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Guns On Campus, Drug Reimbursement Bills Face Hurdles Just To Be Heard In Fiscal Session

Originally published on February 14, 2018 1:29 pm

This week lawmakers came to the capitol for a special session to discuss the budget. To vote on anything outside of the budget during a fiscal session, a two-thirds majority must agree, but that bar hasn’t stopped some lawmakers.

 

State Rep. Bob Ballinger (R-Hindsville)’s bill ends the rule that all concealed-carry trainers must offer classes on the state’s new enhanced concealed carry permits for places like college campuses.

 

“Some people don’t want to have to go take the course and get the additional certification to teach that, and so if they don’t want to, they shouldn’t have to,” he said.  

 

State Rep. Michael John Gray (D-Augusta) says he agrees with the change, along with a bill by Democrats Greg Leding and Will Bond to ban guns in dorm rooms.

 

He says the enhanced carry law has some confusing rules for students who want to bring guns to their rooms, and it’s better to ban them from residences all together.

 

“So now you’re saying if a student lays it by his bed while he is laying there, it's OK, but if he gets up and goes to the restroom down the hall and he doesn’t take his gun with him he is breaking the law,” he said.

 

“Greg and Will are basically saying, ‘Look, we got them on campus, we don’t like it, we fought against it, we lost, but let’s be more responsible about guns in dorms.’”

 

State Rep. Michelle Gray (R-Melbourne) is co-sponsor of a bill to create new restrictions for pharmacy benefits managers who are a go-between between insurance companies and pharmacists. Pharmacists have been complaining that their reimbursement rates are too low.

“If we wait another year, we’ve already had some districts across the state that have lost pharmacists over the last couple of months. I have some in my district that are looking at losing their business, bankruptcy in the next two months. We can’t wait another year,” said Gray.

Legislation on anything other than the budget has to get a two-thirds approval before it can come up for a vote. Lawmakers say they don’t yet know when during this roughly month-long session they will decide whether to include these bills.

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