Monday, February 15, 2016

Senate passes coal tax credits by veto-proof margin

(AP) — The Virginia Senate has approved extending coal tax credits that critics say do a poor job of helping the state's coal country.

The upper chamber voted Monday to approve continuing two coal-related tax credits, which are set to expire shortly, to 2022. The measure was approved by a large margin, indicating that it would likely survive a veto by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Republican supporters of the measure said it was necessary to help Southwest Virginia's hard-hit coal industry.

McAuliffe vetoed similar legislation last year, saying the coal tax credits have been ineffective in slowing coal-related job losses. Environmental groups have also been critical of the bill, saying Virginia should be investing in renewable energy instead of coal.