H. B. 2298

          (By Delegates Cowles, Stowers and Sobonya)
          [Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the
          Committee on the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend and reenact §49-7-26 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the responsibilities of prosecuting attorneys when representing the Department of Health and Human Resources.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
     That §49-7-26 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

§49-7-26. Duty of prosecuting attorney.
               The prosecuting attorney shall render to the State Department of welfare Health and Human Resources, without additional compensation, such legal services as the department may require. This section shall not be construed to does not prohibit the department from developing plans for cooperation with courts, prosecuting attorneys, and other law-enforcement officials in such a manner as to permit the state and its citizens to obtain maximum fiscal benefits under federal laws, rules and regulations. The prosecuting attorney maintains all individual authority and responsibility enjoyed by every other attorney-client relationship. Prosecuting attorneys have the right and responsibility to represent the public interest in protecting abused and neglected children when their position conflicts with that of the department.

               NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to add language to the West Virginia Code to provide guidance for prosecuting attorneys in cases involving abused and neglected children.

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