West Virginia House GOP Leader Polls Colleagues On Marijuana Legalization As Revenue Booster

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A West Virginia House leader recently circulated an internal poll among Republican lawmakers, inquiring about what kind of policies—including marijuana legalization—they’d be willing to support to increase revenue to the state as part of a plan to eliminate the personal income tax. The survey listed 12 examples of potential policy changes that could be enacted to offset an estimated $2.1 billion revenue loss if the income tax is repealed. But while Majority Whip Paul Espinosa (R) put legalizing cannabis in that list, he said in a follow-up interview that it doesn’t necessarily signal that it’s something the legislature would pursue. “Generally speaking, we routinely reach out to our members to gauge their perspective on various issues or even components of issues to gauge whether they’re components of legislation they can support or, just as importantly, if not more importantly, which components are non-starters,” Espinosa said last week. “Frankly, we even sometimes ask our members questions when we have a sense that it may be a non-starter or may not have much support just to confirm that,” he said, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “I think it’s fair to say…some of those are non-starters.” The list also includes items such as increasing sales taxes, reducing funding for education and adding a food tax. “In spite of your positions on individual concepts mentioned above, would you support a bill that contained all of these concepts if it eliminated [personal income tax] in less than 4 years and resulted in a reduction in the budget and size of state government?” Espinosa wrote to his caucus. “If your answer to the above question is NO, what concepts would need to be removed from the package in order to gain your support?” While cannabis legalization may or may not be one of the non-starters the…

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Source : West Virginia House GOP Leader Polls Colleagues On Marijuana Legalization As Revenue Booster

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