- Associated Press - Thursday, May 4, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia Rep. Evan Jenkins says the spending bill passed Wednesday by the House will increase investments in Appalachia and help with economic development in the mining communities hurt by the downturn in the coal industry.

The bill will include permanent funding for about 22,000 retired miners and widows’ health care.

Jenkins, a Republican, says the bill to fund the government through September contains $152 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission, up $6 million; $105 million for the second year of the economic development pilot program for abandoned mine lands; and $30 million for the Economic Development Administration’s assistance program for coal communities.

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