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West Virginia House passes Health, Human Services funding to end special session

By Charles Young, The Exponent Telegram

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Following a bit of procedural maneuvering, the members of the West Virginia House of Delegates managed to pass a bill Tuesday allocating nearly $200 million to fund the state’s Health and Human Services departments next fiscal year.

The action marked the end of the first special legislative session of the year, which was called by Gov. Jim Justice largely to address the health care funding that had been stripped out during this year’s regular session.

The House voted late Monday to reject the Senate’s latest amendment to Senate Bill 1001 and requested the Senate recede from its position.

On Tuesday, the Senate adjourned without taking further action on the bill, which effectively would have killed the bill.

House members then engaged in a series of votes rolling back previous actions on the bill, allowing them to then pass the Senate’s version.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 87-to-2, with 11 members absent. It now goes to governor’s desk for his consideration.

SB 1001 would add back $5 million for the Department of Health and more than $183 million for the Department of Human Services that were left out of the budget passed during the regular session.

House members expressed displeasure and dissatisfaction with having to pass the Senate’s version of the bill, but said vital services such as the Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Waiver program would be threatened without the funds.

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