(a) The West Virginia Real Estate Commission is hereby continued. The members of the commission in office on the date this section takes effect shall, unless sooner removed, continue to serve until their respective terms expire and until their successors have been appointed and qualified.
(b)(1) Commencing with the terms beginning with July 1, 2002, the commission shall consist of five persons appointed for terms of four years by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Four commissioners must be licensed under the provisions of this article and one commissioner must be a citizen member who is not licensed under the provisions of this article.
(2) Each licensed commissioner, at the time of his or her appointment, must have been licensed and practiced in this state as a real estate broker, associate broker or salesperson as his or her primary vocation for a period of not less than ten years immediately preceding the appointment. Each commissioner must have been a resident of this state for at least six years prior to his or her appointment and must remain a resident during the appointment term. No more than four commissioners shall belong to the same political party.
(3) The appointment of three licensed commissioners, whether for a full term or to fill a vacancy, shall be made by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The appointment of one licensed commissioner, whether for a full term or to fill a vacancy, shall be made by the Governor from among three nominees selected by the West Virginia association of realtors. If the appointment is for a full term, the nominations must be submitted to the Governor not later than three months prior to the date on which the appointment becomes effective. If the appointment is to fill a vacancy, the nominations must be submitted to the Governor within thirty days after a request for the nominations has been made by the Governor to the West Virginia association of realtors. If the association fails to submit nominations in accordance with the requirements of this section, the Governor may make the appointment without the nominations.
(c) Any commissioner immediately and automatically forfeits his or her membership on the commission if he or she has his or her license to practice as a real estate broker, associate broker or salesperson suspended or revoked by the board, is convicted of a felony under the laws of this state or of the United States, becomes a nonresident of this state, or holds any elective public office or becomes a member of any political committee.
(d) No member of the commission may be removed from office by the Governor except for official misconduct, incompetency, neglect of duty, gross immorality or other good cause, but then only in the manner prescribed by law for the removal by the Governor of state elective officials.
(e) No member of the commission may serve more than two consecutive full terms and any member having served two full terms may not be appointed for one year after completion of his or her second full term. A member shall continue to serve until his or her successor has been appointed and qualified.
(f) The Governor shall designate one member of the commission as chairman and the members shall choose a vice chairman and a secretary, each of whom shall continue to serve in their respective capacity until replaced.
(g) Three members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of official business.
(h) Each commissioner shall receive the same compensation as is paid to members of the Legislature for their interim duties as recommended by the citizens legislative compensation commission and authorized by law for each day or portion thereof engaged in the discharge of official duties. Each commissioner shall be reimbursed for his or her actual and necessary expenses for each day or portion thereof engaged in the discharge of official duties in a manner consistent with guidelines of the travel management office of the Department of Administration.