Mar 8, 2012- Time Is Running Out at the W.Va. Capitol

By: Michael Hyland
By: Michael Hyland

The work is fast and furious in the final days of the legislative session.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia lawmakers are hoping they've found a new weapon in the fight against methamphetamine labs.

Legislators are debating a bill this session that targets several abused drugs including meth. The measure includes provisions seeking to limit access to cold remedies that are used to make meth.

Missouri leads the nation in meth lab busts. Officials there say a new way to administer these pseudoephedrine remedies could make it impossible to divert them for meth use.

The product is called Tarex, and is being developed by a St. Louis company. One Missouri law enforcement official is calling Tarex a game-changer in the battle against meth.

West Virginia lawmakers have begun taking a look at Tarex. They also continue to debate proposed monthly and annual caps on pseudoephedrine purchases.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will have the final say on whether minor league baseball parks in West Virginia can sell wine to fans along with peanuts and beer.

The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would give teams and their food vendors the option to seek a wine sales permit from the Alcohol Beverage Control Administration. The bill now goes to the governor.

West Virginia has three professional minor league teams. The owners of the West Virginia Power, based in Charleston, sought to add wine based on customer feedback.

Not all senators support the change. Sen. Donna Boley says she doesn't believe people go to baseball games to drink wine and she hasn't received requests from her Pleasants County voters to allow it.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia senator disappointed by a vote that killed efforts to update West Virginia's public records law hopes an interim committee will study the issue and recommend changes.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a resolution seeking the study Thursday. The same committee voted down a bill the prior day that would have expanded the scope of what is considered a public document.

Legislators have tried to revise the law since a 2009 state Supreme Court ruling found that the records law did not apply to personal emails sent by a sitting justice and a party in a case before the court.

Chair Corey Palumbo says the changes would have provided for more transparent government. He wants to review the entire public records law and consider new legislation next session.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Selling a child would be a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison under legislation going to the governor for his consideration.

The full Senate unanimously approved the bill Thursday, the final legislative hurdle needed for passage.

Under the bill, parents could pay reasonable court fees, legal fees and medical fees related to adoption and expenses for a surrogate mother. But the bill aims to prevent parents or guardians from seeking money, property, services or other goods in exchange for their child. Anyone who accepts money, property, goods or services in exchange for providing a child also would face felony charges.

A related human trafficking bill will go before the Senate for a final vote Friday. It addresses the enslaving of two or more children or adults.

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