CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WV Information) — Harrison County commissioners have stated they don’t help a invoice that will require them to log out on selections of the native board of well being.
Senate Invoice 12 would require county commissions and different appointing entities to approve any rule handed by native boards of well being inside 30 days; approval could be required earlier than the rule might be carried out. The rule may solely go into impact inside the jurisdiction of the appointing entity that approves it.
The invoice additionally would allow county commissions and different appointing companies to take away a member of the board of well being for trigger, would require well being departments to position discover within the state register and its web site when adopting, promulgating or amending a rule, and would require native well being departments to adjust to insurance policies developed by the state well being officer throughout public well being emergencies.
In Harrison County, the County Fee and Clarksburg Metropolis Council every appoint three members to the board of well being, which governs the Harrison-Clarksburg Well being Division. Due to this fact, each the Fee and Clarksburg Metropolis Council would vote on board of well being guidelines.
The fee on Wednesday requested county employees to direct a letter to the county’s delegation within the Legislature stating the fee will not be in favor of the laws.
“It was indicated in Charleston that Harrison County is in favor of that laws,” stated County Administrator Willie Parker. “I don’t know the place that got here from.”
All three commissioners stated they haven’t expressed help for the invoice.
“I don’t need that,” stated Commissioner Patsy Trecost, who can be one of many county’s appointees to the Harrison County Board of Well being.
The board of well being has knowledgeable members with various medical backgrounds who’re a part of the health-care trade, he stated.
“It’s extra necessary they make the choices on well being wants all through the county,” Trecost stated.
Clarksburg Metropolis Council has not mentioned the invoice and has not taken an official place, in accordance with Mayor Ryan Kennedy.
Talking for himself solely and never council as an entire, Kennedy stated he helps it.
“I do favor it. I don’t know concerning the majority of the council,” he stated. “Personally, I like the truth that it’s making unaccountable bureaucrats accountable to somebody who must be elected by the individuals of the county or town.”
Totally different variations of the invoice handed the Home and Senate final week, so the invoice will head again to the Senate. Senators can approve amendments made by the Home, or they start the method of understanding the variations.
Senate Well being and Human Sources Committee Chair Mike Maroney, R-Marshall, stated the invoice is in response to “at instances egregious, unbridled encroachments upon companies’ and other people’s rights” within the state.
“This invoice didn’t spontaneously combust. This invoice took place as a result of there was a bunch of points resembling that that was dropped at the Legislature’s consideration,” Maroney stated.
Republicans argued that the invoice would offer residents a larger voice within the decision-making course of by guaranteeing the choices of unelected boards of well being are authorised by elected representatives accountable to the individuals.
Home Well being and Human Sources Committee Chair Jeffrey Pack, R-Raleigh, referred to as the invoice “inherently democratic.”
Democrats, nevertheless, argued that the invoice takes public well being decision-making meant to avoid wasting lives away from specialists and topics the method to political strain.
Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison, stated the invoice quantities to “taking public well being out of the palms of specialists and giving it to individuals like me, county commissioners. The strain is super. It’s not somewhat little bit of strain on county commissions. The strain is super to do what the loud few need to do, whether or not it’s to permit smoking in eating places or every other quite a few well being points. The strain falls upon the elected officers to not make the most effective choice for the general public well being of the county, however to make the most effective choice for his or her political future.”
Romano beforehand served as a commissioner in Harrison County.
“Haven’t we seen what’s occurred after we put public well being within the palms of individuals with political futures?” he requested. “We have now 500,000 lifeless on this nation due to the haphazard patchwork of strategies addressing the pandemic, as a result of each state had its personal technique, each state had its personal politician in cost, each state had its personal political future in danger.”
The Senate handed its model of Senate Invoice 12 on a 21-13 vote Tuesday, with two Republicans becoming a member of all Democrats to vote towards the measure. District 12 senators have been break up on the choice, with Sen. Patrick Martin, R-Lewis, voting in favor, and Romano towards.
The Home model of the invoice handed Friday by a large margin of 63-33, regardless of 10 Republicans becoming a member of with all Democrats to vote nay. 4 Republicans have been absent.
All Harrison County delegates voted in favor of the invoice, apart from Del. Clay Riley, R-Harrison, who was absent.