West Virginia lawmakers deal with bills on food stamps, medical marijuana, ethics

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV) On Saturday night, West Virginia lawmakers dealt with bills on medical marijuana, food stamps and ethics disclosures for volunteers.

The status of the medical marijuana program in the Mountain State appears to be in question.

The bill died Saturday night after not being taken up by the House of Delegates, leaving in question the program's future.

The bill included several provisions that supporters said were meant to make the passage of last year's bill to legalize medical marijuana in the Mountain State more effective.

Meanwhile, lawmakers passed a bill late Saturday night to force the state to implement work requirements for recipients of supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits, otherwise know as SNAP.

Delegates passed the amended bill on a 73-23 vote, with several Democrats crossing the aisle to support a bill sponsored solely by Republicans.

The state Senate passed the bill on a 27-6 vote, sending it to Governor Justice for his signature. The federal government already requires SNAP recipients to work, but states can waive the requirement in places where there aren't enough jobs available. The Mountain State currently waives the work requirement in all but nine counties.

Also on Saturday night, the Legislature passed a bill requiring volunteers working in official capacities in the government to submit ethics disclosures.

The House of Delegates concurred with a Senate amendment and passed the bill 96-0. The Senate on Friday passed the bill 33-0.

The bill now heads to Governor Justice to pass, sign, or veto into law without his signature.

Additionally during the 2018 legislative session, the West Virginia Legislature passed proposed constitutional amendments to change the state constitution twice should voters agree.

One would eliminate abortion rights. The other would give the Legislature the ability to cut the state judiciary's budget.

Concerning guns, the Legislature passed a bill that would ensure employees can bring their guns to work provided they are locked in their cars.

Legislation to provide free tuition to state residents to community and technical college, which passed the Senate, died in the House Education Committee.

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