The Legislature Today: W.Va. Chief Health Officer Reacts to Failure of Tobacco Tax


After members of the House Finance Committee voted to kill a bill that would have increased the state’s taxes on tobacco products, including a $1 increase per pack of cigarettes, Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health and West Virginia Chief Health Officer Dr. Rahul Gupta reacts to the legislative decision.

 A bill to remove the permitting requirement in West Virginia to carry a concealed weapon will not become law with the Governor’s approval after a rare veto ceremony at the Capitol.

Senators narrowly approved a bill Wednesday that would decrease the state’s coal and natural gas severance tax rates by 2 percent over two years. Those cuts would begin in July of 2017, impacting the 2018 and 2019 general revenue budgets.

Since the proposal was brought to the Senate floor, Democratic lawmakers have criticized the measure- pointing to the impacts it will have on the budgets of not just the state, but already struggling coal producing counties, but the Senate’s Finance Chair says there is still time to find a fix for local governments.