The West Virginia Legislature may look empty and quiet now, but that is about to change in a big way. Multiple sources tell 59 News Governor Tomblin has chosen 6 p.m. Sunday to begin a Special Session addressing the state’s share of flood disaster assistance. It’s essentially a down payment, in order to get more federal aid.
“The Governor’s going to ask the Legislature to approve a draw out of rainy day as well as sweeping a few cash accounts – a little bit of excess cash around – but, we have to put that money on deposit. We have to show the good faith of that money being there, before they’ll full fund their three-quarters,” said State Sen. Bill Cole, (R) Senate President.
In all the Governor will ask lawmakers for 85 million dollars. Much of it from the state’s rainy day fund for emergencies. Any chuck of money will come from excess lottery proceeds. Many residents will tell you the biggest need is fixing flood damaged roads.
“Our road is messed up so bad that people’s getting flat tires and they’re dragging their mufflers off and rearing up their cars,” said Rebecca Robinson, a Clendenin resident.
While lawmakers are being asked to front 85 million state dollars for flood relief, much of the many may eventually be given back by Congress.
“Currently we’re having to fund at 25 percent. So that’s what we’ll be asking for. And if they later change the match rate, then we’ll be able to put some of that money back in the rainy day fund or wherever the Legislature will want to put it,” said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, (D) West Virginia on Wednesday.
The Governor already asked the White House for 310 million dollars in disaster aid.
“The flood relief bill is definitely on the fast track. We’re told it could be passed by the Legislature, and to the Governor’s desk, by Monday night,” said Mark Curtis, 59 News Chief Political Reporter.