WEST virginia legislature
2020 regular session
House Bill 4524
By Delegates Westfall, Hartman, Sponaugle, Barrett, Phillips, Storch, Fluharty and Steele
[Introduced January 24, 2020; Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §60-5-1, §60-5-2, §60-5-3, §60-5-4, §60-5-5, §60-5-6 and §60-5-8 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to making the entire state “wet” or permitting the sale of alcoholic liquors for off-premises consumption; providing a county option to vote to go “dry” or prohibit the sale of alcoholic liquors for off-premises consumption; and permitting an exception.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 5. LOCAL OPTION ELECTIONS.
§60-5-1. Election in county, magisterial district or municipality.
Effective July 1, 2020
the entire state shall be considered “wet” or permitting the sale of alcoholic
liquors for off-premises consumption. A county is permitted, as set forth in
this article, to vote to go “dry” or not permitting the sale of alcoholic
liquors for off-premises consumption: Provided, That if that county votes
to go “dry” the election does not affect any magisterial district or
municipality that has voted on or before January 1, 2020 to be “wet.” A county
magisterial district or any municipality
may, in an election held especially for the purpose, determine whether the sale
of alcoholic liquors for beverage purposes shall be permitted off-premises
consumption be prohibited within that county. magisterial district or
A local option election
may not be held within 60 days of a general or municipal election.
§60-5-2. Election called on petition of five percent of qualified voters.
The county commission
the governing body of the municipality, as the case may be shall call a
special “local option election” upon the filing of a petition signed by not
less than five percent of the qualified voters within the county. a
magisterial district or municipality
§60-5-3. Form of petition.
The petition shall be in the following form:
Petition for Local Option Election
We, the undersigned legally
qualified voters, resident within the county
(municipality) of_______________, do hereby petition that a special
election be held within the county (city, town) of __________________ on
the ___________ day of __________________, 19____, upon the following question:
Shall the sale of alcoholic
beverages under the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Commissioner be
prohibited in __________________?
Name Address Date
(Post office or street and number)
§60-5-4. Notice of election; when held; election officers.
governing body of the municipality commission shall give notice of
the special “local option election” by publication thereof as a Class II-O
legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of §59-3-1 et seq. of
this code, and the publication area for such
the publication shall be the area in which the election is to be held.
Such is the county. The notice shall be so published within 14
consecutive days next preceding the election. The election shall be held not
more than 90 nor less than 60 days from the filing of the petition. The regular
election officers of the county or municipal corporation shall open the
polls and conduct the election in the same manner provided for general
§60-5-5. Form of ballot.
On the ballot shall be printed the following:
Shall the sale of alcoholic
beverages liquors for off-premises consumption under the West
Virginia liquor control commission be permitted Alcohol Beverage
Control Commissioner be prohibited in .............. County?
(Place a cross mark in the square opposite your choice.)
§60-5-6. How election conducted and results certified.
The ballots shall be
counted, returns made and canvassed as in general elections, and the results
certified by the commissioners of election to the county
of the county. or the governing body of the municipality, as the case may
be. The county court or governing body commission shall
without delay certify the result of the election to the commission Alcohol
Beverage Control Commissioner.
§60-5-8. When another election may be held.
When a “local option
election” has been held in a county
a magisterial district or municipality
another such election shall may not be held for a period of two
years. except that an election may be held within a municipality without
regard to an election held in or the time limit applicable to the county within
which the municipality, or a part thereof, is located
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make the entire state “wet” or permit the sale of alcoholic liquors (liquor, wine and beer over 15 percent abv) for off-premises consumption throughout the entire state. The bill does provide a county option if a county would want to vote to go dry or prohibit the sale of alcoholic liquors for off-premises consumption, but also permits an exception. There are currently 13 “dry” areas in the state, some as big as county, town or even tax districts.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.