W.Va. House to consider False Claims Act bill again

By Chris Dickerson | Feb 17, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - A bill that would establish a False Claims Act for West Virginia will get a second look this legislative session.

House Judiciary Chairman Tim Manchin said Monday the committee would reconsider House Bill 4001 later this week.

"The House leadership chose to send the false claims bill back to the Judiciary Committee because there was a great deal of concern expressed, however unfounded, about whether the bill would cause a wave of baseless lawsuits," Manchin said. "I believe we can tweak some of the language to alleviate those concerns and move forward with a solid piece of legislation that will save millions of taxpayer dollars by fighting fraud and abuse."

Manchin says the bill, once fine tuned, has the potential to return to taxpayers up to $90 million a year. He says those funds could be used for road repair, in-home care for seniors and assistance for volunteer firefighters.

HB4001, or the False Claims and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2014, is designed to uncover and encourage the reporting of fraud that is being committed upon state government. It encourages the reporting of suspicious activity involving taxpayer funds and empowers the state Attorney General to investigate such fraud.

Listed as sponsors of the bill are nine democrats, including Manchin and three fellow personal injury lawyers.

To read the full story, visit www.wvrecord.com.

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