ibusinesslines.com March 24, 2018

Opioid prescription bill clears House

10 March 2018, 05:17 | Justin Tyler

West Virginia State Budget Nears Passage

OUR OPINION: Infrastructure bill issues deserve attention

With chants of "vote you out" ringing through Kentucky's Capitol, hundreds of teachers protested a pension overhaul Friday as Republican senators decided not to vote on a bill that would cut retirement benefits for one of the nation's worst-funded public pension plans.

Another version of the bill will likely come back out of committee next week.

"The scourge of opioid addiction has wreaked havoc on our state, and this bill is an attempt to limit the supply of these drugs on our streets", said House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha.

On Thursday night, republican leadership was confident the bill would pass on Friday but the tone was much different on the senate floor Friday.

The session was punctuated by demonstrating teachers who oppose the bill and could often be heard from inside the chamber as the Senate attempted to do business. He said he would have preferred raising the legal age to purchase guns with exceptions for people who had completed gun safety classes, but would probably support a bill even without them.

Jones dismissed questions about a potential state government shutdown as premature, with the current budget in effect until June 30 and new biennium beginning on July 1.

But State Sen. Robin Webb (D), whose district is Boyd, Carter and Greenup counties, isn't so sure. There may be changes.

"I agree the bill is limited, but we had an opportunity in this state to send a message to Vermonters: the governor, the House, the Senate, all together 180 to nothing, and we blew it", Sears said.

Another bill would change penalties to make the criminal discharge of a gun within 1,000 feet of a school or place of worship eligible to be considered a terrorist act, the AP said.

"This is an important issue for all of us in this state", Rep. Lori Berman, D-Lantana, said before the House vote. "I think it made a difference to some of (the Republican lawmakers) today".

At the start of the 2018 legislative session and still in the throes of several sex scandals the legislature vowed to crack down on sexual harassment.

The Senate has adjourned for the weekend. Lawmakers have committed to putting $3.3 billion into the pension system over the next two years to keep it solvent, prompting budget cuts across most state agencies.

After sending the bill back to committee, Senate President Stivers said it would be "difficult" to pass the bill in its current form.

"The fight isn't over", said Sen.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear has said he wouldn't defend the bill if it became law and was challenged in court.

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