HB 4178 as introduced would require that calls for emergency service which are recorded be maintained for a period of five years. A committee substitute changed the period of time to two years as an agreed-upon amendment with 911, and the bill passed House Judiciary with little discussion.
House Judiciary members had several questions about HB 4101, which would require that before a child is returned to a home from which he or she has been removed, the court shall verify that if the parent is participating in a medication-assisted treatment program he or she shall be successfully fulfilling their treatment obligations in the program. If a parent is failing their treatment, this bill clarifies that the parent has to be going through the program actively. “We really meant it and we mean it more this time.” said Delegate Fleishauer regarding making sure that the parent is fulfilling their treatment obligations. The bill was amended to use the word verify that obligations are being fulfilled, refer to parent or parents, and refer to substance abuse disorder programs rather than just “medication -assisted.” It was passed as amended and will be reported to the floor.
Of general interest, following Kanawha County Commission’s adoption of a 12-week paid leave policy for birth, adoption, or caring for family member with serious health condition, House Judiciary took up HB 4189 which would provide the same to state employees as introduced. Amendments suggested by the Division of Personnel would change that to 12 weeks of paid leave after 12 consecutive months of employment, following exhaustion of all their accrued sick and annual leave. One delegate asked, “Are taxpayers of WV entitled to 12 weeks of paid family leave?” Counsel responded that this applies only to public employees. It would also apply to teachers and an amendment to remove them failed. The fiscal note from the State Auditor estimated the annual cost for this leave to be about $5.3 million but the fiscal note was determined by assumption that employees would only use half the time. Recruitment & retention of employees was an argument for the bill and the strike & insert amendment passed and will go to Finance.