Chesapeake Bay funding bill passes major hurdles in Senate
MARTINSBURG - The Chesapeake Bay funding bill is well on its way to passage, state Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, said in a telephone interview Thursday. "We've cleared the highest hurdle - the Senate Finance Committee - it was a unanimous vote," said Snyder, who has shepherded the bill through the legislative process.
Senate Bill 245 would dedicate $6 million over 30 years to a bond issue that would help pay for improvements, upgrades and new construction of wastewater treatment plants in West Virginia's eight-county Eastern Panhandle. The improvements are needed to meet new, stringent pollution limits imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the Chesapeake Bay Restoration program. The program is aimed at reducing pollution in bay tributaries.
I applaud West by-gawd Virginia for stepping up and helping it's communities.
Rather than coming from the excess lottery fund, which is already dedicated to specific programs, the revenue to cover the bonds will come from the video lottery's undedicated surplus funds that are used for supplemental appropriations at the end of the fiscal year, Unger explained.
"It settled everyone down - no one's ox was going to be gored," he said.
The unencumbered dollars come to about $26 to $30 million a year, Unger said, and are a stable revenue source with which to finance the bonds so the interest rate might be better.
Generally speaking, I don't like lotteries as revenue raisers; it seems too much like a tax on stupidity.
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