From The Well

Thursday, March 1, 2019

 

Day 52

 

 

House passes campus self-defense act after marathon session Wednesday
Judiciary chairman John Shott explained and defended a number of amendments to the campus self-defense act Wednesday during a marathon Crossover day session. Only one of Shott’s amendments passed, an amendment that requires all universities to file reports of incidents to the joint committee on Government and Finance by December 15th each year. After much passionate debate on the bill and testimonies relating to how it would affect our state and students, the bill was passed 59 to 41.

 

Thursday, the House passed Senate Bill 440, a bill to update the state’s anti-hazing laws, passed through the House in a 75-22 vote. This bill would update the definition of hazing to include any organization whose members include students at any state public or private institution of higher learning. The bill also creates a misdemeanor criminal penalty for this updated provision.

 

In addition, Senate Bill 510 passed with a vote of 86-12. The bill amends the WV Medical Professional Liability Act. It mandates that a medical malpractice case cannot be pursued in WV courts until a proper claim is issued that formally advises the medical provider being accused of the liability and the evidence upon which the accusation is based.

 

 

Foster care bill discussed at length in Senate health
The Senate Health Committee discussed at length House Bill 2010, the bill that overhauls many components of the way the foster care system in West Virginia.

 

A committee substitute made some technical corrections to the bill. After hearing from a variety of stakeholders, members thoroughly discussed passed two amendments. One amendment was to ensure that the managed care organization winning the bid has an office in West Virginia and that at least 80 percent of the staff working on West Virginia cases work in state.

Necco’s Executive State Director for West Virginia, Amy Kennedy-Rickman and Kristin O’Sullivan of Our Children, Our Future were interviewed by WV Public Broadcasting’s Legislature Today.

 

The second amendment offered addressed the portion of the bill referred to as the “no reject, no eject” provision. The amendment added a provision that any facility that feels it needs to reject the placement of a child or it must eject a child must work with a multi-disciplinary team to find a place for the child to avoid sending him or her out of state.

 

 

Medicaid Fraud Unit bill moving quickly in House

 

Engrossed Committee Substitute  for S. B. 318 – Transferring Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to Attorney General’s office—is on a fast track.  It passed the Senate yesterday and was  considered  and passed  Thursday afternoon by the House Committee on Health and Human Resources. It now goes to the House Finance Committee.

 

The bombshell in the room Thursday was when Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, testifying in favor of the bill, said the approximately 30 MFCU employees the bill moves to his office Oct. 01 would lose their civil service coverage.

 

The MFCU is currently in the Office of the Inspector General within the Department of Health and Human Resources. (Department of Health and Human Resources officials said for years Medicaid employees were required to be covered under the merit system. No written justification of that could be found as this newsletter was being published.)

 

After three years under the AG’s purview, the bill instructs the legislative auditor to study the efficiency of the MFCU.

 

This was the second time House HHR passed the bill. On Feb. 07, members voted 12-11 to approve HB 2867, which died in the House Judiciary Committee.

 

Committee okays physician assistant bill

 

The House Health Committee approved Engrossed  S. B. 668,  which allows hospital-based physician assistants to practice without a collaborating relationship with a single physician,  as is currently the requirement. Physician assistants practicing in a hospital must file practice agreements with the Board of Medicine and may collaborate with more than one physician. Collaborating physicians are not required to be identified in the practice agreement.

 

The bill should be at passage stage early next week.

 

Senate passes bill barring parent inheritance in certain circumstances

 

The Senate also passed House Bill 2740, which would bar a parent from inheriting from or through a child in two instances. Those include:

·    The parent’s parental rights were terminated by court order, and the parent-child relationship has not been judicially reestablished

·    The child died before reaching the age of 18 and there is clear and convincing evidence that immediately before the child’s death the parental rights of the parent could have been terminated under the law on the basis of nonsupport, abandonment, abuse, neglect, or other actions or inactions of the parent toward the child.

 

In addition, the Senate passed House Bill 2746 which allows the county commission to administratively close dormant estates. If the county commission administratively closes an estate, the personal representative is still liable in a civil action to heirs, beneficiaries, or interested parties for property.

 

Also, House Bill 2827 passed, which removes a residency requirement for county deputy assessors to reside in the county in which they are appointed to.

 

These bills will be reported to Governor Justice to either be signed into law or vetoed.

 

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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