SB587 SUB1 Senate Bill 587 History

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SB587 SUB1


Senate Bill No. 587

(By Senator Bowman)


[Originating in the Committee on Government Organization;

reported February 26, 2010.]


A BILL to repeal §30-26-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §30-26-2 and §30-26-3 of said code; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §30-26-3a, all relating to the Board of Hearing-Aid Dealers generally; prohibiting physicians from permitting any unlicensed person to engage in the practice of dispensing hearing aids; clarifying powers and duties of the board; imposing term limits on board members; removing the statutory per diem salary granted to board members; specifying provisions for administrative fees; and removing the requirement that the Department of Health and Human Resources provide administrative assistance to the board.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §30-26-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; that §30-26-2 and §30-26-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated as §30-26-3a, all to read as follows:
§30-26-2. Engaging in practice of hearing-aid dealer or trainee without license prohibited; exceptions.

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b), (c) and (d) hereof no person, shall on or after the effective date of this article, engage in the practice of dealing in or fitting of hearing aids, either as a hearing-aid dealer, fitter or as a trainee, nor shall any person advertise or assume any such practice, without first being licensed or otherwise qualified under the provisions of this article.
(b) If the applicant is a partnership, trust, association, corporation or other like organization, the application, in addition to such other information as the board may require, shall be accompanied by an application for a license for each person, whether owner or employee, of such applicant who serves in the capacity of a hearing-aid dealer or fitter, or shall contain a statement that such applications for all such persons are submitted separately. No partnership, trust, association, corporation, medical practitioner or other like organization shall permit any unlicensed person to sell hearing aids or to engage in the practice of dealing in or fitting of hearing aids.
(c) This article is not intended to prevent any person who is not licensed under this article from engaging in the practice of measuring human hearing for the purpose of selection of hearing aids, provided such person or organization employing such person does not sell hearing aids or accessories thereto, except in the case of earmolds to be used only for the purpose of audiologic evaluation.
(d) State or local governmental organizations or agencies and organizations chartered as not-for-profit shall not be eligible for licensure to fit and dispense hearing aids.

§30-26-3. West Virginia Board of Hearing-Aid Dealers; powers and duties.

(a) The West Virginia Board of Hearing-Aid Dealers is continued with the following five members appointed by the Governor by and with the advice and consent of the Senate:
(1) One person licensed to practice medicine in this state;
(2) One person holding a degree in audiology from an accredited college or university; and
(3) Three licensed hearing-aid dealers or fitters with at least five years experience.
(b) The term shall be for four years. A member may not serve more than two consecutive full terms. A member having served two consecutive full terms may not be appointed for one year after completion of his or her second full term. A member may continue to serve until a successor has been appointed and qualified.
(c) Each member of the board must be a resident of this state during the appointment term.
(d) A vacancy on the board shall be filled by appointment by the Governor for the unexpired term of the member whose office is vacant and the appointment shall be made within sixty days of the vacancy.
(e) The Governor may remove any member from the board for neglect of duty, incompetency or official misconduct.
(f) A member of the board immediately and automatically forfeits membership to the board if his or her license to practice is suspended or revoked, is convicted of a felony under the laws of any jurisdiction, or becomes a nonresident of this state.
(g) The board shall elect annually from its members a chairperson and a vice chairperson who serve at the will of the board.
(h) Each member of the board is entitled to expense reimbursement in accordance with article one [§§30-1-1 et seq.] of this chapter.
(i) A majority of the members of the board constitutes a quorum.
(j) The board shall hold at least two annual meetings. Other meetings may be held at the call of the chairperson or upon the written request of two members, at the time and place as designated in the call or request.
(k) Prior to commencing his or her duties as a member of the board, each member shall take and subscribe to the oath required by section five, article four of the Constitution of this state.
(l) The board has the authority, with the assistance of the department to generally supervise, regulate and control the practice of dealing in or fitting of hearing aids in this state, and in so doing, shall administer qualifying examinations in accordance with the provisions of this article to test the knowledge and proficiency of all prospective licensees or trainees.
(m) The board may purchase and maintain or rent audiometric equipment and other facilities necessary to carry out the examination of applicants as provided in this article and may purchase such other equipment and supplies and employ such persons as it deems deemed appropriate to carry out execute the provisions of this article.
(n) The board shall promulgate propose for legislative approval reasonable rules and regulations in accordance with and subject to the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code:
(a)(1) For the proper performance of its duties;
(b)(2) To define and prescribe the ethical practice of dealing in or fitting of hearing aids for the safety, protection and welfare of the public;
(c)(3) To govern the time, place and manner of conducting the examinations required by this article and the standard, scope and subject of such the examinations, which examinations shall, as a minimum, conform with the standards, scope and subjects set forth in section six of this article and manner and form in which applications for such the examinations shall be filed;
(d)(4) To establish procedures for determining whether persons holding similar valid licenses from other states or jurisdictions shall be are required to take and successfully pass the appropriate qualifying examination as a condition for such licensing in this state;
(e)(5) To establish such fees for such examinations, permits, licenses and renewals as may be are necessary to cover the costs of administration.
§30-26-3a. Fees; special revenue account; administrative fines.
(a) All fees and other moneys, except administrative fees, received by the board shall be deposited in a separate special revenue fund in the State Treasury designated as the "West Virginia Board of Hearing-Aid Dealers Fund", which is continued. The fund is used by the board for the administration of this article. Except as provided in article one [§§30-1-1 et seq.] of this chapter, the board retains the amount in the special revenue account from year to year. No compensation or expense incurred under this article is a charge against the General Revenue Fund.
(b) Any amount received as fines, imposed pursuant to this article, shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund of the State Treasury.
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