Justice: Hero pay grants heading out to counties

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Grants totaling $100,000 each for hero pay are heading to the state’s 55 counties from Office of Gov. Jim Justice.

Gov. Jim Justice

Justice first announced the grants last Friday. He said during Wednesday’s media briefing the money was on its way. Justice said the 55 county commissions are being given a lot of flexibility.

“We want to give our counties as much latitude as we possibly can understanding that $100,000 is not going to take care of everybody and every situation,” Justice said.

According to the governor’s office, the money “may only be used to cover expenses that are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Justice said Wednesday there would probably be some who are doing important work left out.

“It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination,” Justice said. “How do you describe this person is a hero and this person is not? We’re just trying to help out those people that are really stepping up and trying to do goodness around our state.”

MORE Read example letter to counties here

Justice said he hopes larger counties would be able to add to the grants to make for a more significant impact.

With the flexibility comes accountability for the county commissions, according to Justice.

“Counties should do the very best they can and they’ll be accountability that counties need to send in on how they spent the dollars. They’ll be accountability for it,” he said.

Justice announced last week all members of the National Guard on active duty would receive $500. He also sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking that part of the state’s $1.25 billion in federal stimulus funds “reward first responders and other front line workers that have been putting in countless hours.”

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