House Advance DHHR Reorganization Bill to Senate

It’s Day 35 of the Session and the last day to introduce a bill in the House. During House Rules, House Bill 2075 was moved to the inactive House Calendar, and House Resolution 12 was advanced to the House floor. Fifteen bills were passed during today’s floor session including the following.

House Bill 2005 establishes a four-year dual enrollment pilot program to be administered by the HECP and the CCTCE in partnership with the State Board of Education. The program will offer individualized pathways for careers in direct care health professions, information technology, STEM, education, advanced manufacturing, welding and fabrication, construction, agriculture and any other program that meets workforce need in the state as determined by the Department of Commerce.

House Bill 2006 reorganizes the DHHR into three departments: the Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Health Facilities effective January 1, 2024. The agencies and boards within each department will be organized as follows:

  • Department of Human Services:
    • Bureau of Social Services
    • Bureau for Medical Services
    • Bureau for Child Support Enforcement
    • Bureau for Family Assistance
    • Bureau for Behavior Health
    • Office of Drug Control Policy
  • Department of Health
    • Bureau for Public Health
    • Office of Emergency Medical Services
    • Office of Chief Medical Examiner
    • Office of Threat Preparedness
    • Office of the Inspector General
      • Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification
      • Board of Review
      • Foster Care Ombudsman
      • Olmstead Office
      • Investigation and Fraud Management
      • Quality Control
      • Mental Health Care Ombudsman
      • Long-Term Care Ombudsman
      • Human Rights Commission
      • WV Clearance for Access: Registry and Employment Screening
    • Health Care Authority
  • Department of Health Facilities
    • Hopemont Hospital
    • Jackie Withrow Hospital
    • John Manchin, Sr. Health Care Center
    • Lakin Hospital
    • Mildred Mitchel-Bateman Hospital
    • Welch Community Hospital
    • William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital

Any bureau, office, board, commission, or other state entity not specifically organized above shall be organized by the secretaries of the three agencies.

Each department will have a secretary appointed by the Governor by December 1, 2023. The three secretaries will work together through the Office of the Chief Operating Officer. The COO will act as a liaison to ensure the three departments are in communication with one another. The three departments will also share administrative services, which will be through the Office of the COO. The first COO will be appointed by the Governor. On January 1, 2026, and thereafter, the COO will be appointed by the Secretary of Human Services.

The bill also makes changes to the State Health Officer qualifications and Inspector General duties. The bill advances to the Senate for consideration.  

Action was suspended for one day on two of the 13 bills on second reading.

Senate Bill 188 creates the Grid Stabilization and Security Act of 2023, which identifies economically viable sites for natural gas electric generation projects. The bill establishes criteria for identifying economically viable sites and requires the Secretary of the DEP to notify the DEP and the PSC of the sites for the generation facility. The bill sets the application process through the PSC.

House Bill 3318 ensures residents receive support from their local area when seeking work opportunities.  

Rules were suspended while receiving committee reports and 14 bills were read for the first time in addition to the four already on first reading.