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West Virginia Senate Passes Future Fund Bill

The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 461, known as The Future Fund Bill, on February 21st.  The Bill, as described in an Associated Press story published in the Charleston Gazette, would create a new fund that would be financed by 25 percent of the severance tax revenues collected from oil and gas exploration companies above a $175 million threshold.  The fund would accrue interest for six years before it could be used to finance economic development projects, building infrastructure and increases in teacher salaries.  As described in a Shale Energy Law Blog post from last September, the Bill was inspired by legislation passed in North Dakota that created that state’s Legacy Fund, a fund financed by extraction taxes that can be used to finance projects after 2017.  The Bill must now be approved by the West Virginia House of Delegates.