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WV Senate committee debates library funding

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A bill advanced by a West Virginia Senate Committee would require counties to include library funding any time they send a levy to voters requesting education funding.

The bill, Senate Bill 575, looks for a new way to fund the state's public libraries. The Supreme Court of Appeals recently ruled that certain local boards of education could not be required to give a portion of their budgets to libraries. The bill will next be debated in the Senate Finance Committee.

Of the state's 55 counties, 43 currently use an excess levy to help fund their schools. Any time a county proposed an excess levy in the future it would be required to add to that levy 1 percent of its entire school budget to go toward libraries.

State Superintendent Jim Phares said the bill would make voters much more likely to vote down school levies.

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