Three Busy Days Remaining in Legislative Session

Lawmakers have three more days in the legislative session to get some new laws through.

Lawmakers are also debating a plan backed by the senate that calls for the state to sell more than $800 million in bonds. The bonds would help fund the pensions of teachers and state employees.

Still to be decided is whether to approve more than $300 million worth of construction projects at the state’s universities.

The mine safety legislation is one of several key bills still pending in the General Assembly.

State inspectors would double their visits to underground coal mines under legislation that is headed to the Senate for a floor vote today, March, 12, 2007.

The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted 9-0 to approve the measure, which also ensures that every crew working underground has access to methane gas detectors so that they can monitor for the explosive gas.

Other key provisions of the legislation would require two medics to be on duty at underground mines. Ventilation fans would have to stay on at all times unless they were undergoing maintenance and a vehicle would have to be kept near working crews so that injured miners can get to the surface quickly.

The measure has moved slowly through the legislative process, even stalling at times, before reaching the Senate where it has been fast-tracked.

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