The 2017 Legislature was full of new faces, new personalities and new philosophies.  The theme of "personal freedom" ruled the day and many issues important to WVSMA were challenged under this principle.  Immunization exemption legislation was defeated as was a bill that would repeal WV's helmet law - good news!  Other good news includes legislation that prohibits the use of tanning beds in tanning salons by persons under the age of 18.  This bill, along with those listed below that have completed legislative action, are before the Governor for his signature or veto.

The budget also caused lots of last minute drama over the weekend.  The Legislature agreed on a budget and sent it to Governor Jim Justice for his consideration.  But no one - not even the legislative leadership - expects that budget to be state's spending plan for the next fiscal year.

As the budget stands today, both President Carmichael and Speaker Amsted say the bill they submitted is "sound and reasonable."  Below are a few of the highlights of HB 2018:

* $4.1 billion general revenue budget
* $90  million fom the Rainy Day Fund
* $140 million cut to DHHR medical services line (subject to FMAP) - preserves full funding for     
   IDD/ADD waivers
* $30 million cut to higher education - most colleges/universities received a 4% cut while WVU and Marshall receive an 8.5% cut
* Retains Department of Education & the Arts
* No funding for the governor's Save Our State fund or for teacher/public employee pay raises

Bill Summary
Completed Legislative Action:

HB 2002 – Relating to parental notification of abortions performed on an unemancipated minor

HB 2300 – Regulating step therapy

HB 2301 – Relating to direct primary care

HB 2459 -  Relating to regulation of health care and the certificate of need process (SIGNED BY GOVERNOR)

HB 2509 – Relating to the practice of telemedicine

HB 2522 -  Nurse Licensure Compact (RNs)

HB 2526 -  Classifying additional drugs to schedules 1, 2, 3 and 4 of controlled substances

HB 2520 – Prohibiting the use of a tanning device by a person under the age of 18

SB 333 -  Requiring DHHR facilities access WV Controlled Substance Monitoring Program database

SB 347 -  Relating to modernization of Physician Assistant Practice Act

SB 386 – Creating the WV Medical Cannibas Act

SB 402 -  Relating to covenants not to compete

Rejected by Legislature:

SB 549 – Helmet law repeal

Died in Committee:

HB 2471 – Relating to insurance coverage for breast cancer screening

HB 2502 – Relating to reciprocity of occupational licenses with other states

HB 2538 -  Relating to the licensure of physician assistants

HB 3028 -   Relating to the Comprehensive Substance Use Reduction Act

HB 3085 -   Relating to the tax on bottled soft drinks

SB 47 –       Tobacco exemption

SB 465 -      Relating of medical professional liability

SB 500 -      Relating to Medicaid fraud and abuse

SB 537 –     Exemptions from mandated immunizations

Study Topic Resolutions


Prior Authorization (SB 47)

Medical Review Panel (SB 560)

FOR ADDITIONAL LEGISLATIVE UPDATES, please go to our website on Mondays to view Healthcare Highlights.