WEST virginia legislature
2020 regular session
Senate Bill 601
By Senators Prezioso, Baldwin, Ihlenfeld, Jeffries, Lindsay, Palumbo, Romano, Stollings, Woelfel, and Beach
[Introduced January 23,
to the Committee on the Judiciary]
A BILL to amend and reenact §6B-2-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the contents of financial disclosures under the West Virginia Governmental Ethics Act; requiring disclosure of mineral, timber, oil, or any other natural resource leases; requiring disclosure of the formation or maintenance of a close economic association involving a substantial financial matter; and requiring the disclosure of certain information when public official is married or who is the public official’s domestic partner.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 2. WEST VIRGINIA ETHICS COMMISSION; POWERS AND DUTIES; DISCLOSURE OF FINANCIAL INTEREST BY PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES; APPEARANCES BEFORE PUBLIC AGENCIES; CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES.
§6B-2-7. Financial disclosure statement; contents.
(a) The financial disclosure statement required under this article shall contain the following information:
(1) The name, residential and business addresses of the person filing the statement and of his or her spouse and all names under which the person or the person’s spouse, or both, do business. For purposes of this section, the word “spouse” means any individual who is legally married to and cohabits with the person filing the statement.
(2) For each position of employment held by the person filing the statements and the person’s spouse:
(A) The name of the employer;
(B) The address of the employer;
(C) The job title; and
(D) A general description of job duties.
(3) The name and address of each business in which the person filing the statement or that person’s spouse has or had in the last year an interest of at least $10,000 at fair market value.
(A) For the purposes of this subsection, business interests include, but are not limited to, an interest in:
(i) Nonpublicly owned businesses;
(ii) Publicly or privately traded stocks, bonds or securities, including those held in self-directed retirement accounts; and
(iii) Commercial real estate.
(B) For the purposes of this subsection, business interests do not include mutual funds, specific holdings in mutual funds or retirement accounts.
(4) The name, address, and brief description of a nonprofit organization in which the individual or spouse is a director or officer.
(5) The identification, by
category, of every source of income over $1,000, including distributions from
retirement accounts received during the preceding calendar year, in his or her
own name or by any other person for his or her use or benefit, by the person
filing the statement, or that person’s spouse, and a brief description of the
nature of the income producing activities for which the income was received.
This subdivision does not require a person filing the statement who derives
income from a business, profession or occupation, or
who’s whose spouse
derives income from a business, profession or occupation, to disclose the
individual sources and items of income that constitute the gross income of that
business, profession or occupation.
(6) If the person filing the statement, or that person’s spouse, profited or benefitted in the year before the date of filing from a contract for the sale of goods or services to a state, county, municipal or other local governmental agency either directly or through a partnership, corporation or association in which the person, or that person’s spouse, owned or controlled more than ten percent, the person shall describe the nature of the goods or services and identify the governmental agencies which purchased the goods or services.
(7) Each interest group or category listed below doing business in this state with which the person filing the statement, did business or furnished services and from which the person filing the statement, or that person’s spouse, received more than 20 percent of his or her gross income during the preceding calendar year. The groups or categories are electric utilities, gas utilities, telephone utilities, water utilities, cable television companies, interstate transportation companies, intrastate transportation companies, oil or gas retail, wholesale, exploration, production or drilling companies, banks, savings and loan associations, loan or finance companies, manufacturing companies, surface mining companies, deep mining companies, mining equipment companies, chemical companies, insurance companies, retail companies, beer, wine or liquor companies or distributors, recreation related companies, timbering companies, hospitals or other health care providers, trade associations, professional associations, associations of public employees or public officials, counties, cities or towns, labor organizations, waste disposal companies, wholesale companies, groups or associations promoting gaming or lotteries, advertising companies, media companies, race tracks, promotional companies, lobbying, economic development entities, state government, construction, information technology and legal service providers.
(8) The names of all persons, excluding that person’s immediate family, parents or grandparents residing or transacting business in the state to whom the person filing the statement, owes, on the date of execution of this statement in the aggregate in his or her own name or in the name of any other person more than $5,000: Provided, That nothing herein requires the disclosure of a mortgage on the person’s primary and secondary residences or of automobile loans on automobiles maintained for the use of the person’s immediate family, or of a student loan, nor does this section require the disclosure of debts which result from the ordinary conduct of the person’s business, profession or occupation or of debts of the person filing the statement to any financial institution, credit card company or business, in which the person has an ownership interest: Provided, however, That the previous proviso does not exclude from disclosure loans obtained pursuant to the linked deposit program provided in article one-a, chapter 12 of this code or any other loan or debt incurred which requires approval of the state or any of its political subdivisions.
(9) A list of all mineral, timber, oil, or any other natural resource lease held, or lease offer made, during the preceding calendar year by the person filing the statement, the person’s spouse or domestic partner, or the person’s dependent child, a partnership, limited liability company, or professional corporation in which the person is a member, or a corporation in which the person or the person’s spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child, or a combination of those, holds a controlling interest.
(9) (10) The names of all persons except immediate
family members, parents and grandparents residing or transacting business in
the state (other than a demand or savings account in a bank, savings and loan
association, credit union or building and loan association or other similar
depository) who owes on the date of execution of this statement more than, in
the aggregate, $5,000 to the person filing the statement, either in his or her
own name or to any other person for his or her use or benefit. This subdivision
does not require the disclosure of debts owed to the person filing the
statement which debts result from the ordinary conduct of the person’s business,
profession or occupation or of loans made by the person filing the statement to
any business in which the person has an ownership interest. (10) (11) The source of each gift, including those
described in subdivision (2), subsection (c), section five of this article,
having a value of over $100, received from a person having a direct and
immediate interest in a governmental activity over which the person filing the
statement has control, shall be reported by the person filing the statement
when the gift is given to that person in his or her name or for his or her use
or benefit during the preceding calendar year: Provided, That any person
filing a statement required to be filed pursuant to this section is not
required to report those gifts described in subdivision (2), subsection (c),
section five of this article that are otherwise required to be reported by a
registered lobbyist under section four, article three of this chapter: Provided,
however, That gifts received by will or by virtue of the laws of descent
and distribution, or received from one’s spouse, child, grandchild, parents or
grandparents, or received by way of distribution from an inter vivos or
testamentary trust established by the spouse or child, grandchild or by an
ancestor of the person filing the statement are not required to be reported. As
used in this subdivision, any series or plurality of gifts which exceeds in the
aggregate the sum of $100 from the same source or donor, either directly or
indirectly, and in the same calendar year are regarded as a single gift in
excess of that aggregate amount. (11) (12) The name of each for-profit business of
which the person filing the statement, or that person’s spouse, serves as a
member of the board of directors or an officer, as well as a general
description of the type of business. (12) (13) The name and business address of any
child or step-child who is 18 years or older and employed by state, county or
municipal government. (13) (14) The signature of the person filing the
(b) In addition to the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, each statement filed under this article, other than the chair or a member of a state commission or board, shall include a disclosure of the formation or maintenance of a close economic association involving a substantial financial matter as required by this section. The disclosure shall be sufficiently detailed so that a reader can ascertain the nature of the association. A public official shall disclose a close economic association with a:
(2) Public official who is not an elected or appointed municipal officer;
(3) Lobbyist; or
(4) Public employee if the person required to make the disclosure is the Governor.
(c) If a public official required to disclose a close economic association under subsection (b) of this section forms a close economic association after the date on which the public official files the financial disclosure statement required by (a) of this section, disclosure of the association shall be made to the commission within 60 days after the formation of the association.
(d) When making a disclosure under subsection (b) of this section concerning a relationship with a lobbyist to whom the public official is married or who is the public official’s domestic partner, the public official shall also disclose the name and address of each employer of the lobbyist and the total monetary value received from the lobbyist’s employer. The public official shall report changes in the employers of the spouse or domestic partner within 48 hours after the change. In this subsection, “employer of the lobbyist” means the person from whom the lobbyist received money, or goods or services having a monetary value, for engaging in lobbying on behalf of the person.
(b) (e) Notwithstanding the provisions of
subsection (a) of this section, any person serving on a board, commission or
agency for which no compensation, other than expense reimbursement, is
statutorily authorized, is not required to disclose the financial information
relating to his or her spouse as required by subdivisions three or five of
subsection (a) of this section if:
(1) His or her spouse, or a business with which he or she is associated, are not regulated by, do not have a contract with, or do not receive any grants or appropriations from, the board, the commission or agency on which the person filing the statement serves. A business with which a filer’s spouse is associated means a business in which the person or an immediate family member is a director, officer, owner, employee, compensated agent, or holder of stock which constitutes five percent or more of the total outstanding stocks of any class; and
(2) The filer executes a signed statement on a form provided by the commission verifying these facts.
(f) In this section,
“Close economic association” means a financial relationship that exists between a public official required to disclose a close economic association under subsection (b) of this section and some other person or entity, including a relationship where the public official serves as a consultant or advisor to, is a member or representative of, or has a financial interest in an association, partnership, limited liability company, business, or corporation; and
“Lobbyist” has the meaning given in §6B-3-1 et seq. of this code.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to add reporting requirements to the financial disclosures required by the West Virginia Governmental Ethics Act.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.