April 1, 2021

Senate

Senate Finance introduces yet another tax plan, and experiences some turbulence

Yet another tax plan, this one proposed by senators, is straining but advancing.

The bill that would initially offset a big income tax cut with a variety of other taxes was voted out of Senate Finance narrowly, 9-8, on Tuesday evening.

Republican senators Patrick Martin and Eric Nelson voted against the bill. Senator Mike Maroney expressed deep reservations about it, prompting a call for a 15-minute recess that actually lasted for 40 minutes.

Mike Maroney

Maroney had a couple of intertwined concerns: how the tax bill would affect senior citizens and how the WVU Medical School would be affected financially

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Senate overwhelmingly votes to extend small business rescue

Democrats and Republicans reached agreement relatively quickly over the last several days to keep the popular program open, after banks warned that loan applications were at risk of being stuck in a processing backlog created by new SBA fraud checks. The extension, backed by a wide array of trade groups, would also allow more employers to take advantage of new Biden administration rules designed to expand access to tiny businesses and others who struggled to obtain the loans previously.

“There’s no reason to let this program expire while there are scores of small businesses still in line and billions of

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Senate considers resolution that could result in personal property tax cuts

The state Senate is considering a resolution that could allow lawmakers to lower personal property taxes, particularly on vehicles.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the resolution Thursday after about an hour of discussion, and it will now be considered by the Senate Finance Committee. If both houses of the Legislature endorses the resolution, it would be on 2024 General Election ballots as a constitutional amendment to be approved by the public.

Property taxes are defined in West Virginia’s Constitution.

Mike Romano

“There was a reason for it, and I’ve looked a little bit,” said Senator Mike Romano, D-Harrison. “It was

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Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Give Marijuana Businesses Access To Insurance Coverage

A bill to protect banks that work with state-legal marijuana businesses that was reintroduced in the House this week will advance before lawmakers tackle more comprehensive cannabis reform, a key congressman said on Friday.

During a press call to discuss the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and other cosponsors answered questions about the state of play of the legislation, which cleared the chamber as a standalone bill in 2019 and twice as part of COVID-19 relief packages last year.

Blumenauer, co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and an original cosponsor of

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Progressives urge White House to overrule top Senate official and include $15 minimum wage in COVID-19 relief bill

Progressive Democrats launched a last-minute campaign urging the White House to overrule a top Senate official who decided late Thursday night that a federal minimum wage increase could not be included in the coronavirus relief package.

The parliamentarian, the non-partisan Senate referee, determined that raising the pay floor from $7.25 an hour is not compliant with rules under the procedural tool that Democrats are using to pass the measure with a simple majority in both chambers and avoid a Senate filibuster by Republicans.

The finding by Elizabeth MacDonough

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Democrats give up on calling witnesses in Trump trial after Senate approved

  • House managers reversed course and decided not to call witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial.
  • It was a surprising twist given they had demanded witnesses and the Senate approved the request.
  • The House managers and Trump’s lawyers will now get two hours each for closing arguments.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Democrats abruptly reversed course Saturday on their demand to call witnesses in former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, deciding after several hours that they wouldn’t call witnesses after all. It was a surprising twist in an already tumultuous trial, given that Democrats had asked to call

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