WEST virginia legislature
2021 regular session
House Bill 2867
By Delegates Martin, Summers, Riley, Criss and Burkhammer
[Introduced March 03, 2021; Referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources then Finance]
A BILL to amend and reenact §20-1-16 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended relating to the Natural Resources Commission; providing for the composition and membership of the commission; providing criteria and qualifications for the appointment of commissioners; and providing for reimbursement of expenses for commissioners.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
article 1. organization and administration.
§20-1-16. Natural resources commission -- Generally.
(a) The natural resources commission, created and
established by provisions of section three of this
shall be a public benefit corporation and as such may sue and be sued, plead
and be impleaded, contract and be contracted with, and have and use a common
seal. It shall be a commission advisory to the director and to the department
division of natural resources. The commission shall be composed of
seven members, known as commissioners, one from each congressional district and
the remainder from the state at large, appointed by the Governor, by and with
the advice and consent of the Senate. Their terms of office shall begin on July
1, and shall be for a period of seven years, except that the Governor in making
the initial appointments shall designate and define their respective terms of
office so that the term of one member of the commission will expire each year.
As initial appointments expire, all subsequent appointments shall be for terms
of seven years or for the unexpired term of a member who may have died,
resigned or become disqualified The commission shall be composed of
seven members, known as commissioners, one from each division of natural
resources district and the remainder from the state at large and shall be
appointed to provide the broadest geographic distribution possible so that each
commissioner shall attend the division sectional meetings established in §20-1-7(6)
of this code within his or her respective district.
(b) The Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint the seven members for the following terms beginning July 1, 2021:
(1) Three for a term of four years;
(2) Two for a term of three years; and
(3) Two for a term of two year.
(4) Successors to appointed members whose terms expire shall be appointed for terms of four years. Any commissioner whose term as expired serves until his or her successor has been appointed. An appointed commissioner may not serve more than two consecutive terms. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term. Appointment to fill a vacancy shall not be considered as one of two full terms. Any commissioner who has served two or more consecutive terms immediately preceding the effective date of this section shall not be excluded from consideration for initial appointment under this section.
(c) The members of the commission shall be citizens and
residents of the state,
selected with special reference to their training
and experience in relation to the principal activities required of the
commission, and for their ability and fitness to perform their duties within
the purposes of this chapter and shall be selected with special emphasis
on his or her interest in the conservation of the natural resources of the
state. No member of the commission shall be a candidate for or hold any public
office other than that of member of the commission; nor shall he or she
be a member of any committee of a political party. In case a member becomes a
candidate for or accepts appointment to any public office or political party
committee, his or her office as member of the commission shall be
immediately vacated. The director of the division of natural resources may
submit recommendations to the Governor for the appointment of the
(d) Commissioners are not entitled to compensation for services performed for the commission, but may be reimbursed by the division of natural resources for actual and necessary expenses incurred for each day in which he or she is engaged in the discharge of official duties, the actual expenses not to exceed the amount paid similar reimbursement to members of the Legislature.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish the Natural Resources Commission appointment criteria and qualifications, and to allow for reimbursement of expenses related to discharge of official duties.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.