By PHIL KABLER
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With her department again looking down the barrel of legislation that would eliminate it, Education and the Arts Secretary Gayle Manchin told the Senate Finance Committee her agency “empowers West Virginians every single day.”
“Promoting, preserving, protecting our state’s rich culture, history and artistry … and it’s through life-long learning,” she said.
During the department’s budget presentation, Manchin — wife of Democrat U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin — said she has spent her first year as cabinet secretary restructuring and reorganizing the six agencies she oversees.
“This has allowed us to be much more efficient and effective,” she said, noting that federal funding has increased from 59 percent of the department’s budget in the 2012-13 budget year to 68 percent currently.
Manchin made the comments Monday afternoon, as a bill to dissolve the department and move its agencies — Culture and History, Public Broadcasting, Center for Professional Development, Library Commission, Rehabilitation Services, and Volunteer West Virginia — either to other departments or to become freestanding agencies will be on amendment stage on the floor of the House of Delegates on Tuesday.
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