Senate Suspends Rules to Pass Bill to Track Drug Overdoses


House Bill 2620, creating the West Virginia Drug Overdose Monitoring Act, would provide an office to gather data about the drug epidemic in West Virginia. Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump called that office a “hub.”

This would be a tool for the state to track concerns over drug abuse and overdoses throughout the state, as well as connect with other states to determine how they deal with similar concerns. Sen. Mike Woelfel said it is time for the Legislature to solve the problem.

“It’s breaking down the fabric of our entire state,” said Woelfel in a speech on the floor before the chamber suspended rules and took the bill straight up for a vote.

“Children suffer, parents are driving their cars off the interstate. An overdosed person did that yesterday in Wayne County. Just hit some car and knocked it over an interstate bridge. People are dying every day.”

Agreeing with Woelfel, Senator Ron Miller said he doesn’t understand why this wasn’t at the top of this year’s legislative agenda.
“We have spent most of the session knowing that there is a drug problem in our state. We knew that when we came here. We knew how serious the problem was. We’ve spent most of this session taking time putting people in jail, extending their jail times, extending their payment for what they have done.”
The suspension of rules allowed the bill to be read three times in one day and go to a vote. House Bill 2620 passed the upper chamber unanimously, 34 to 0.