Legislation to bring an end to the Greyhound Breeding Fund passed on a third reading in the West Virginia House on Saturday, and now Wheeling officials are making their case known.
Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott and City Manager Robert Herron had a sit down meeting with Governor Jim Justice Monday, to plead their case for the Friendly City. It’s news that rocked many people around the Ohio Valley, when the House passed Senate Bill 437 on Saturday, to bring an end to the Greyhound Breeding Fund, money that doesn’t come from taxpayers, but from gamblers in the Mountain State, “I get it, if they don’t support greyhound racing it’s certainly something you can argue on either side of that issue, but it was not a taxpayer subsidy and that’s sort of one of the things that caught up in the debate down there. If you were not at the race track, you were not supporting greyhound breeding,” said Wheeling Mayor, Glenn Elliott.
At its inception, the greyhound breeding fund was developed to take money from the greyhound industry and re-invest it into the industry. Wheeling City Officials had planned to go to Charleston to meet with the governor later this week, but Monday morning they found out the governor had another plan, “I actually was doing a radio interview and at 9:30 I got a text message saying the governor wants to talk to us today,” said Elliott.
Once in Charleston, the mayor said the conversation with the governor was positive and the governor understands this bill will not solve the major budget deficit, long-term, “If you kill this one industry, it’s up to 1,700 jobs across the state, he looks at that and says it just doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t add up. You’re not getting enough economic savings from this bill to justify that sort of job loss,” Elliott added.
As the old saying goes; it’s not over til it’s over. The governor has five days from Monday to either pass or veto any bill that comes across his desk, and with Saturday being the last day of the legislative session, it could be a matter of waiting out the clock, “If it’s not delivered by midnight today, then he can actually sit on that bill and wait to veto it at the end of session on Saturday night, so that’s what we’re hoping for,” Elliott concluded.
If the bill does take effect, that also means the tax base in Wheeling could take a huge hit and it could mean higher taxes for the people who live in the Friendly City.
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The Senate bill that will defund Greyhound Breeding in West Virginia passed the house after a third reading on Saturday, and now officials in Wheeling are making their pleas to Governor Justice, in hopes he will now veto Senate Bill 437.
Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott and City Manager Bob Herron on their way home from a quick trip to Charleston Monday to encourage Governor Justice to Veto Senate Bill 437 and to further explain why they think the long-term effects of this bill far outweigh any positive outcome for the state’s major budget deficit.
Mayor Glenn Elliott and Vice Mayor Chad Thalman both said they are hopeful the Governor will veto the bill.
They said the Governor is well aware of how much our local economy banks on the tax revenue and jobs provided by greyhound racing and they believe he is on board to veto the bill.
As far as the Mayor knows, the governor has not received the bill yet and once he does he has five days to either pass or veto the legislation and the West Virginia legislation session is set to come to an end on Midnight Saturday.