House Bill 4605, which directly concerns our members who work at state hospitals such as Bateman, Lakin and Sharpe,was to be taken up by a committee late this afternoon (Tuesday). UPDATE: The item was removed from the posted agenda, indicating it was not taken up as planned.

Introduced on January 30, the purpose of the bill is, as stated, is “to authorize The Department of Health and Human Resources to transfer comprehensive community mental health centers and comprehensive intellectual disability facilities to regional mental health centers or regional intellectual disability facilities.”

More plainly stated, the bill would transfer the properties of those hospitals, possibly to WVU. Since its founding, the UE Local 170 has fought hard to prevent such transfers, as well as outright privatization, of the state hospitals.

The bill could resurface on an agenda of the House Health and Human Resources Committee. The next meeting has not yet been publicly scheduled.