Flooding Committee to Hear More Testimony on RISE Program, National Guard Amends Action Plan

Jul 10, 2018

A committee of West Virginia lawmakers will meet again this week to hear more about a slow-moving flood recovery program. The Joint Legislative Committee on Flooding will hold a meeting Thursday with the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

According to a news release from the West Virginia Senate, officials from the Auditor’s office will present information gathered about the RISE West Virginia program. Reports from earlier this year showed that only $1.1 million of nearly $150 million had been spent to aid in housing victims of the June 2016 flood.

Additional individuals who have been asked to appear for question-and-answer sessions Thursday include a former employee of the state Development Office who also served as attorney for the Department of Commerce, a program specialist with RISE West Virginia and the general counsel for the Governor’s Office.

 

A subpoena has also been issued for former Development Office employee Mary Jo Thompson to appear before the committee. Thompson was one of two Commerce Department officials who resigned last month --  just before she was scheduled to testify before the flooding committee.

 

The meeting is being run jointly with the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, as it is the official interim committee empowered to issue subpoenas.

In a separate news release, the West Virginia National Guard says the action plan for the RISE program has been substantially amended a second time.

The Guard says the amendment will allow the state to streamline the funding process for subrecipients, allowing federal funds to move more quickly.

A 14-day public comment period is now open before the amendment is submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the federal agency in charge of the recovery funding.

Members of the public may submit public comments by emailing disasterrecovery@wv.gov. All comments will be published in a final substantial amendment before being submitted to HUD.