SB535 HFAT Cowles and Nelson 4-6 #1
Delegate Cowles moved to amend the bill by striking out the title and substituting therefor a new title, to read as follows:
Eng. Com. Sub. for Senate Bill 535 – “A Bill to repeal §5B-2-8, §5B-2-8a, §5B-2-9, §5B-2-11, §5B-2-12 and §5B-2-12a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §5B-1-2 of said code; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §5B-2I-1, §5B-2I-2, §5B-2I-3, §5B-2I-4, §5B-2I-4a, §5B-2I-5, §5B-2I-6, §5B-2I-7 and §5B-2I-8, all relating to tourism promotion generally; continuing the West Virginia Division of Tourism Office; creating the West Virginia Tourism Act of 2017; creating the position of Executive Director of the West Virginia Tourism Office and setting forth the authority of the executive director; authorizing the Governor to appoint the executive director and set his or her salary; clarifying that the executive director shall serve as Commissioner of Tourism until establishment of the West Virginia Tourism Office; making the position of executive director one of will and pleasure; establishing qualifications for the position of executive director; establishing powers and duties of the West Virginia Tourism Office; authorizing the West Virginia Tourism Office to enter into private-public agreements and to change and collect fees for goods and services it supplies; authorizing the West Virginia Tourism Office to retain services necessary to carry out its duties; establishing criteria for retaining services; authorizing the executive to employ necessary personnel and to contract for professional, technical and consulting services and purchase equipment and supplies; authorizing the executive director, at the consent of the Secretary of Commerce, to compile a list on classified service exempt positions; requiring the West Virginia Tourism Office to publish and disseminate an annual report; directing the West Virginia Tourism office and its director to collaborate with the West Virginia Development Office; authorizing cancellation of contracts and joint venture agreements without further obligation of the state and setting the conditions precedent therefor; continuing the Tourism Promotion Fund in the State Treasury; directing that moneys in the fund be spent solely for tourism promotion; defining terms; exempting unspent moneys in fund from reverting to the General Revenue Fund; eliminating the Tourism Advertising Partnership Program effective July 1, 2017, with exceptions for resolution of outstanding obligations; directing the establishment of a cooperative advertising program within the West Virginia Tourism Office; authorizing the West Virginia Tourism Office to establish a fee schedule for participants in the cooperative advertising program; continuing an independent Tourism Commission within the Department of Commerce; establishing membership of Tourism Commission; requiring that gubernatorial appointments to the board be subject to the advice and consent of the Senate; setting forth qualifications of board members; establishing duties of the commission; providing that documents, data and other writings related to furnishing assistance to businesses, other than agreements entered into by the West Virginia Tourism Office or West Virginia Development Office which obligate public funds, are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act; establishing the powers and duties of the Commissioner of the Division of Tourism and the Tourism Commission to achieve regarding Cardinal rail service; directing the West Virginia Department of Transportation and the West Virginia State Rail Authority to cooperate with the Tourism Commission to achieve such policy; authorizing the Executive Director to cooperate with other states and the National Railroad Passenger Corporation to achieve such policy; authorizing the Executive Director to participate in an interstate body to achieve such policy; and creating a special revenue account, the Cardinal Passenger Train Enhancement Fund, for receipt of certain gifts, grants, bequests, transfers, appropriations or other donations which may be received.”.