By Steven Allen Adams, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An attempt by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to amend a bill and give the Legislature say on the current state of emergency for the COVID-19 failed in a narrow vote Thursday.
The House of Delegates voted 47-51 against an amendment to House Bill 2003, relating to the authority and obligations of the governor and Legislature when in declared states of preparedness and emergency. The bill is on third reading and up for passage today in the House.
HB 2003, as it is currently written, puts a time limit on future states of emergency called by the governor. If passed by the Legislature and approved by Gov. Jim Justice, any state of emergency lasting longer than 60 days would require the Legislature to meet in special session to extend the state of emergency.
The failed amendment — offered by Del. Pat McGeehan, R-Hancock — would have started a 60-day countdown on the state of emergency called by Justice last year for the COVID-19 pandemic, starting when the bill was passed by both the House and state Senate…