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House passes bill for veterans program fund

CHARLESTON, W.VA. – West Virginia’s House of Delegates today (Friday, Feb. 20) passed H.B. 2646 which creates the West Virginia Veterans Program Fund.

A House spokesperson said, specifically, the bill legalizes and regulates the sale of class three fireworks.  Fireworks that fall under the class-three category currently are not available for sale in West Virginia.  The bill also creates the West Virginia Veterans Program Fund from this new form of revenue. A special fee and tax on the sale of the class three fireworks will be imposed, and proceeds from those sales will go towards the Veterans Program Fund. 
Del. Josh Nelson chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee said, “Today marks a huge step in the right direction when it comes to the taking care of those who have risked their lives to protect us and our Constitution.  This will fund our state’s veteran nursing homes and other state veteran-related programs, and quite frankly will make our patriotic holidays much more enjoyable.”   
The bill originated in the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.  Nelson added, “I am extremely proud of the hard work of the House Veterans Affairs Committee to accomplish this and I am honored to be their chair.”  
Del. Rupert Phillips Jr. (D-Logan) a lead co-sponsor of the bill stated, “I am pleased that my colleagues in the House supported this important initiative for our veterans, and I hope that the Senate does the same.” 
The sponsors of this bill include Del. Joshua Nelson (R-Boone), Del. Rupert Phillips Jr.(D-Logan), Del. Jim Butler (R-Mason), Del. Justin Marcum (D-Mingo), Del. Jeff Eldridge (D-Lincoln), Del. Bob Ashley (R-Roane), Del. Ron Walters (R-Kanawha), Del. Roger Hanshaw (R-Clay), Del. William G. Hartman (D-Randolph), Del. John B. McCuskey (R-Kanawha)  and Del. Harry Keith White (D-Mingo).

This legislation passed by a vote of 97-0 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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