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Justice revises session proclamation, wants multiple measures considered next week

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice is adding legislation for lawmakers to consider when they return to the State Capitol next week.

Justice announced Friday he amended his proclamation to include two bills and two resolutions. One of the measures, according to Justice, would save the Pleasants Power Station in Willow Island from closing.

According to the governor’s office, the plant is the only power facility in the state that faces tax obstacles because it is a merchant power plant.

Justice said plant officials approached him this week about needing help in keeping the facility open.

“This bill is so incredibly important because we’re talking about saving people’s jobs – good coal jobs – and saving entire counties that would be devastated if this plant were to close for good,” he added. “This is an emergency and I’m calling on the House and Senate to work along with me to act on this as quickly as possible. We have a chance to save whole communities and we need to take it.”

The two resolutions deal with bonds with the Roads to Prosperity program; the Legislature authorized $800 million for the first round of bonds last year.

Now, the Justice administration wishes to authorize $600 million in bonds and take them to market as well as authorize $200 million in bonds, which would not go out to market until July 2020.

Another bill is aimed at bringing state law for residency requirements into compliance with federal law.

Lawmakers will also consider a revised version of House Bill 145, which would eliminate regulations to speed up construction efforts for victims of the 2016 flood.

The House of Delegates will convene next Monday, and the Senate will return the following day.

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