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W.Va. legislators seek more time for water bill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Twenty-three delegates from 11 counties say they need more time to perfect SB 373 — the water protection bill — and have asked the governor to include it on the agenda for an extended session typically devoted to the state budget.

Meanwhile, House Judiciary members got their first look at the newest and significantly revised version of SB 373. Among its highlights, it eliminates the 20-plus tank exclusions. Members will continue to work on it Friday, Feb. 28, and are planning a Sunday meeting to wrap it up so the bill can go on to Finance Committee on Monday.

The session ends March 8 and the Legislature then convenes in extended session to deal with the budget. Delegate Meshea Poore, D-Kanawha, drafted the bipartisan request.

House leaders, though, don’t think it will be needed. House Judiciary chair Tim Manchin, D-Marion, called the request “premature and a distraction to the efforts of the House to address this important matter…”

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