The West Virginia commission on the status of women is hereby abolished, and there is hereby continued within the Department of Health and Human Resources the West Virginia women's commission, to consist of eighteen members, seven of whom shall be ex officio members, not entitled to vote: The Attorney General, the state Superintendent of Schools, the commissioner of labor, the commissioner of the bureau of human resources of the Department of Health and Human Resources, the director of the Human Rights Commission, the director of the Division of Personnel and the chancellor of the board of directors of the state college system. Each ex officio member may designate one representative employed by his or her department to meet with the commission in his or her absence. The Governor shall appoint the additional eleven members, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, from among the citizens of the state. The Governor shall designate the chairman and vice chairman of the commission and the commission may elect such other officers as it deems necessary. The members shall serve a term beginning July 1, 1977, three to serve for a term of one year, four to serve for a term of two years and the remaining four to serve for a term of three years. The successors of the members initially appointed as provided herein shall be appointed for a term of three years each in the same manner as the members initially appointed under this article, except that any person appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his or her predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term. Each member shall serve until the appointment and qualification of his or her successor.
No member may receive any salary for his or her services, but each may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of his or her duties out of funds received by the commission under section four of this article, except that in the event the expenses are paid, or are to be paid, by a third party, the members shall not be reimbursed by the commission.
It is the duty of the commission:
(a) To review and study the status of women in this state;
(b) To recommend methods of overcoming discrimination against women in public and private employment and in the exercise of their civil and political rights;
(c) To promote more effective methods for enabling women to develop their skills, to continue their education and to be retrained;
(d) To strengthen home life by directing attention to critical problems confronting women as wives, mothers, homemakers and workers;
(e) To make surveys in the fields of, but not limited to, education, social services, labor laws and employment policies, law enforcement, health, new and expanded services of benefit to women, legal rights, family relations and volunteer services;
(f) To secure appropriate recognition of women's accomplishments and contributions to this state;
(g) To disseminate information for the purpose of educating the public as to the existence and functions of the commission and as to matters of general beneficial interest to women; and
(h) To advise, consult and cooperate with other offices of the Department of Health and Human Resources and other agencies of state government, and to receive assistance therefrom, in the development of activities and programs of beneficial interest to women and on matters relating generally to women.
The commission may, consistent with state personnel procedures and with the approval of the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources or his or her designee, appoint an executive director, who shall act as the chief administrative officer of the commission, in addition to such other duties as he or she may be assigned. The commission may also, consistent with state personnel procedures and with the approval of the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources or his or her designee, appoint such other personnel as may be deemed necessary to accomplish its objectives. All persons so employed shall be paid from funds received by the Department of Health and Human Resources or the commission under section four of this article.
The commission, or the Department of Health and Human Resources on behalf of the commission, may accept gifts, grants and bequests of funds from individuals, foundations, corporations, the federal government, governmental agencies and other organizations or institutions; make and sign any agreements and do and perform any acts that may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this article.
The commission shall adopt rules and regulations concerning the operation of the commission, the functions and responsibilities of its officers and employees and such other matters as may be necessary to carry out the purpose of this article, subject to the applicable provisions of chapter twenty- nine-a of this code.
The commission shall, with the approval of the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources or his or her designee, submit an annual report to the Legislature and the Governor, including recommendations based on its studies.
Acts, 2010 Reg. Sess., Ch. 32.