CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The House of Delegates on Monday passed legislation that will direct an additional $88.5 million to improve state roads, with a significant amount of that money going toward improved maintenance on secondary roads over the coming year.
“Our citizens are angry and ashamed over the poor condition of our state’s roads, and we desperately need to provide our highways districts the resources they need to address this problem,” said House Majority Leader Amy Summers, R-Taylor. “During the regular session, this Legislature acted to direct more attention to our state’s secondary roads, but unfortunately those bills did not become law. These funds today will help give our highways workers the resources they need to begin addressing this problem.”
House Bill 119 will shift $34.5 million of unspent money from the current fiscal year’s budget and allow the Division of Highways to begin using that immediately for road maintenance activities.
Senate Bill 1016 and Senate Bill 1019 will divert another $54 million to maintenance activities that take place after July 1.
“These bills refocus our priorities to improving the roads our citizens drive the most,” said Finance Committee Chairman Eric Householder, R-Berkeley. “While the Roads to Prosperity bond issue will fund new highway construction, most West Virginians still want to see the roads they drive every day to work or school fixed first. These bills will allow our highways crews to start correcting years of neglect due to misplaced administrative priorities and lack of funds.”
The bills now go to Gov. Jim Justice for his signature.