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Lawmakers reconsider putting flood recovery program under West Virginia Department of Commerce


Charleston Gazette-Mail

Flood debris is piled outside a damaged house in Clendenin on July 1, 2016.
(Gazette Mail photo by Chris Dorst)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia lawmakers are rethinking their decision to place a $150 million federal flood recovery effort under the state Department of Commerce after problems with the program came to light.

House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, sponsored House Bill 2935, which became law last year. The bill created the State Resiliency Office and its board, which coordinates flood recovery efforts, and the Joint Legislative Committee on Flooding, which fields reports from the board.

While Armstead’s original draft of the bill housed the office under the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety — parts of which respond to natural disasters — the Senate Government Organization Committee unanimously overhauled the bill and placed it within the Department of Commerce.

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