with a bill of $10 million or $12 million that we have not forecasted at this moment,” Justice said.