No one disputes this money is being used on good programs, but any time money changes hands there's a question of who should be in control. Attorney General Darrell McGraw says his office wins the lawsuits so he should control the cash. Some legislators say they should decide where the money goes.
The money handed out Friday will have a big impact in Cabell County: $40,000 to help rehabilitate non-violent offenders and keep them out of jail. In Wayne County, $50,000 is going to fund a similar program that fights substance abuse.
Attorney General McGraw's office got the money from the makers of Oxycontin, to offset the impact when people abuse the drug. Even though McGraw's office won the settlement, some in the legislature say they should decide where money like this will be spent. McGraw says his office does a good job of getting the money to the right places, and the big business is behind the fight to take away some of his power.
Many of those on the receiving end of the checks defended McGraw.
Several Republican delegates, including Patrick Lane of Kanawha County, introduced bills this time trying to create more oversight of the Attorney General's office. They say they just want more checks and balances. Those bills didn't make it out of committee by the deadline, so it appears there's little chance of any change in the way things are done right now.
West Virginia will get a total of $10 Million dollars over four years from the makers of Oxycontin.