Senate Moving Forward on Two Major Interim Issues
Senators unanimously passed a bill requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine through committee and will soon vote as a whole on a bill reforming state purchasing procedures. Both issues were studies during the previous interim session.
Senator Greg Tucker sponsored the prescription only bill which makes pseudoephedrine a controlled substance, requiring a prescription for its purchase. The bill made it through Senate Judiciary after three hours of debate.
“There were five meth lab busts in Nicholas County this week, my home county. This is very much needed,” Tucker said. “I regret that it has come to this, but there are no options. There are just no alternatives at this point.”
The Senate as a whole will vote on the bill Tuesday, barring any changes in procedure.
Friday, the Senate will consider Senate Bill 356 relating to purchasing procedures.
Senate Government Organization Committee Chair Herb Snyder lead a study on the issue during interim meetings, calling in all exempt agencies to discuss their purchasing procedures.
The bill has three basic elements, clarifies all federal grant monies must be spent according to state purchasing codes, clarifies any agency who purchases supplies or services on their on, like the Division of Highways, must comply with state purchasing codes and gives the Secretary of Administration the ability to stop any state contract he or she feels is out of compliance with law.
“Purchasing is not something we talk very much about because it’s complicated,” Snyder said. “That’s a healthy thing that we as legislators took a look at how do you do your job? How does the state of West Virginia purchase items?”