The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

April 2, 2013

Senate OKs bill to form job creation study groups

CHARLESTON — Putting lawmakers to work in quest of new jobs across West Virginia is an idea that sailed easily Monday through the Senate.

Its cruise in the House last week wasn’t so smooth.

The idea is to let the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Delegates name legislators from their chambers to form study groups to see how more jobs can be created.

HB3013 attracted a 34-0 Senate vote, but five Republicans in the House vigorously opposed it in casting “no” votes.

The bill was among a long list of measures clearing the Senate as the Legislature headed into the final two weeks of this session.

No one spoke against the bill in the Senate, but a number of objections had been raised in the House, including a protest that the work groups are unnecessary because any information is available from the state Chamber of Commerce.

Among bills passed by the Senate was SB21, which Government Organization Chairman Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, explained would require health care providers to wear identification badges with their names and titles.

Another measure, SB185, limits the availability of credits for vehicles using compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas.

Finance Chairman Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, said the credit for refueling infrastructure is changed to 20 percent of the purchase and installation, or up to $400,000 for a facility that is installed.

Natural Resources Chairman Bill Laird, D-Fayette, explained the idea of SB467 is to protect West Virginia waterways from harmful, invasive species.

No one could release fish, water animals and other aquatic species into a West Virginia stream without a free permit issued by the Division of Natural Resources.

“Certain invasive spe-cies such as snakeheads and various carp are not permitted to be released,” Laird said.

SB569, covering the preventive care pilot program, would continue as performed by individual doctors, Snyder noted, pointing out three are functioning in Wheeling, Fairmont and Oak Hill.

Snyder said the intent of SB652 is to require criminal background checks on applicants to be home inspectors.

Senators also agreed to keep laetrile from being consumed in West Virginia.

Health and Human Resources Chairman Ron Stollings, D-Boone, reminded the Senate that the controversial substance isn’t produced in West Virginia.

Touted in the 1970s as a cancer-fighting food supplement, its transport across state lines is forbidden by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Stollings said.

“It has fallen out of favor with the medical community due to dangers associated with its use along with its ineffectiveness in treating cancer,” he added.

— E-mail: mannix@register-herald.com

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