CHARLESTON — The House of Delegates Finance Committee originated and approved on Feb. 14 a bill to transfer $29 million from the Rainy Day Fund to the Public Employees Insurance Agency to ensure there would be no changes to employee healthcare programs for the coming fiscal year.

The bill comes in response to Gov. Jim Justice’s announcement last week that he will ask the PEIA Finance Board to put a 17-month moratorium on the entire package of changes set to take effect July 1.

Freezing PEIA will cost $29 million, Justice said last week.

Finance chair Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, commented on the new bill in a press release. “Transferring this money now will ensure there are no changes to employees’ co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses in the coming fiscal year.”