West Virginia lawmakers plan to study at least 29 issues between now and the start of the 2002 session.

Topping the list are mining permits and implementing a law passed this year that legalizes video poker machines.

Other issues range from instructional time in public schools to whether there should be a state park in Coalwood. That's the McDowell County hometown of "Rocket Boys" author Homer Hickam.

The Legislature's Joint Committee on Government and Finance approved the studies yesterday.

Lawmakers say interim studies are important because they often spawn bills that are later passed during the regular session.

Below is a list of issues to be studied.

The implementation of new laws regarding the legalization of 9,000 video poker machines.

The issuance of mining permits.

Impact of requiring employees to work in excess of 40 hours per work week.

Consolidating the legislative graduate and undergraduate internship programs.

Instructional time in public schools.

Retirement system for firefighters, police officers and emergency service personnel.

Funding source for traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.

Need for a rehabilitation subcode to the state building code.

Development of a program to assist Alzheimer's patients and their families.

Feasibility of developing a state park at Coalwood, McDowell County.

Dormitory and meal plan options at colleges and universities.

Counseling programs in public schools.

Economic preservation of small and rural hospitals.

Issues relating to insurance rates and forms.

Consolidation issues involving local governments.

Drunken driving penalties.

Medical malpractice insurance.

Law enforcement training, education and facilities.

Authorizing car dealers to sell "as is" vehicles.

Pension benefits for correctional officers.

Advisory Council on Professional Opportunity to advise interim Economic Development Commission.

Funding for county public libraries.

911 cellular emergency service.

Work force development initiatives.

State, local governments and other political groups agreements regarding transportation facilities.

Economic condition of agriculture and agriculture business.

Services and funding to higher education students with physical, learning or sensory disabilities.

Feasibility of enacting Uniform Sales and Use Tax Administration Act.

Department of Tax and Revenue procedures used when deciding appeals of the commissioner.

Water quality impacts associated with commercial timber harvesting.

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