WEST virginia legislature
2019 regular session
Senate Bill 344
Senators Carmichael (Mr. President), Prezioso, and Cline, original sponsors
[Originating in the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development; Reported on February 15, 2019]
A BILL to repeal §19-12A-3, §19-12A-7, and §19-12A-8 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §19-12A-1, §19-12A-2, §19-12A-5, and §19-12A-6 of said code, all relating to the operation of state-owned farms; clarifying that state-owned farms are managed by the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture; removing reference to Farm Management Commission; defining terms; removing language regarding organization and duties of Farm Management Commission; expanding permissive uses and purposes of institutional farms; replacing outdated language referencing to the Department of Health and Human Resources and Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation; authorizing Commissioner of Agriculture to request inmate labor on institutional farms; providing that state institutions may purchase items from vendors that state-owned farms cannot provide; removing references to Farm Management Director and replacing with commissioner; and removing outdated language.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 12A. LAND DIVISION.
§19-12A-1. Legislative findings and declarations.
The Legislature hereby finds and declares that in order to
ensure economic and efficient land use, increase and improve agricultural
production, and provide food for residents of state operated institutions,
state-owned farms should
be transferred to the state farm management
commission as is provided by this article operate under the control of
the Commissioner of Agriculture. The Legislature also finds and declares
that the operation of all institutional farms under one management system with
a single integrated farm plan is the most efficient method of providing the
food needs of residents of state-operated institutions and will promote the
health and welfare of all citizens of this state.
For the purpose of this article:
“Agricultural products” means livestock and livestock products, poultry and poultry products, fruits and fruit products, vegetables and vegetable products, grains and hays and the products derived therefrom, tobacco, syrups, honey, and other products derived from the business of farming; including such other products as may be manufactured, derived, or prepared from agricultural products, raw or processed, which are used as food for man or animals.
“Commission” means the Farm Management Commission as established by this article.
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Agriculture, or his or her designee.
“Department” means the Department of Agriculture.
“Farm equipment” means any equipment used for agricultural
owned by an institution and transferred to the commission as
provided in this article.
“Farm facility” means any processing plant, milking
parlor, farm equipment storage building, barn, silo, grain storage building,
swinery, or any other building owned by an institution used in its farming
and transferred to the commission as provided in this article.
“Institution” means any facility operated by the
of mental health or the state commissioner of public institutions for care,
treatment, confinement or rehabilitation of residents Department of
Health and Human Resources or the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
“Institutional farm” means any land
owned by the
department of mental health or the state commissioner of public institutions
which was formerly operated as a farm, is now being operated as a farm, or
could be converted to agricultural production and is transferred to the
commission as provided in this article.
§19-12A-3. Farm management commission continued; composition; chairman; quorum; meetings; vacancies.
(a) On or before July 1, 1990, the commission shall
meet and confer with respect to the development of a management plan to
determine the optimum use or disposition of all institutional farms, at which
time the Farm Management Director shall provide the commission with a complete
inventory of all institutional farms, and such information relating to
easements, mineral rights, appurtenances, farm equipment, agricultural
products, livestock, inventories, and farm facilities as may be necessary to
develop such management plan. The commission shall complete and provide to the
Governor a management plan, which plan shall set forth the objectives of the
commission with respect to institutional farms, the criteria by which the
commission shall determine the optimum use or disposition of such property, and
determinations as to whether each institutional farm shall be used in
production, sold, or leased, in whole or in part. Prior to the adoption of any
plan, the commission shall consult with the secretaries of the various
departments of state government and shall request from such secretaries
suggestions for land use and resource development on farm commission lands. On
or before December 1, 1990, such management plan shall be presented to the
Legislature, by providing a copy to the President of the Senate and the Speaker
of the House of Delegates. The commission may confer with any other agency or
individual in implementing and adjusting its management plan. The management
plan established pursuant to this subsection may be amended, from time to time,
as may be necessary. (b) (a) The commission commissioner
shall manage its all institutional farms, equipment, and other
property in order to most efficiently produce food products for state
institutions, support the department and its activities, advance the
agricultural interests of the state, as identified by the commissioner, and
shall otherwise implement the intent of the Legislature as set
forth by this article. From the total amount of food, milk, and other commodities
produced on institutional farms, the commission commissioner
shall sell, at prevailing wholesale prices, and each of the institutions under
the control of the Bureau of Public Health Department of Health and
Human Resources and Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall
purchase, a proportionate amount of these products based on the dietary
needs of each institution: Provided, That if the commissioner cannot
sell sufficient food products to each institution to meet the demand created,
each institution may purchase such food products from vendors who can supply
those food products at the greatest savings to the taxpayers of the state.
(c) (b) If requested by the Commissioner of the
Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the commission commissioner
may authorize the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation to operate a farm
or other enterprise using inmates as labor on those lands. The Commissioner of the
Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation is responsible for the
selection, direction, and supervision of the inmates and shall, in
consultation with the Commissioner of Agriculture, assign the work to be
performed by inmates. The Commissioner of Agriculture may also request
inmate labor to perform work on the institutional farms, and if requested, the
Commissioner of the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall provide
inmate labor, if available. (d) (c) The commission commissioner
is hereby authorized and empowered to:
(1) Lease to public or private parties, for purposes
including agricultural production or experimentation, public necessity, or
permitted by the management plan, any land, easements,
equipment, or other property, except that property may not be leased for any
use in any manner that would render the land toxic for agricultural use, nor
may toxic or hazardous materials as identified by the Commissioner of
Agriculture be used or stored upon such property unless all applicable state
and federal permits necessary are obtained. Any lease for an annual
consideration of $1,000 or more shall be by sealed bid auction and the
commission shall give notice of such auction by publication thereof as a Class
II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of §59-3-1 et seq.
of this code, and the publication area for such publication is the county in
which the property to be leased is located;
(2) Transfer to the public land corporation land
designated in its management plan as land to be disposed of, which land shall
be sold, exchanged, or otherwise transferred pursuant to §5A-11-4 and §5A-11-5
of this code
: Provided, That the net proceeds of the sale of farm
commission lands shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund of the state: Provided,
however, That no sale may be concluded until on or after March 15, 1991, except
with respect to: (A) Properties located at institutions closed on or before the
effective date of this section, March 10, 1990; or (B) properties conveyed to
or from the farm management commission to or from any other entity in order to
facilitate the construction of a regional jail or correctional facility by the
Regional Jail and Correctional Facilities Authority or the State Building Commission,
with the decision to execute any such conveyance being solely within the
discretion of, and at the direction of, the Regional Jail and Correctional
(3) Develop lands to which it has title for the public use including forestation, recreation, wildlife, stock grazing, agricultural production, rehabilitation and/or other conservation activities and may contract or lease for the proper development of timber, oil, gas, or mineral resources, including coal by underground mining or by surface mining where reclamation as required by specifications of the Department of Environmental Protection will increase the beneficial use of such property. Any such contract or lease shall be by sealed bid auction as provided for in subdivision (1) of this subsection; and
(4) Exercise all other powers and duties necessary to effectuate the purposes of this article.
(e) (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of
subsection (d) (c) of this section, no timberland may be leased,
sold, exchanged, or otherwise disposed of unless the Division
of Forestry of the Department of Commerce, Labor and Environmental Resources
certifies that there is no commercially salable timber on the timberland,
an inventory is provided, an appraisal of the timber is provided, and the sale,
lease, exchange, or other disposition is accomplished by the sealed bid auction
procedure provided above in subdivision (1) or (2), subsection (c) of this
section as applicable. (f) (e) The commission commissioner
shall may promulgate, pursuant to §29-1-1 et seq. of this
code, rules and regulations relating to the powers and duties of the commission
commissioner as enumerated in this section. The commission shall appoint a farm management director
who, in addition to qualifications established by the commission, shall have
owned, operated or managed a farm for at least five years within ten years
immediately prior to being appointed. The farm management director is
the chief executive officer of the commission and commissioner or his or
her designee is responsible for conducting the operations of the farms and
shall: The director shall (1) Prepare an annual
report of the farming operations, including a listing of all receipts and
expenditures and shall present it to the commission and the Legislature
at the end of each fiscal year. As authorized or directed by the commission, the
director shall also: (1) (2) Prepare the annual budget request
for the operation of the institutional farms and submit it to the commission
for approval and submission to the secretary of the Department of
Administration. (2) (3) Receive and approve all requisitions
for farm supplies and equipment. (3) (4) Supervise the operation of all
canneries and determine what foods are to be canned. (4) (5) Recruit and approve assistant farm
managers to supervise each institutional farm. (5) Implement all orders of the commission. (6) Supervise all other employees of the commission. (7) (6) Transfer farm supplies, farm
equipment, farm facilities, food stuffs, and produce from one institutional
farm to another to promote efficiency and improve farm management.
With the approval of the commission, the farm
management director may rent Rent or lease additional land for farm
By September 30 each year, each institution under the
control of the
division of health Department of Health and Human
Resources and the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall
present to the farm management director commissioner a purchase
order for its food requirements during the next fiscal year as determined by
the institution. If, during the year, an institution finds that it needs other
or additional food, milk, or commodities not included in its purchase order for
the year, the institutional superintendent may forward a supplemental request
to the farm management director commissioner, which order may be
filled depending on availability. If institutional farms produce more food,
milk, and other commodities than can be sold to the institutions, the farm
management director commissioner may sell the surplus to other state
agencies willing to purchase. If any surplus remains after sales to other state
agencies, the director commissioner may sell the surplus on the
open market , or at the discretion of the director, turn over any
surplus food products to appropriate public, nonprofit agencies upon
application. On July 1, 1990, the division of health and the
Division of Corrections shall each transfer, by interdepartmental transfer, the
sum of $200,000 to the farm management commission to be credited toward their
purchase of food products from the commission. Such credits shall be treated as
advance payments for food products purchased by these divisions pursuant to
this section and such divisions shall not be required to make actual payments
for food products until such credits have been completely expended.
§19-12A-7. Farm division lines to be established; appeal to commission; remedy.
§19-12A-8. Effect of management plan on employees.
NOTE: This bill relates to the operation of state-owned farms; clarifies that state-owned farms are managed by the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture; expands permissive uses and purposes of institutional farms; authorizes the commissioner of agriculture to request inmate labor on institutional farms; and provides that state institutions may purchase items from vendors that state owned farms cannot provide.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.