Lawmakers pass arts department, firefighter benefits bills in special session

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State lawmakers quickly voted in favor of several pieces of legislation offered by the Justice administration during special session.

Spring Hill View of Downtown Charleston

The legislation included measures to create a new arts department and to make increased death benefits for firefighters killed in the line of duty retroactive to Jan. 1.

Gov. Jim Justice wanted to create a new arts department after signing a bill that eliminated the Department of Education and the Arts, sending some of its duties to other state agencies.

“The arts has a strong presence in his (the governor’s) administration. That’s what this legislation is trying to address,” said House Education Chairman Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson.

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