CHARLESTON, W.Va.-(WTAP) Senate Bill 279, co-sponsored by State Senator Mike Azinger of Wood County, allows county boards of education to offer faith-based, elective courses in drug prevention.
It's intended to tackle the state's opioid crisis. But in late 2018, a faith club in Wood County Schools was criticized by the group Freedom From Religion, who questioned the involvement of some of the school system's teachers.
"Freedom From Religion likes to attack any kind of faith-based program, and you can always expect something from them," Azinger said Monday. "But that's not a good reason not to pass great bills like this one."
Azinger says the proposed bill is inspired by the organization Teen Challenge, which has had success with the program elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Delegate John Kelly is sponsoring legislation, introduced on the first day of the 2019 session, repealing the state's law requiring motorcycle riders to wear a helmet, something neighboring Ohio did decades ago.
Supporters say other neighboring states have done the same.
"The governor is asking the legislature to put money in tourism, yet the helmet law actually deters tourism," Kelly says, "because people won't people won't come into the state and ride on the state's highways without a helmet."
Kelly cites statistics from the state of Florida, with no helmet law, which he says showed a decrease in serious injuries and fatalities from 2005-2010.