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March-03-2016

RFRA bill killed by Senate; opponents claim victory
By Matt Maccaro, WV MetroNews

An unlikely coalition killed an amended version of the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act Wednesday night in the state Senate.

Democrats who opposed the legislation to begin with, and GOP Senators who preferred the original House bill and didn’t think the amended bill went far enough, combined to vote down the bill on third reading, 27-7.

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March-02-2016

Senate approves bill changing makeup of PEIA Finance Board
By WV MetroNews

The State Senate has approved along party lines a bill changing the makeup of the Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board. Republican backers say SB 622 is a response to the financial problems with the state’s health insurance program.

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March-01-2016

Crisis averted, but it leaves us wondering
Thankfully, a tax bill that would have threatened small business gets sidelined

Register-Herald editorial

We know the West Virginia Legislature is facing a monumental task of balancing a state budget that is some $353 million out of whack. And that’s just for the current fiscal year. Next year’s calculations project a yawning $460 million gorge.

So, yes, legislators are looking for more than...

March-01-2016

Senate committee originates bill to cut coal tax
By Jeff Jenkins | MetroNews

The state Senate Finance Committee originated a bill Monday afternoon to decrease the state’s coal severance tax by two percent over two years in hopes of making West Virginia’s coal more competitive with other states.

The rate would go from 5 percent to 3 percent under the bill (SB 705), Sen. Finance Committee Chair Mike Hall (R-Putnam) said.

“We’re (currently) taxing...

February-29-2016

Priorities for the rest of the session
By Pamela Pritt, Register-Herald reporter

With fewer than 14 days before this legislative session adjourns as scheduled, lawmakers still have hundreds of bills to sort and prioritize. Some will make it into law, most will not. But first and foremost, the state must have a balanced budget. 

And that balancing act is causing wear and tear on lawmakers who had hoped for a year of tax reform.

Senate President Bill...

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