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House passes bill that could lower prescription drug costs

January 21, 2020 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Prescription drugs in West Virginia could soon become less expensive under a bill passed in the House of Delegates on Tuesday.

Lawmakers in the GOP-controlled chamber unanimously approved a measure that would give consumers any drug manufacturer rebates that are normally sent to pharmacies.

Delegates also unanimously passed a proposal to create a searchable database detailing state spending on roads. The bill comes during a push by Republican Gov. Jim Justice to repair the state’s network of roads.

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Del. Gary Howell, a Republican representing Mineral County, said West Virginians ”deserve to know where their money is being spent.”

Both proposals now move to the Senate for consideration.

Earlier Tuesday, the House judiciary committee passed a bill creating a so-called foster care bill of rights, which would ensure children and parents understand their rights in the state’s foster system.

The proposal includes guarantees that foster children live in safe settings, should be free of sexual abuse and attend school. Foster parents would be entitled to receive child care training and know a child’s behavioral history prior to placement.

At least 15 states have enacted bills establishing a foster children’s bill of rights and 17 have foster parent bill of rights, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.