Fighting fraud and abuse in state government - or wherever it may be found - is of paramount importance.
The West Virginia Business and Industry Council - comprised of more than 60 state trade associations and businesses representing over 395,000 workers - is committed to eradicating fraud for the good of all West Virginians.
House Bill 4001 (False Claims Act) was recently promoted by sponsors as a whistle-blower protection program that would stop fraud and abuse while bringing in revenue for the State. In truth, however, the bill included provisions that would have created a bonanza for plaintiff's attorneys without accomplishing the stated objectives.
The Business and Industry Council appreciates the clear and progressive thinking a majority of the House of Delegates undertook in evaluating this bill and the potential negative impact it could have had on the State. We applaud the leadership demonstrated by House members - including William Anderson, Anna Border-Shepherd, Tom Azinger and John Ellem - in voting down this legislation.
We look forward to working with all members of the Legislature, to identify truly effective initiatives to combat fraud in state government.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Chris Hamilton is chairman of the West Virginia Business and Industry Council.