CHARLESTON, W.Va. —The state would no longer reimburse state residents for meth lab cleanups in an amendment that passed the state Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday.
The committee was considering a bill having to do with the Crime Victims Fund when Sen. Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, offered an amendment to longer use the fund to pay for the aftermath of meth labs. The committee approved the amendment.
West Virginia is the only state to pay out for meth labs from its Crime Victims Fund.
State Court of Claims Administrator Cheryl Hall told the committee the fund paid out more than $700,000 in meth lab claims last year. Residents can seek up to $10,000 per claim. Hall said the claims have been a hard hit on the fund because, unlike other claims, the federal government does not reimburse 60-cents for every dollar spent.
Hall also told committee members that most homeowner insurances don’t pay meth lab claims.
“Most of the policies that even companies have have an exclusion for chemical contamination and meth is certainly chemical contamination,” she said.
The bill now heads to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.