CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia House delegates have killed a proposal that would have encouraged whistleblowers to sue companies that defraud the state.
The bill was opposed by businesses interests and Republicans and died on a 55-41 floor vote. Republicans said the measure would have resulted in unnecessary lawsuits and would mostly benefit trial lawyers, not taxpayers.
Whistleblowers would have generally received 15 to 20 percent of settlements or awards, the rest going to the state.
House Democrats modeled the bill after a similar push that has proved beneficial for Virginia's state budget.
Democratic House Speaker Tim Miley argued the reform could have saved state taxpayers $90 million a year. Democrats say the money saved could have gone toward in-home care for seniors, road repair and assistance for volunteer fire fighters.