By Steven Allen Adams, The Intelligencer
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Senate approved a bill Tuesday giving county and city governments final say over rules developed by boards of health, while an attempt to give those local governments say over past decisions failed.
Senate Bill 12, relating to local health department accountability, passed 21-13 with two Republicans – Bill Hamilton, R-Upshur, and David Stover, R-Wyoming – crossing the aisle to vote against the bill.
SB 12 would give county commissioners and city leaders veto power over rules or amendments to rules created by local boards of health, except instances of health emergencies. In those instances, county and city governments would have 30 days to approve or reject those emergency rules once issued.
The bill also puts all local health departments under the authority of the state health officer in the event of a declared statewide health emergency. The bill applies to individual county and city health departments as well as joint health departments between more than one county or county and city joint health departments…