Monday, January 13, 2014

HB 1022: Hospital for Pennington Gap?

Fellow Virginians, I apologize for jumping out of order here...I printed off a batch of random bills for home perusal over the weekend, and I perused and am posting reactions to the bills that seem to call for citizen input. Meanwhile, in another window I had opened bills sponsored by my own legislators with the intention of reading them at home tonight...and I came across one so short and sweet that it's worth posting here in its entirety, House Bill #1022.

"Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. § 1. That, notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 32.1-102.3 and 32.1-102.3:2 of the Code of Virginia, any regulations of the Board of Health, or any provisions of any current Request for Applications issued pursuant to § 32.1-102.3:2 of the Code of Virginia, the Commissioner of Health shall accept and review applications and may issue a certificate of public need for the establishment of a new hospital with up to 70 beds to be located in Planning District 1."

Where there's a "1.," I was taught in school, there needs to be a "2.," but we weren't being taught to write legislative bills...Seriously, so far as I can tell, that means a hospital for Pennington Gap, which most of Virginia may not realize how badly our Commonwealth needs. Not only does this hospital mean that it's reasonable to speak of rushing sick or wounded residents of Lee County to hospital (which would not be the case if they had to be taken to Pikeville, Norton, or Kingsport). It means jobs for all those medical personnel. It means an economic hub that's not dependent on played-out coal mines and that's big enough to keep the town of Pennington Gap alive. This is an excellent and much needed bill.

Thank you, Delegate Kilgore.