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West Virginia lawmakers approved the budget on the last day of the session

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia lawmakers approved a state budget on Saturday, the last day of the legislative session.

The $ 4.6 billion budget has been overwhelmingly approved by both the Senate and the House of Delegates, where lawmakers spent much of the last day of the 60-day session with support behind them and putting the finishing touches on them. to last minute bills.

One of the highest profile spending lines in the budget was funding to eliminate the waiting list for a program that provides home care for people with intellectual disabilities. Republican Governor Jim Justice prioritized the end of the waiting list for the intellectual development disability relief program, saying there are more than 1,000 people waiting for the service.

The budget also includes funding for a second Mountaineer Challenge Academy, a military-type mentoring program for teenagers at risk.

“From the beginning, our goal has been to make West Virginia an exceptional place for families and businesses, and I believe we will continue to deliver results,” said Senate president Carmichael, a Republican.

After catching some weakness from going to a West Virginia University basketball game on the last day of the session, Justice made rare appearances in the chambers of the House and Senate to congratulate lawmakers.

“I recommend you in every way,” justice said to the senators. “You have done so much good and you have helped so many people and so many families.”

This year’s session was relatively slow and largely free from major controversy, especially in a state where teachers have gone on strike in the previous two years.

Senate GOP leadership failed many of their higher-profile bills, including a proposal to create a new intermediate appeal court, a measure to cut subsidies for greyhound racing and a bill to cut a tax on manufacturing companies.

House Republicans have issued a bill to prevent discrimination based on hair weft or common styles among African Americans, including braids, locks and twists. The bill was passed in the Senate with a 32-2 vote.

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