CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two members of the House of Delegates fired back Friday to the criticism of the House leadership to send the chemical tank/water protection bill to three House committees for consideration.
The bill, which is a direct result of the Jan. 9 Elk River chemical spill and resulting nine-county water emergency, passed the state Senate unanimously earlier this week. House Speaker Tim Miley has decided to send the bill through the Health, Judiciary and Finance committees before bringing it to the House floor. Some have questioned the move because many times when bills are triple-committee referenced they die.
Del. Meesha Poore, D-Kanawha, supported Miley’s move during remarks on the House floor Friday.
“It should not be suggested to the public that this body, in any way, is intending not to take action on this issue,” Poore said.
The delegate said the bill has obvious impacts on health care, the judicial system and the state’s finances.
Del. Stephen Skinner, D-Jefferson, also spoke in favor of the proposed path of the bill in the House Friday. He said the people of the state are being put first.
“It is not our job in the house of the people to rubber stamp anything that comes here. Whether it’s from the Senate or from the executive,” Skinner said.
He also pointed out the House is the first to schedule a public hearing on the bill. It’s scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday.
Del. Poore said she’s sure if fellow delegates thought Speaker Miley was trying to kill the bill they would “break down the doors of our speaker.”
The delegate said the legislature only has one chance to get it right.
“There are no do-overs here guys,” Poore said. “The people of West Virginia need their trust to be restored and it starts with this. They don’t want a band-aid they want a cure.”