The Senate Judiciary committee met Monday to discuss SB 208, a bill aimed at protecting consumers from unfair pricing practices during states of emergency. The bill was reviewed by a subcommittee, which worked with representatives from the Governor’s office, the Attorney General’s office and various retailers to develop compromise wording.
The compromise decouples the state from the Presidential proclamations of states of emergency. If the Governor joins the president in issuing a sate of emergency, he is required to revisit the proclamation 15-days after it’s original issuance to determine if price controls are still necessary. The Governor also has the authority to extend the declaration if necessary. Senator Bob Beach D-Monongalia inquired as to whether it would be a good idea to add the word shall to the bill to require the governor to issue a reason at 15-days regarding his decision to release or extend pricing controls on consumer retailers.
The bill unanimously passed on a voice vote and will be reported to the full Senate.
The committee also discussed SB 678 which would allow the waiver of fines and fees for people who successfully complete the Getting Over Addicted Lifestyles Successfully Program in jail for the purpose of obtaining a driver’s license. Lead sponsor, Senator Clements, said that the inability to get a driver’s license until all fines and fees are paid keeps people from being able to get to work and make a living after they’ve completed their jail sentence. The amendments will be rolled into a Committee Substitute and reported to the floor.