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Legislature faces long sessions in preparation of Crossover Day


The Dominion Post

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — A bill that could lead to an extension of Interstate 68 and another that opponents fear will empower “dark money” in political campaigns were among the long list that passed March 27. And a bill to end the Greyhound Breeding Development Fund stirred some bitter debate and a close vote.

March 29 is Day 50, known as Crossover Day, when bills have to leave their house of origin and cross the hall — from Senate to House and vice-versa. So both houses are dealing with long floor sessions full of bills.

SB 210 is the County Local Powers Act. It originated in Marshall County, where the vision is to extend I-68 from Morgantown into Marshall and then to Ohio.

SB 210 passed 29-5 without debate.

The “dark money” bill is SB 539; 54 pages long, it proposes significant changes to campaign finance law.

SB 539 passed on party lines, 21-12.

The greyhound bill is SB 437 and will effectively end greyhound racing at the two casinos that offer it: Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras, in Cross Lanes. The bill would return $15 million to the Excess Lottery Fund for legislative appropriation.

The bill squeaked by, 19-15. The vote didn’t follow party lines: eight Republicans voted against it; five Democrats voted for it.

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