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Justice Wants School Plans Finalized by September 1st

August 10th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said Monday that he wants to make a "final" decision on whether schools will return to in person learning by September 1st.  He said that he realizes the importance of giving parents enough notice to make alternate plans for child care should it become necessary, and told WCBC that protecting grandparents who reside with students from COVID-19 is also a consideration.  

During Monday’s briefing, Governor Justice also announced that the State is prepared to do its part to ensure that unemployed West Virginians will be able to continue receiving benefits through the end of 2020.

“We cannot let our people that are sitting out there with no job – not knowing how in the world they’re going to pay rent, or keep from being evicted, or making their car payment, or putting food on the table – to just sit out there and wilt on the vine,” Gov. Justice said.

Over the weekend, President Donald J. Trump signed four executive orders, which extend federal enhanced unemployment insurance benefits to the end of 2020, at a rate of $400 per week.

“I commend President Trump for doing so,” Gov. Justice said. “We've got to get some money flowing to help West Virginians in need as well as people all across the country.”

Under the order, $300 of the weekly total is to be paid for by the federal government, while the remaining $100 is to be paid for by each state.

“Hands down, period, West Virginia is going to pay it,” Gov. Justice said. “We do so very willingly.

“I believe that the federal government will eventually reverse their stance on that and that they will pay the full 100 percent in the end,” Gov. Justice continued. “But we’ve got the money set aside to make it work either way.”

Gov. Justice further explained that preparing for a contingency like this was the entire reason he set aside $687 million of the State’s $1.25 billion in CARES Act funds to help support unemployed West Virginians through 2020 and 2021 through WorkForce West Virginia.

“That’s exactly why we did it and God knows I’m glad we did it,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re going to be able to take care of our people.”

 

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