The stopgap amendment to lower the license fees to $1.5 million this year only was approved on a 24-8 vote, over objections from Sen. Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson.
"We can't cut a tax for manufacturing, or the corporate income tax, or any other tax in West Virginia, but we can cut a tax for gambling," he said.
Also Tuesday, the Senate passed and sent to the House bills to:
Require the Public Employees Insurance Agency to provide maternity coverage for dependants on employees' health insurance plans (SB22).
Create a shale research center at West Virginia University (SB98).
Develop an outcome-based funding plan for state colleges and universities (SB326). As amended, implementation of the plan, which would reward institutions with higher graduation and retention rates, and other measurements of achievement. The bill advanced on a 29-5 vote with Sens. Beach, Carmichael, Facemire, Green and Daniel Hall voting no.
Transfer the Industrial Home for Youth at Salem to the Division of Corrections for use as a prison for adult offenders (SB610).
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.