Also Tuesday, the Government Organization Committee:
Joe Garcia, deputy general counsel to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, said the legislation is inspired by last summer's Boy Scout Jamboree in Fayette County, where Tomblin declared a state of emergency in order to deploy National Guard, and have emergency services providers on standby.
Garcia said that from a public-relations standpoint, declaring a state of preparedness is preferable to declaring a state of emergency. Otherwise, a state of preparedness invokes the same powers as a state of emergency, he said.
Sen. Evan Jenkins, R-Cabell, raised concerns that the legislation would impose the same ban on price-gouging as in a state of emergency. In either case, retailers are prohibited from raising the price of food, essential consumer goods or fuel prices more than 10 percent while the declaration is in effect.
"I'm all in favor of these important consumer protections in a state of emergency," Jenkins said. "My question is, why do we also need these for a state of preparedness?"
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.