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I recently joined other cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones to urge our lawmakers to make the fight against cancer a top priority. Our state legislature is currently considering legislation that would take away local health departments’ authority to take action on smoke-free air ordinances and other public health policies.

Under this legislation, county departments of health would have to have public health orders approved by the county commissioners or the state health officer. This action would take away local control and make it harder for county health departments to enact future smoke-free air and other public health regulations in communities.

Amidst a global pandemic, now is not the time to roll back health and safety measures. Local government has the right and responsibility to respond to the needs and concerns of its citizens, but the West Virginia legislature is trying to tie the hands of our county health departments. That is why we let our lawmakers know that volunteers across the state are counting on them to take a stand against this legislation.

Angela Rae Stanley

Culloden

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