CHARLESTON– Money-saving bills that greyhound racing officials say would doom the industry in West Virginia have advanced to both floors of the state Legislature.
Separate bills that passed the House and Senate finance committees on Wednesday would end the West Virginia Racing Commission’s Greyhound Breeding Development Fund. The bills would transfer $15 million in anticipated payouts to dog breeders for the next fiscal year to an excess lottery revenue fund for the Legislature’s appropriation.
Money in the greyhound fund comes from a portion of video lottery and table game revenues at greyhound tracks in Nitro and Wheeling. Republican lawmakers want to use the money to help with the state’s budget crisis.
West Virginia Kennel Owners Association President Steve Sarras says ending the greyhound fund would force hundreds of industry layoffs.