CHARLESTON – In recognition of vast health care needs and challenges West Virginians face, House Speaker Rick Thompson is elevating the House of Delegates Health Committee to a major standing committee, giving it the workload and status equal to the Finance, Judiciary, Education and Government Organization committees.
“The availability and affordability of healthcare is an extremely pressing issue, both at a national and state level,” Speaker Thompson noted. “And in our state, our large senior population, and the many troubling health problems that are so prevalent here, make the issue all the more urgent.
“By allowing the House Health Committee to meet as often as the other four, longstanding major committees, much more time and energy can be dedicated to health-related legislation.”
House Health Chairman Don Perdue said he is extremely pleased with the decision.
“The Speaker and I have discussed this issue a number of times over the past several years and I now believe the time is right to make this important move,” Chairman Perdue said. “Healthcare comprises more than 22 percent of our state budget in terms of expense, it is assuming larger importance not only for our state, but nationally, and our demographics lend themselves to an ever increasing share both fiscally and sociologically to the fabric of our government.”
Speaker Thompson said he has heard from many members who would like the Health Committee to be able to spend more time examining health care matters.
“I believe this change is a very positive step in helping House of Delegates members better meet the needs of their constituents and to serve the state as a whole,” he said.
For more information please contact House Speaker Rick Thompson at 304-340-3210 and/or House Health Chairman Don Perdue at 304-634-4905.