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Important health bills being addressed

A weekly column by West Virginia Senator Ron Stollings (D-Boone)

April 9, 2013

With one week left remaining in this legislative session, all the bills that originated in the State Senate have officially been crossed-over into the House of Delegates. My committee, Health and Human Resources, managed to push through 13 important health bills that are currently pending in the House.


Senate Bill 11 was one of the 13 bills that have been passed by the Senate. This bill relates to updating the West Virginia schedules of controlled substances. It would be updated to include schedules found in the federal schedules of controlled substances. This would tighten up the distribution of prescription drugs. This bill currently stands in the House Health and Human Resources Committee.


Another bill passed was Senate Bill 27, which relates to the administration of Naloxone. The bill would allow for emergency responders, state police, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs and volunteer and paid firefighters to carry and administer an opioid antagonist (Naloxone hydrochloride) in an emergency situation if they have undergone appropriate training. This bill is currently pending in the House Judiciary Committee.


Senate Bill 195, a bill that relates to the upper payment limit of the hospital provider tax was also passed. This would help out eligible acute care hospitals by enhancing payments to approach the actual costs of providing services. This bill is standing in the House Finance Committee for their consideration.


The Select Committee on Child and Poverty produced a Feed to Achieve Act. Senate Bill 663 would ensure that children would receive nutritious, free breakfasts and lunches. Despite the good intentions of this bill, one still worries about entitlement issues. On one hand, we want to make sure that the children have the opportunity to have nutritious meals at no cost. However, on the other hand, we want the people to continue to work hard and not feel as if they are entitled to it. This bill has been passed by the Senate and I am hopeful that my House colleagues with take this bill into great consideration and pass it as well.


April 1, 2013 was Pharmacists Association Day at the Capitol. Sarah Dolin and Brooke Bell, two pharmacy students from Boone County, made a visit to Charleston and were a great representation of the people of Boone. It is always a pleasure to have my constituents visiting and seeing how the legislative process works.


As many of you have heard by now, an awful tragedy took place in Mingo County Wednesday afternoon. Sheriff Eugene Crum was shot and killed while on duty. Sheriff Crum was incredibly dedicated to stopping the substance abuse issues in Mingo County. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Crum family during this hard time. With the implementation of last year’s substance abuse bill, Senate Bill 437, there will be no more pill mills.


If you should have any questions or comments regarding any issues or on any other pieces of legislation when they come before the Legislature, feels free to contact me here at my Charleston office. My address to write me is Senator Ron Stollings, Building 1, Room 439M, State Capitol, Charleston, WV 25305. To call me please call 304-357-7939 or call Toll free at 1-877-565-3447 and ask to be transferred. I encourage all my constituents to remain active and become part of the legislative process.