Introduced Version House Bill 2141 History

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H. B. 2141

(By Delegate Hamilton)

[Introduced February 10, 2005 ; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §17-19-13a, relating to prohibiting charitable organizations from soliciting contributions on public highways; and penalties.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §17-19-13a, to read as follows:


§17-19-13a. Prohibiting solicitation by charitable organizations on public highways; penalties.

(a) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Charitable organization" means a person who is or holds itself out to be a benevolent, educational, philanthropic, humane, patriotic, religious or eleemosynary organization, or any person who solicits or obtains contributions solicited from the public for charitable purposes, or any person who in any manner employs any appeal for contributions which may be reasonably interpreted to suggest that any part of such contributions will be used for charitable purposes.
(2) "Contribution" means the promise or grant of any money or property of any kind or value.
(3) "Solicit" and "solicitation" means the request or appeal, directly or indirectly, for any contribution on the plea or representation that such contribution will be used for a charitable purpose, including, without limitation, the following methods of requesting such contribution:
(A) Any oral or written request;
(B) Any announcement to the press, over the radio or television, or by telephone or telegraph, concerning an appeal or campaign to which the public is requested to make a contribution for any charitable purpose connected therewith;
(C) The distribution, circulation, posting or publishing of any handbill, written advertisement or other publication which directly or by implication seeks to obtain public support; or
(D) The sale of, offer or attempt to sell, any advertisement, advertising space, subscription, ticket or any service or tangible item in connection with which any appeal is made for any charitable purpose or where the name of any charitable or civic organization is used or referred to in any such appeal as an inducement or reason for making any such sale, or when or where in connection with any such sale, any statement is made that the whole or any part of the proceeds from any such sale will be donated to any charitable purpose.
"Solicitation," as defined herein, shall be deemed to occur when the request is made, at the place the request is received, whether or not the person making the same actually receives any contribution.
(b) No person may approach a motor vehicle on a public highway with a federal or state highway designation for the purpose of soliciting a contribution from the occupant of the motor vehicle on behalf of a charitable organization.
(c) A person violating the provisions of this section shall be issued a warning citation upon a first offense, and the name of the charitable organization conducting the solicitation shall be forwarded to the Secretary of State for investigation to determine whether the charitable organization is properly registered and in compliance with the provisions of article nineteen, chapter twenty-nine of this code, and the name of the charitable organization shall also be forwarded to the department of revenue for investigation to determine whether the charitable organization is in compliance with state tax laws. Upon a second or subsequent violation of the provisions of this section, a person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit charitable organizations from soliciting contributions on public highways and providing a penalty for violation.

This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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