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Drug Crime Supervision, Harm Reduction, Education Savings Accounts And More This West Virginia Morning

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On this West Virginia Morning, a bill moving through the West Virginia Legislature would set up a long-term supervision program for people guilty of certain drug crimes. We learn about this bill and the latest on bills related to education savings accounts and syringe exchange programs. Also, we have an update on COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Jefferson County.

Republican West Virginia State Sen. Robert Karnes of Randolph County has resigned from all committees in the upper chamber but will stay on as a state lawmaker. Dave Mistich has more.

The Senate Education Committee considered and passed the much-watched Hope Scholarship bill Tuesday evening. WVPB has the latest.

Programs that hand out clean syringes to IV drug users may soon be required to obtain a license. That’s according to a bill that passed the West Virginia Senate Tuesday that would hold harm reduction programs to some basic standards. Opponents say it could shut down critical services that curb the spread of HIV. June Leffler has more.

West Virginia is proud of its nationally recognized vaccine rollout. But data show that effort has not been consistent across the state. Realizing the disparity, state officials responded by bumping up underserved counties’ vaccine allotments, sometimes six-fold. Shepherd Snyder went to one of the largest vaccine clinics in Jefferson County to-date, to see how the underserved area is responding to a sudden influx in doses.

Modeled after existing laws for the long-term supervision of sex offenders, HB 2257 would allow judges to impose up to ten years of additional court supervision for people guilty of certain drug crimes. Last week, the House of Delegates advanced the legislation to the Senate. Supporters say it targets the people fueling West Virginia’s drug crisis, but those against the bill say it’s an expensive fix that could increase incarceration rates and further marginalize those dealing with addiction. Emily Allen reports.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

Listen to West Virginia Morning weekdays at 7:43 a.m. on WVPB Radio or subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode. #WVMorning