By Steven Allen Adams
CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Senate voted Thursday on multiple bills on Day 30 of the 60-day legislative session dealing with taxpayer funding of higher education, protections for workers fired while seeking exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines, and a bill aimed at helping students with eating disorders.
The Senate passed Senate Bill 550, relating to funding for higher education institutions, in a 28-6 vote Thursday afternoon.
SB 550 would allow the state Higher Education Policy Commission and the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia to develop a performance-based funding formula to determine how funding from the state’s general revenue fund is distributed to the state’s 10 four-year colleges and universities, and the nine two-year community and technical colleges.
The HEPC/WVCTCS has been working on a new funding model with stakeholders for the last two years, with discussions accelerating during the COVID-19 pandemic. All institutions of higher learning took a financial hit due to decreasing enrollment and other reduced streams of income. …