HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 104
(By Delegates Dean, Maynard, Paynter, Caputo, Eldridge and Rohrbach)
[Introduced March 7, 2018; Referred to the Committee on Rules]
Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study the requirements and costs to implement a state-based occupational pneumoconiosis, or Black Lung, compensation program.
Whereas, It has been established that many individuals during the course of their lives, and in pursuit of their livelihoods in order to raise their families in West Virginia, have been exposed to the hazard of inhaling minute particles of dust and as a result have sustained chronic respiratory disabilities; and
Whereas, Occupational pneumoconiosis, also known as Black Lung, in these affected individuals has resulted in loss of employment opportunities, increased medical costs, and considerable pain and suffering to them and their families; and
Whereas, It behooves us to study the many different ways Black Lung affects West Virginians and what can be done for them and their families; and
Whereas, The study should include the number of individuals, specifically miners, who have contracted Black Lung, the most efficient and beneficial ways of providing benefits, the potential costs of those benefits, and the resources that are available, in the private sector, as well as from state and federal sources, including the recapturing of federal moneys, state funds currently being directed to federal programs, and potential funding resources; and
Whereas, The study should directly address those questions, and identify solutions to potential obstacles in the creation of a Black Lung program, in addition to recommending proposed legislation; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study the requirements and costs to implement a state-based occupational pneumoconiosis, or Black Lung, compensation program; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance enlist the assistance of other state agencies and departments as necessary in conducting the study; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2019, on its findings, conclusions, and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.