West Virginia Executive Spring 2017 - Page 29

HB 2428 SUBSTANCE ABUSE By Del. Joshua Higginbotham SENATE: 34-0  HOUSE: 99-0 It is common knowledge that West Virginia has a drug problem. It’s in our schools, in our prisons and in our families. There has been much debate over how this problem should be solved— education, increased sentencing, drug courts or creative means of punishing or rewarding addicts. Regardless, there is one thing nearly every lawmaker and citizen can agree on, and that is the need for drug treatment facilities. Currently, there are nearly 1,100 addicts on the waiting list to go through drug treatment programs in West Virginia, but there are simply not enough beds in these treatment centers to house everyone. House Bill (HB) 2428 was a critical first step to fixing this. The original version of this bill called for the addition of 600 beds to the state’s already existing treatment centers. In addition, it would have allowed for the construction of new fa- cilities as needed. Since West Virginia is currently in a financial crisis, the specific number of beds was amended out of the bill entirely to allow the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to have the flexibility to add beds as needed. HB 2428 passed the House and Senate unanimously, and it was signed into law by Governor Jim Justice on April 25, 2017. Drug treatment centers cost much less than prison—saving tax- payers thousands of dollars per year on each patient—and are much more effective at preventing relapses. HB 2428 is a leap forward by focusing directly on the drug addicts and getting them the medical help they need. While this bill is not meant to diminish the role of other methods used by our courts and law enforcement, it does give us another tool to get addicts off drugs and back into society. SB 27 FARMERS MARKET MICROPROCESSOR By Parween Mascari Senate Bill (SB) 27, also known as the Farmers Market Mi- croprocessor Bill, was a joint effort of the West Virginia Farmers Market Association and the West Virginia Food & Farm Coali- tion to support the state’s farm-based small businesses. Farm- friendly, small business-friendly and entrepreneur-friendly, SB 27 would positively impact West Virginia’s economy and create jobs. This piece of legislation was written to allow farmers to obtain microprocessor licenses to can certain vegetables and make certain sauces and salsas, up to a limited quantity per year, in their home kitchens with appropriate training, licensing and inspection. Most of the food used in the approved canning recipe had to be grown on the farm or in a home garden, and the final product would be allowed to be sold in local farmers markets. Kentucky has had a similar statute for almost 15 years and now has more than 1,000 microprocessors. This bill was imp хЁȁ͵͕͔ͥ́Ёձ)ѥձєѡ䁉䁕ѡɵ́ɭЁ͕ͽ)ɕ͔مՔɽՍ́ȁɴ̰ͥ)ѡյȁمɥ䁽ɽՍ́Ёɵ́ɭ̰)ѡȁѥѥ́ɅЁɔٕ́ɽՍ)Ёɵ́ɭ̸ɵ́ɭ͕́ٔ́͵ͥ)Չѽ̰ѡ́ݽձ܁ɵ́Ѽѡ)ɽՍЁɥ́ɥمՔɽՍ)ݥѡЁٕѥͥٔɍэ)M܁ѡЁ́ѡЁ䁽ѡͱѥٔ)͕ͥѕȁͥѡMєдѡ!͔Դ̰)ͱѱ䁑ɕЁٕ̰ͥѡɕɹѼѡMєȁ)хȁɕѥѡ!͔ٕͥé̸є̴)Ʌ́ѡЁѡMєݽձЁѡ!͗ḛ́ѡ)݅́ѡ٥ѥеєMєЁѡЁ)ѥɔMչ䁙ɴѥ䁉ѼM܁ɔ͕)Ѽѡ!͔Uչѕ䰁ѡЁеэЁѼٔͅ)ѡMչ䁙ɴѥ䁉M܁ɽ)͔ͅѡ!͔ݽձЁхЁ)M܁Ёѡȁѡͱѥٔɽ́ѡ́啅ȁѡ)ٕȁ́ɔ͔ѡɔ́ɕЁЁѡ1ͱɔ)ȁɥձɔMѕ́ѡɔɕѱչх)́ѼѕɵЁѕ́ѼЁѡ́ͱѥ͕)]]\]Ya UQ%Y =4$)L@H$8Ȁ(