Del. Kilgore: Funding fight looming for SWVA over $4.3 Billion in stimulus funds

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In this Jan. 16, 2020 photo, Chairman Del. Terry Kilgore, makes a comment as Judge Patricia West answers questions from members of the House Commerce and Labor committee as they met inside the State Capitol in Richmond, Va. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

GATE CITY, Va. (WJHL) — A Southwest Virginia lawmaker says he’s bracing for a tough fight to get stimulus money for our area.

Del. Terry Kilgore (R-Gate City) said Monday the Virginia General Assembly will convene in a special session next week to vote on how to spend $4.3 billion dollars through the American Rescue Plan.

Kilgore said there’s a proposal to spend $700 million to increase broadband internet access which he said, “will finally guarantee access to families where providers have not been willing/unable to expand to.”

Kilgore said he’ll also push for some of the money to go toward school construction and renovation.

“This is the commonwealth’s chance to finally address this critical infrastructure issue facing our students, an issue the SWVA delegation has advocated for years,” Kilgore said in a release.

But Kilgore said Southwest Virginia faces an obstacle as the money is divided up across the Commonwealth. He said members won’t be able to submit budget amendments during the special session during which funds will be allocated.

“Since SWVA does not have a representative on the Senate Finance Committee, our fight for a share of this money will be tough,” Kilgore said. “Our delegation will fight to ensure that Richmond does not ignore our area when allocating these dollars.”

The special session of the Virginia General Assembly is set to convene next Monday.

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