03 March 2010

Legislature 2010: Day 50 (Updated)

After Wednesday, only bills that have already cross between the House and Senate can advance as the session enters its final 10 days. More than 220 had been exchanged as of Tuesday.

The Associated Press (update) checks on how Gov. Joe Manchin's legislative agenda has fared so far. As noted earlier, all of its proposals (except the pending budget bill) have either already crossed over or are up for Wednesday votes.

As for other goings-on:

  • AP sets the scene for the House's consideration of "a measure to fund substance abuse programs that no longer includes a beer tax increase." House Finance broadened the bill's potential revenue sources that could include (but does not specifically mention) "an untapped Medicaid fund reserve."
  • The Senate has sent the House a bill that "gives pharmacists and doctors better access to a database that tracks prescribed controlled substances," the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington reports.
  • Both the Herald-Dispatch and The Charleston Gazette report on Senate passage of a measure that the latter said "would make West Virginia the 41st state to require an online verification system for auto insurance." Supporters say this "would crack down on the large numbers of uninsured drivers in West Virginia, which should result in lower overall auto insurance rates statewide," that article said.
  • A key House leader expects delegates will change the Senate bill that "would allow optometrists with the required training and approval to do three kinds of laser eye surgery," MetroNews reports.
  • The proposed spending plan for the budget year that begins July 1 cuts spending on tobacco prevention by 30 percent, even though West Virginia "has the nation's highest smoking rate," The Gazette reports.

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