H. B. 3351
(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss, and Delegates Amores,
Beane, Campbell, Kominar, Mahan, Michael,
Perry, Pino, Staton and Varner)
[Introduced March 25, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Education then Finance.]
A BILL to repeal §18C-8-1, §18C-8-2 and §18C-8-3 of the Code of
West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by
adding thereto a new section, designated §18C-8-1, all
relating to student financial aid; creating the West Virginia
Byrd Scholarship Program; legislative findings and purpose;
program administration and eligibility and selection criteria;
award renewal; requiring promulgation of legislative rule, and
authorizing promulgation of emergency rule; and providing that
in any year scholarships may only be awarded under certain
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18C-8-1, §18C-8-2 and §18C-8-3 of the Code of West
Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; and that said code be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §18C-8-1, to
read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. MISCELLANEOUS.
§18C-8-1. West Virginia Byrd Scholarship Program.
(a) The Legislature finds that the Honorable Robert Carlyle
Byrd began his tenure of continuous public service with his initial
election to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1946; followed
by his initial election to the West Virginia Senate in 1950; and
his initial election to the United States House of Representatives
in 1952; and ultimately his initial election to the United States
Senate in 1958. Senator Robert C. Byrd has been returned to office
by the grateful citizens of West Virginia at the conclusion of each
of his terms as United States Senator since 1958, and is the
longest-serving United States Senator in West Virginia history.
(1) The Legislature finds that the Honorable Robert C. Byrd
has held more leadership positions in the United States Senate than
any other member in Senate history; has cast more votes than any
other member in Senate history; and has reached the pinnacle of
national respect and admiration.
(2) The Legislature finds that Senator Robert C. Byrd has led
an exemplary life that is marked by his numerous accomplishments
and his dedication to the State of West Virginia. The people of
West Virginia are indebted to Senator Byrd for his inspirational
leadership and the many benefits he has brought to the state. The
Honorable Robert C. Byrd has remained loyal to the traditional
values and culture of West Virginia, and has worked tirelessly to
promote the interests of West Virginians and the state.
(3) The Legislature finds that the "Byrd Honors Scholars" who
receive federal Robert C.
Byrd Honors Scholarship Program awards
are highly deserving individuals who have demonstrated outstanding
academic abilities and achievement. It is fitting therefore that
the program's name designation honors a West Virginian whose long
and distinguished public service career has earned him the
distinctions of the West Virginia "1901-2000 Citizen of the
Century"; the "West Virginian of the Year" on three occasions; and
the U. S. News and World Report poll of American leaders as "Most
Influential American" on four occasions.
(4) The Legislature recognizes and endorses the purpose of the
federal Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program to promote
student excellence and achievement and to recognize exceptionally
able students who show promise of continued academic excellence.
Therefore, it is the Legislature's intent to preserve the purpose
of the program
in such years that federal funding is not
appropriated to the state for the federal Robert C. Byrd Honors
(b) There is created the "West Virginia Byrd Scholarship
Program", to be administered by the Vice Chancellor for
(1) Award recipients are selected by the Vice Chancellor for
Administration in a manner that ensures an equitable geographic
distribution of awards within the state.
The Higher Education Policy Commission shall
selection method that takes into consideration an applicant's grade
point average and score on either the American College Test (ACT)
or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The Commission may include
additional factors in the selection method as it determines
(3) Eligibility criteria include the following:
(A) Graduation from a high school in this state, or attainment
of a General Education Diploma (GED) for a student educated
pursuant to the provisions of
exemption K, section one, article
eight, chapter eighteen
of this code;
(B) Admission for enrollment at a regionally or nationally
accredited higher education institution in any state; and
(C) Any other criteria determined appropriate by the
Commission to further the intent of this section.
(c) Each initial and renewal award is for the amount of one
thousand five hundred dollars for the academic year of study for
which the scholarship is awarded.
(1) The number of initial scholarships awarded in any year is
determined by the funds remaining after the amount required for
renewal awards is deducted from the total amount of the legislative
(2) An award is renewable for up to three academic years
beyond the initial award, and may be used for undergraduate or graduate course-work.
(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the
contrary, a scholarship award:
(1) Is in addition to any other student financial assistance
received from any source;
(2) Is not limited by the cost of attendance at the
institution in which the recipient is enrolled; and
(3) May not be included or considered:
(A) As part of any needs test in connection with the awarding
of any grant or loan; nor
(B) In any calculation performed pursuant to a requirement in
this code that financial assistance be reduced when the total
amount from all sources exceeds the cost of attendance at the
institution in which the recipient is enrolled.
(e) The Commission shall promulgate a legislative rule in
accordance with the provisions of article three-a, chapter
twenty-nine-a of this code, for the administration of the
(1) The rule shall include award selection criteria,
procedures, renewal and compliance, and such other components as
the Commission determines appropriate to implement the provisions
of this section.
(2) The Legislature finds that an emergency exists and,
therefore, the Commission shall file the rule required by this subsection as an emergency rule pursuant to the provisions of
article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, subject to the
prior approval of the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education
(f) West Virginia Byrd Scholarships are awarded from any
appropriation which may be made by the Legislature for this
purpose. West Virginia Byrd Scholarship grants may be awarded only
in years in which federal funding is not appropriated to the state
for the federal Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to repeal §18C-8-1, §18C-8-2
and §18C-8-3 and to establish the West Virginia Byrd Scholarship
§18C-8-1 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring
have been omitted.