West Virginia Lawmakers OK Water, Marijuana, Testing Bills

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia lawmakers have voted to lower water-pollution standards, legalize medical marijuana, end school standardized testing aligned with the Common Core curriculum and hold a voter referendum this year on issuing $1.6 billion in bonds to rebuild state highways and bridges.

The House and Senate, which ended their two-month session Sunday, have also passed a $4.1 billion general fund budget with no tax increases and steeper cuts to higher education and Medicaid than Gov. Jim Justice wanted, setting up a possible veto and extra session before the new fiscal year starts July 1.

Bills to revise sales, income, corporate and gasoline taxes all advanced but none were finally passed.

A bill to authorize natural gas producers to drill when three-fourths of those with royalty rights agree also foundered.