19 November 2009

Special Session Goes into Extra Inning

The Legislature has passed the chief reason behind Gov. Joe Manchin's calling them into special session -- a relief proposal for municipal police and fire pension funds -- but plans to return Friday to complete his agenda, The Associated Press reports.

House Republicans have balked at a provision in the gas tax bill that would make permanent what was supposed to be a temporary, nickel-a-gallon hike to the tax.

Enacted in 1993, the provision has been repeatedly extended. Manchin has proposed removing language from the tax statute that would have that increase expire in 2013.

With insufficient support to suspend the rules and allow for a vote on passage earlier than otherwise allowed, the House's Democratic leadership has opted to return Friday morning for that final vote.

The coal industry, meanwhile, has raised questions about Manchin's proposed tinkering with the "25% by 2025" alternative energy incentives legislation passed earlier in the year. That bill would limit the coal-related technologies that would qualify for credits under the program.

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