Education, Energy, Environment, Government, Healthcare, West Virginia Legislature

Senate, House pass insulin copay and gas well inspector bills, among others

MORGANTOWN — Bills to lower insulin and insulin device copays, and to put more oil and gas well inspectors into the field topped the list of bills winning approval in the Senate and House on Thursday.

SB 577 caps the cost of a 30-day supply of insulin at $35, and $100 for devices (a blood glucose test strip, glucose monitor, lancet, lancing device, or insulin syringe; but not insulin pumps). The cost-sharing maximums are aggregate, regardless of quantity or type. A prescription would not be required to obtain a blood-testing kit for ketones.

Health Committee chair Mike Maroney, R-Marshall, said the bill covers only private insurance. PEIA’s copays are very close to those in the bill; Medicare and Medicaid are not covered in the bill.

It passed 32-2. Sens. Mike Azinger, R-Wood, and Robert Karnes, R-Randolph, voted against it. It goes to the House.

The House sent HB 3110, the well inspector bill, to the Senate. It dedicates three-fourths of 1% of severance tax collections to the Office of Oil and Gas. It sets a well permit modification fee of $5,000. And it imposes a tiered annual oversight fee based on well production ranging from $350 to $25, with a per-producer cap on the number of wells operated.

It passed 98-0.

Other Senate action

SB 195 is the Glucagon for Schools Act. It allows a licensed provider to prescribe, in a school’s name, ready-to-use glucagon rescue therapy for severe hypoglycemic episodes, with a standing order for trained school personnel to administer it. It passed 34-0.

Karnes moved to have SB 584 discharged from Health and brought to the Senate floor. The bill aims to remove the rape and incest exceptions from abortion code. Majority Leader Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha, moved to table Karnes’ motion, which would keep the bill in Health. That motion passed 29-5.

Four of the five votes against tabling the motion came from bill co-sponsors, including Karnes. Lead sponsor Jay Taylor, R-Taylor, voted for tabling and thereby against bringing the bill to the floor. The other eight co-sponsors also voted for tabling.

Other House action

HB 2827 makes public charter schools eligible to receive Safe Schools Fund money. It would go first to meet schools’ special education video requirements and safe school entryway needs. Any remaining funds would be distributed based on need for qualifying facility improvements. The vote was 96-1 and it goes to the Senate. Delegate David Adkins, R-Lincoln, was the sole vote against.

TWEET David Beard @dbeardtdp