Introduced Version House Bill 2943 History

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hb2943 intr
H. B. 2943

(By Delegates Doyle, Tabb, Wysong, Brown,
Williams, Palumbo and Wells)

[Introduced March 8, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Political Subdivisions then the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §7-1-3oo, relating to allowing counties and municipalities to establish a child advocacy center authority; providing for the appointment, membership officers, meetings and terms of members; providing for employees, equipment and buildings; setting forth certain powers; providing that counties and municipalities may contribute funds to a child advocacy center; specifying that charitable contributions to these child advocacy center authorities are tax deductible; and requiring each authority to establish facilities in which single interviews of abused and neglected children by interagency representatives may be undertaken at the same time.

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 §7-1-3oo, to read as follows:
§7-1-3oo. Child advocacy center authorities; membership; funding; facilities.

(a) A county commission and a municipality or any combination of county commissions and municipalities may by ordinance, interagency agreement or other appropriate contractual mechanism establish an authority and appropriate funds therefor to provide facilities, referred to as "Child Advocacy Centers" established for the development and management of safe and appropriate facilities for multidisciplinary interviews of children who are suspected of being or alleged to have been abused or neglected.
(b) Each authority shall be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of eleven members appointed by the participating local governments as agreed between the participating governmental entities or if a single entity as set out in the ordinance creating the authority.
(c) Each authority must meet at least quarterly and may meet more often as determined by a vote of the members. A quorum for official meetings requires six members to be present and voting. At its first meeting, each authority shall adopt bylaws for the conduct of business and elect officers to include a chairman, vice-chairman, secretary and treasurer.
(d) From donations, gifts and appropriated funds, each authority may employ staff, acquire equipment, supplies, furnishings and facilities to carry out the purposes of this section. In addition, each authority has the power:
(1) To sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded;
(2) To have and use a seal and alter the same at pleasure;
(3) To make and adopt all rules and bylaws as may be necessary or desirable to enable it to exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred or imposed upon it;
(4) To acquire by grant, purchase, gift, devise or the provisions of this section lease and to hold, use, sell, lease or otherwise dispose of real and personal property of every kind and nature whatsoever, licenses, franchises, rights and interests necessary for the full exercise of its powers pursuant to the provisions of this section or which may be convenient or useful for the carrying out of such powers;
(5) To enter into contracts and agreements which are necessary, convenient or useful to carry out the purposes of this section with any person, public corporation, state or any agency or political subdivision thereof and the federal government and any department or agency thereof, including, without limitation, contracts and agreements for the joint use of any property and rights by the authority and any person or authority operating any system, whether within or without the jurisdictional limits of the authorizing entities establishing the authority, and contracts and agreements with any person or authority for the maintenance, servicing, storage, operation or use of any system or part thereof, facility or equipment on such basis as shall seem proper to its board;
(6) To apply for, receive and use grants, grants-in-aid, donations and contributions from any source or sources, including, but not limited to, the federal government and any agency or department thereof, and a state government whose constitution does not prohibit such grants, grants-in-aid, donations and contributions, and any agency or department thereof, and to accept and use bequests, devises, gifts and donations from any person;
(7) To encumber or mortgage all or any part of its facilities and equipment; and
(8) To do any and all things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers given in this section unless otherwise forbidden by law.
(e) Contributions to an authority established under the provisions of this section are deductible charitable contributions.
It is the responsibility of each authority to provide a facility permitting the interview and treatment of child victims of physical and sexual abuse at one location and at one time by involved multidisciplinary representatives of health care organizations, child protective services, law enforcement and the courts.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish county and municipal authorities to provide for and maintain facilities to house Child Advocacy Centers. Under the bill, a Child Advocacy Center is a safe place for multidisciplinary members to interview abused and neglected children at the same time.

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