H. B. 2179

(By Delegate Staton)
[Introduced January 13, 1999; referred to the
Committee on Finance.]

A BILL to amend and reenact section five, article twenty-two, chapter twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the state lottery act; and prohibiting the disclosure of the names of lottery winners.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section five, article twenty-two, chapter twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

§29-22-5. State lottery commission; powers and duties; cooperation of other agencies.

(a) The commission shall have the authority to:
(1) Promulgate rules in accordance with chapter twenty-nine-a of this code: Provided, That those rules promulgated by the commission that are necessary to begin the lottery games selected shall be exempted from the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code in order that the selected games may commence as soon as possible;
(2) Establish rules for conducting lottery games, a manner of selecting the winning tickets and manner of payment of prizes to the holders of winning tickets: Provided, That the rules promulgated by the commission shall provide that the names and identities of winners of lottery games may not be published and that this information is exempt from the provisions of article one, chapter twenty-nine-b of this code, which is the freedom of information act.
(3) Select the type and number of public gaming systems or games, to be played in accordance with the provisions of this article;
(4) Contract, if deemed desirable, with the educational broadcasting authority to provide services through its microwave interconnection system to make available to public broadcasting stations servicing this state and, at no charge, for rebroadcast to commercial broadcasting stations within this state, any public gaming system or games drawing;
(5) Enter into interstate lottery agreements with other states;
(6) Adopt an official seal;
(7) Maintain a principal office and, if necessary, regional suboffices at locations properly designated or provided;
(8) Prescribe a schedule of fees and charges;
(9) Sue and be sued;
(10) Lease, rent, acquire, purchase, own, hold, construct, equip, maintain, operate, sell, encumber and assign rights of any property, real or personal, consistent with the objectives of the commission as set forth in this article;
(11) Designate one of the deputy directors to serve as acting director during the absence of the director;
(12) Hold hearings on any matter of concern to the commission relating to the lottery, subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, require the production of evidence and documentary evidence and designate hearing examiners and employees to so act; and
(13) To make and enter into all agreements and do all acts necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the exercise of its powers under this article.
(b) Departments, boards, commissions or other agencies of this state shall provide assistance to the state lottery office upon the request of the director.
(c) Upon the request of the deputy director for the security and licensing division in conjunction with the director, the attorney general, department of public safety state police and all other law-enforcement agencies shall furnish to the director and the deputy director such information as may tend to assure the security, honesty, fairness and integrity in the operation and administration of the lottery as they may have in their possession, including, but not limited to, manual or computerized information and data. The director is to designate such employees of the security and licensing division as may be necessary to act as enforcement agents. Such The agents are authorized to investigate complaints made to the commission or the state lottery office concerning possible violation of the provisions of this article and determine whether to recommend criminal prosecution. If it is determined that action is necessary, an agent, after approval of the director, is to make such recommendation to the prosecuting attorney in the county wherein the violation occurred or to any appropriate law- enforcement agency.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit the disclosure of the names or identities of persons who are winners of lotteries in this state. It also provides that this information is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.