February 27, 2019
From The Well

Tuesday, February 26, 2019


Day 49



Action on bills picking up as crossover day approaches
Wednesday is crossover day, which is the day when all legislation must be out of its house of origin. In other words, it is the last day for bills to be read three times in the house where the bill was originated.


On Monday, the House passed 22 bills, and the Senate passed 25.


House of Delegates Rejects Motion to Reject Campus Carry Bill

The House advanced the Campus Self Defense Act Monday evening following rejection of a motion to reject the bill on first reading.


The bill amends provisions relating to the authority of the Higher Education Policy Commission, the institutional Boards of Governors and the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education by stating that the none of the statutory authority of the boards shall be construed to provide the authority to restrict or regulate the carrying of a concealed deadly weapon by a person who holds a current license to carry a concealed deadly weapon, except as authorized. The bill is up for second reading on Tuesday.


Health bills moving on both sides


House approves amended PBM bill

House members Monday with no dissenting votes passed SB 489, which authorizes the Insurance Commissioner to license pharmacy benefits managers and establishes other requirements, including reporting from the PBM contracted with the Public Employees Insurance Agency.


The Senate bill required termination of the contract if the PBM fails to meet the mandated reporting requirements. The House amended the bill, allowing for termination and allows the Insurance Commissioner to discipline the PBM for failure to report.


There was an unresolved question about the bill applying to the current PEIA contract or subsequent contracts. PEIA uses the CVS Caremark prescription drug and medical device national formulary.


Bill passes House reducing MAT requirements

The House approved HB 3132, exempting providers serving less than 30 patients from Office-Based Medication-Asssited Treatment Rules.


Matthew Rohrbach, a Cabell County physician, said last week during a committee meeting rural providers want to provide treatment but can’t meet all the rule’s administrative requirements. He said passage of the bill allows physicians to care for patients in their communities. Licensed behavioral health facilities, already governed by legislative rules, are exempted.


Senate Judiciary approves involuntary hospitalizations

The Senate Judiciary Committee Monday approved SB 574, permitting a physician to involuntarily hospitalize for up to 48 hours a mentally ill or addicted patient if the physician feels the patient is a danger to himself or herself or others.


Hospitals must make an effort to contact mental hygiene commissioners, designated magistrates and circuit judges before instituting mental hygiene procedures. The Supreme Court will supply hospitals with contact information.


Bill allows for critical access changes pending Congressional action

SB 593, which allows critical access hospitals to become community outpatient medical centers, is on second reading in the House today. West Virginia Hospital Association President Joe Letnauchyn said WVHA is seeking the change in designation in advance of possible federal law changes dealing with critical access hospitals.


The federal change would allow critical access hospitals to close their often money-losing inpatient facilities and keep open their emergeny room facilities while retaining the right for ambulance drivers to deliver patients to them for care.


A a companion version of the bill, HB 2953, which was also moving through the House, has been parked so the Senate version can complete the process.



House Technology and Infrastructure amends senate small cell wireless bill


The House Committee on Technology and Infrastructure brought Senate Bill 3 to its agenda Monday. The bill is similar to House Bill 2005, the House’s omnibus broadband bill, which has not moved since the Senate received the message at the end of January.


Senate Bill 3 would establish the West Virginia Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act and provide for access to public rights-of-way for the collocation of small wireless facilities. The committee amended the bill to include language from HB2005 and unanimously advanced the bill. It will go to House Judiciary next.



Over-21 tobacco sale restriction gets Christmas-treed


In legislative parlance, it’s called a Christmas tree. Find a bill you like—or don’t like. Hang as much on it as you can. See if it can survive under its own weight.


Late Friday afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Committee took up Committee Substitute for  SB 348. We reported on Feb. 12 the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee approved the bill to raise to 21 the legal age for the purchase of tobacco, tobacco products, tobacco derived products, alternative nicotine products and vapor products. The bill increases the fines for using tobacco. The Judiciary Committee eventually approved a committee substitute, and the bill is now on second reading in the House.



WV Legislature


Legislature Live
Meeting Notices


Proposed Rules
Legislative Wrap-up


Some information in this update is collected from the WV Legislature’s Daily/Weekly Blogs.

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