Session Winds Down

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

In the waning hours of their legislative session, West Virginia lawmakers are weighing a few remaining Governor Manchin proposals.

Those include requests to renew a tourism development tax
credit, end a tax break for coalbed methane drillers and provide
grants for school security upgrades.

But Manchin's proposals to sell tobacco settlement-backed bonds
and allow counties to hike their hotel taxes require work by joint
conference committees to resolve some House-Senate differences.

Delegates and senators have also exchanged differing approaches
to the 2007-2008 state budget. Manchin has already called for an
extended session to craft a final budget bill next week.

By noon today, legislators had passed ten items from the
governor's agenda. They include a high-tech manufacturing tax
credit and the creation of a new central office to govern the
state's real estate.

Other successful Manchin bills would allow electronic
prescriptions and create a new fund for the health care costs of
future public retirees.

Only a handful of bills from Manchin's 30-item agenda failed to
clear the final day.


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