The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would transfer funding from the greyhound racing industry back into state coffers to help offset the budget crisis.
After significant debate, the bill passed 19-15 Monday and now awaits action in the House of Delegates. Greyhound officials say the bill would cost an estimated 1,700 jobs and doom the industry in the state.
The legislation would end the West Virginia Racing Commission's Greyhound Breeding Development Fund and transfer anticipated payouts to dog breeders for the next fiscal year to an excess lottery revenue fund for the Legislature's appropriation.
The state's projected budget deficit is up to $500 million next year.
The development funding comes from a portion of video lottery and table game revenues at greyhound tracks in Nitro and Wheeling.