Governor to balance budget without major tax increases?
West Virginia Press Association
House Speaker Tim Miley, D-Harrison, said the slim Democratic majority in the 100-member House wants to mostly focus on workforce preparedness and a health and safety commission for the energy industry. Meanwhile Minority Leader Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, said the Republican agenda will highlight “spending within the state’s means, ensuring honest elections, protecting inherent rights and defeating the Affordable Care Act.”
Meanwhile, during some of the legislative deliberations that began during three days of pre-session committee meetings the House-Senate Joint Committee on Health indicated it will not recommend a bill this year to legalize medical marijuana. Committee members did recommend legislation to outline so-called Good Samaritan policies that will provide amnesty for individuals seeking medical care in cases of drug overdose.
Del. Clif Moore, D-McDowell, is a member of that committee and he said he supports the bill because it allows people to admit they have an addiction problem and seek help. He said addiction is “frowned on by society. If we take the stigma away from that, (people) can report themselves.”
Despite the committee’s rejection of the bill he introduced last year to legalize medical marijuana, Del. Mike Manypenny, D-Taylor, said he has revised that proposal and hopes to get it on the legislative agenda this year. He said he has picked up support from some surprising sources like law enforcement and clergy.
“I’ve had more than one sheriff say ‘we see the pill problem; the people who use marijuana don’t seen to be a problem in our county. We’re wasting resources on marijuana when the problem is pills’,” Del. Manypenny said.