Government, WVPA Sharing

W.Va. legislative special session resumes, focusing on highways funding, fixing vetoed bills

By Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail

Resumption of a special session ostensibly called to address public education issues put off education bills Monday, but in relatively rapid-fire fashion, corrected and re-passed a number of bills that Gov. Jim Justice vetoed because of technical errors, and also passed a number of supplemental appropriation bills — including measures moving tens of millions of dollars in additional funding for repair of crumbling state roads.

That included a $54 million appropriation to the state’s Road Fund, made possible by Justice earlier Monday raising estimates for overall 2018-19 tax collection by $42.3 million, creating a total budget surplus for the year of $72.6 million (Senate Bill 1016).

The bill passed over objections from Sen. Randy Smith, R-Tucker, whose regular session bill to increase legislative oversight of Division of Highways spending was vetoed by Justice. “I’m a little concerned we’re giving them more money without no oversight,” Smith said.

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