HB4012 SFA Gaunch 3-1 #1

Bailey 7965


Senator Gaunch moved to amend the amendment on page one, section one, by striking out the word “Protection” and inserting in lieu thereof the word “Restoration”;

On page one, section three, after the word “America.”, by striking out the remainder of the amendment and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"State action" means action by a branch, department, agency, board, commission, instrumentality, official, or other person acting under color of law, of the state of West Virginia or any political subdivision thereof.

§5-11C-4.  Applicability; construction; remedies.

(a) State action may not substantially burden a person's right to exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless it is demonstrated that applying the burden to that person's exercise of religion in this particular instance:

(1) Is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and

(2) Is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

(b) A person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, in violation of this article may assert such violation or impending violation as a claim for injunctive or declaratory relief or as a defense in any judicial or administrative proceeding. The person asserting such a claim or defense may obtain relief against the state or its political subdivisions: Provided, That such relief is limited to injunctive or declaratory relief and reimbursement of costs and reasonable attorney fees. Nothing in this article shall be construed to create a cause of action by an employee against a nongovernmental employer; nor shall anything in this article be construed to constitute a defense to any claim based upon a refusal to provide emergency medical services.

(c) This article applies to all state and local laws, and the implementation of those laws, whether statutory or otherwise, and whether adopted before or after the effective date of this article.  This article does not apply to any local or regional jail, or any state or federal correctional facility, nor any facility that treats civilly committed sexually violent offenders.

§5-11C-5.  Severability.

If a subsection or portion of this article is declared invalid, that declaration does not affect the validity of the remaining portions.;


On page one, by striking out the enacting section and inserting in lieu thereof a new enacting section, to read as follows:

That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §5-11C-1, §5-11C-2, §5-11C-3, §5-11C-4 and §5-11C-5, all to read as follows:.