West Virginia Code
(a) Either house of the Legislature may, by resolution, direct any select committee unique to that house or any standing committee of that house and created by it by rule, motion or resolution to meet between regular sessions of the Legislature. The presiding officer of such house may designate subcommittees of such standing or select committees and shall designate the chairman and membership thereof. Such committees or subcommittees shall function according to the rules for committees of the house creating them.
Members of such committees or subcommittees under this subsection, performing duties as members thereof, shall receive travel expense reimbursement as provided in section six, article two-a, chapter four and interim expense reimbursement as provided in section eight, article two-a, chapter four. However, to be eligible to receive travel expense reimbursement and interim expense reimbursement, meetings of these select committees and subcommittees thereof must be authorized by the rules committee of such house. Expenses shall be paid from any appropriation to the use and benefit of the house adopting the resolution.
Such committees or subcommittees shall have such staff as may be directed by the presiding officer of that house from which its membership is drawn, which may be paid for from appropriations to the use and benefit of such house, as designated by the rules committee thereof.
(b) From the date of adjournment sine die of any regular session of the Legislature until the first day of the next succeeding regular session of the Legislature, the Legislature by concurrent resolution, or the Joint Committee on Government and Finance on its own motion, may appoint a joint standing committee or a joint select committee, or any joint subcommittee of such standing or select committee, to function under the supervision of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance. Any such committee or subcommittee shall be composed of the standing or select committees of the respective houses having similar titles or jurisdiction, and similarly constituted, and the membership thereof shall be composed of members of the respective standing or select committees of each house, or subcommittees thereof, or be designated by the presiding officer of each house: Provided, That the membership of such joint committee or subcommittee may be drawn from more than one such standing or select committee.
(c) Members of the Legislature performing interim duties as members of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, the commission on interstate cooperation, the joint committee on government operations, the legislative commission on pensions and retirement, the legislative rule-making review committee, the commission on special investigations, standing committees of the Senate and of the House of Delegates, and authorized subcommittees of each of the above committees and commissions are authorized to meet between regular sessions of the Legislature, subject to the direction of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance. Members of the Legislature performing interim duties as a member of said committees or commissions, or subcommittees thereof, under this subsection, shall receive interim compensation as provided in section five, article two-a, chapter four; travel expense reimbursement as provided in section six, article two-a, chapter four; and interim expense reimbursement as provided in section eight, article two-a, chapter four. However, to be eligible to receive the interim compensation, travel expense reimbursement and interim expense reimbursement, payment must be authorized by the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.
The Joint Committee on Government and Finance shall coordinate meetings, of said committees and commissions, and subcommittees thereof, between regular sessions of the Legislature.
No money shall be appropriated by resolution of either house, or by joint resolution of the Legislature; but when any money has been appropriated by law, the application of the same, in pursuance of the law, may be directed by resolution.
Any suit may be commenced and prosecuted against a member of the Legislature, if his person be not taken into custody or imprisoned. But no trial shall be had or judgment rendered in any such suit, nor shall any execution or attachment be levied upon the property of such member during the sessions of the Legislature or for ten days immediately before or immediately after session.
Either house, or a less number than a quorum thereof, when assembled at the time and place of meeting, may, by order or resolution, direct such of its members as are absent without leave to be brought before the house. The order or resolution shall be executed by the sergeant-at-arms, or any messengers deputed by him, or appointed for the purpose by the officer presiding at the meeting; and a copy of such order or resolution, attested by the presiding officer or clerk, shall be a sufficient warrant. The sergeant or messengers shall thereupon forthwith arrest the members so absent, and bring them before the meeting, and each of them, as he is brought in, shall be heard, if he wishes it, in excuse of his absence. If any member so brought in do not render such an excuse for his absence as the house, or such of its members as are present, shall deem sufficient, he may be fined not exceeding $6, censured, or discharged from custody, as the house, or such of its members as are present, shall order; and in either case shall pay the costs of the arrest. If the excuse be deemed sufficient, the costs of the arrest shall be certified by the presiding officer or clerk, and be paid out of the appropriation for the expenses of the Legislature.
(a) When the Senate or House of Delegates, or a committee of either house, authorized to examine witnesses, by resolution or by rules of the Senate or of the House of Delegates, shall order the attendance of any witness, or the production of any books, papers, documents or records necessary for the Senate, House of Delegates or a committee thereof to perform its duties, a summons shall be issued accordingly, signed by the presiding officer or clerk of such house, or the chairman of such committee, directed to the sheriff or other proper officer of any county, or to the sergeant at arms of such house, or any person deputed by him. When a committee is appointed by each house under any joint or concurrent resolution, and directed to sit jointly, with authority to examine witnesses or send for persons or documents, the subpoena aforesaid may be signed by the chairman of the committee on the part of the Senate or the chairman of the committee on the part of the House of Delegates.
(b) If any witness subpoenaed to appear at any hearing or meeting pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall refuse to appear or to answer inquiries there propounded, or shall fail or refuse to produce books, papers, documents or records within his or her control when the same are subpoenaed, the Senate, House of Delegates or a committee thereof, in its discretion may enforce obedience to its subpoena by attachment, fine or imprisonment, or it may report the facts to the circuit court of Kanawha County or any other court of competent jurisdiction and such court shall compel obedience to the subpoena as though such subpoena had been issued by such court in the first instance.
Witnesses subpoenaed to attend such hearings or meetings, except officers or employees of the state, shall be allowed the same mileage and per diem as is allowed witnesses before any petit jury in this state.
(c) The provisions of article one, chapter six-c of this code are expressly applicable to persons testifying pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.
In any proceeding by a committee or commission of the Legislature, created by it by general law or any concurrent resolution, which has the authority to issue subpoenas or subpoenas duces tecum, no person shall be excused from testifying or from producing documentary or other evidence upon the ground that such testimony or evidence may incriminate or tend to incriminate him, if the committee or commission before which he is examined is of the opinion that the ends of justice may be promoted by compelling such testimony or evidence. If, but for this section, the person would have been excused from so testifying or from producing such evidence, then if the person is so compelled to testify or produce other evidence and if such testimony or evidence is self-incriminating, such self-incriminating testimony or evidence shall not be used or receivable in evidence against him in any proceeding against him thereafter taking place other than a prosecution for perjury in the giving of such evidence, and the person so compelled to testify or furnish evidence shall not be prosecuted for the offense in regard to which he is so compelled to testify or furnish evidence, and he shall have complete legal immunity in regard thereto.
The presiding officer or clerk of either house may administer the oaths of office to any member or officer of such house, and the oath to any witness to be examined before such house or its committee, or before any joint committee.
When any committee of either house, or joint committee, is authorized to examine witnesses, or to send for persons and papers, the chairman of such committee, or in his absence any member thereof, may administer the oath to any witness produced to testify before it.
(a) A person may not willfully swear falsely, under oath or affirmation lawfully administered, in a legislative proceeding concerning any matter or thing material or not material, or procure, or attempt to procure, another person to do so.
(b) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $1,000 and, in the discretion of the court, be confined in jail not more than one year.
(c) A person convicted of violating subsection (a) of this section is ineligible to hold any office or position of honor, trust or profit in this state, and to serve as a juror.
The flag of the United States, and the flag of the State of West Virginia shall be flown over the state Capitol building year-round; and the POW-MIA flag shall be flown over the state Capitol building on Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA Recognition Day and Veteran's Day each year.
Each house of the Legislature shall, at the commencement of the regular session thereof assembled and held in odd-numbered years, elect a presiding officer, a clerk, a sergeant-at-arms and a doorkeeper, whose terms of office shall, unless sooner vacated by death, resignation or removal, be and continue until the regular meeting of the Legislature in the odd-numbered year next thereafter, and until their successors are elected and qualified. Any person who is an officer of any state, county, district or municipal political party executive committee shall not be eligible to serve as clerk of either house of the Legislature. The clerk of each house shall devote full time to his public duties to the exclusion of any other employment. At each session of the Legislature, there shall be appointed for each house such employees and technical assistants as may be authorized by law or by resolution of the respective houses. Any person so appointed may be removed by the appointing authority and another appointed in his stead: Provided, That nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent either house from removing any appointee.
Whenever it may be necessary, the clerk of the Senate may appoint one assistant, and the Clerk of the House of Delegates not exceeding three assistants, and such clerks may from time to time remove any assistant from office and appoint another in his stead. Every such assistant, during his continuance in office, may discharge any of the official duties of his principal. And it shall be the duty of every committee clerk in each house, when not engaged in the actual discharge of his duties as such, to assist the clerk of either house in the discharge of any of his duties, whenever called upon by such clerk to do so.
The officers of each house shall respectively have such powers and perform such duties as are conferred upon or required of them by law, or by the rules or orders of their respective houses.
In case of a vacancy in the office of President of the Senate or Speaker of the House of Delegates, when the Legislature is not in session, resulting from death, resignation or any other cause, the Governor shall by proclamation convene the house in which the vacancy exists in session within ten days after such vacancy occurs for the purpose of choosing a presiding officer as provided by section twenty-four, article six of the Constitution of the State.
A vacancy in the office of clerk of the Senate or Clerk of the House of Delegates, happening when the Legislature is not in session, shall be filled by appointment by the President of the Senate for a vacancy occurring in the office of clerk of the Senate and by the Speaker of the House of Delegates for a vacancy occurring in the office of Clerk of the House of Delegates, to expire at the meeting of the next regular or extraordinary session of the Legislature. If any such vacancy happen when the Legislature is in session, it shall be filled in the same manner as is provided for the election of such officer at the commencement of each regular session.
The journals, papers and documents of each house shall be in the custody of its clerk, and copies thereof may be certified by him.
The Clerk of the House of Delegates shall be the keeper of the rolls, and for his duties as such he shall receive $300 in addition to his salary as clerk. After a bill or joint resolution has passed both houses, he shall cause the same to be correctly recorded, in a legible manner, in a well-bound book, to be kept for that purpose exclusively, which recording shall be equivalent to enrollment. He shall have the custody of the acts and joint resolutions of the Legislature and shall make a certified copy of them for any person requiring the same. For a copy of an act or joint resolution, he may demand of the person at whose request it was made 50¢, or, at his option, 3¢ for every thirty words contained therein. As soon as possible after the close of each session, he shall prepare a well-arranged index to the acts and joint resolutions passed at such session, and shall furnish to the printer who has the contract for such printing the manuscript of such acts, resolutions and index and all matter directed by law to be printed therewith, properly prepared and arranged for publication, and shall superintend the printing thereof.
The clerk of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Delegates, acting jointly, shall mail, to the judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals and judges of the circuit, common pleas, intermediate and criminal courts of this state, copies of enrolled bills of a general nature, taking effect from their passage; and enrolled copies of municipal charters and acts of a local nature shall be furnished only to courts of the local jurisdiction. Copies of enrolled bills furnished in accordance with this section shall bear the stamp of the clerks of the two houses, showing the date that each act becomes effective, and the enrolled bills so furnished and attested shall be regarded by the courts of this state as having the same force and effect as any and all other laws.
For any copying or recording (other than that mentioned in section twelve of this article and such as he is required to do for the Legislature, or either house, or a committee thereof, in the discharge of his official duty) the clerk of either house may demand and receive of and from the person, at whose request it is done, a fee reasonably calculated to reimburse the clerk for the cost of such copying or recording.
The clerk of the Senate and House of Delegates shall each, at the end of every session of the Legislature, prepare indexes to their respective journals, and cause them to be printed and bound therewith. As a compensation therefor, the per diem of said clerks shall be extended ten days after the adjournment of the Legislature.
(a) In accordance with the Constitutional separation of powers and principles of comity, it is the purpose of this section to provide that members of the Legislature and certain designated legislative employees are not required to attend to matters pending before tribunals of the executive and judicial branches of government when the timing of those matters may present conflicts with the discharge of the public duties and responsibilities that are incumbent upon members or employees of the Legislature. During legislative sessions or meetings and for reasonable time periods before and after, the judicial and executive branches should refrain from requiring the personal presence and attention of a legislator or designated employee who is engaged in conducting the business of the Legislature.
(b) For the purposes of this section, the words or terms defined in this subsection have the meanings ascribed to them. These definitions are applicable unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context.
(1) "Applicable time period" means and includes the following:
(A) The ten-day time period immediately before any regular or extraordinary session of the Legislature;
(B) The time period during any regular or extraordinary session of the Legislature;
(C) The thirty-day time period immediately following the adjournment sine die of any regular or extraordinary session of the Legislature;
(D) The four-day time period before any interim meetings of any committee of the Legislature or before any party caucus;
(E) The time period during any interim meetings of the Legislature or any party caucus; or
(F) The four-day time period following the conclusion of any interim meetings of any committee of the Legislature or party caucus.
(2) "Designated employee" means any legislative employee designated in writing by the Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates to the Clerk of the House of Delegates or by the President of the West Virginia Senate to the Clerk of the West Virginia Senate to be necessary to the operation of the Legislature, such that the legislative employee will be afforded the protections of this section.
(3) "Member" means a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates or the West Virginia Senate.
(4) "Tribunal" means a judicial or quasijudicial entity of the judicial or executive branch of government, or any legislative, judicial or quasijudicial entity of a political subdivision, created or authorized under the Constitution or laws of this state.
(c) A notice filed with a tribunal pursuant to subsection (e) of this section operates as an automatic stay of a judicial or administrative action or proceeding commenced before or after the notice was filed. The automatic stay is in force for the applicable time period or periods described in the notice unless it is otherwise waived in accordance with the provisions of subsection (f) of this section. In the event a session or meeting of the Legislature is extended, the notice may be amended to reflect a longer applicable time period. The filing of the notice and the automatic stay do not prohibit the commencement of an action or proceeding, the issuance or employment of process or other preliminary procedures that do not require the presence or personal attention of the member or designated employee.
(d) During any applicable time period, a member or designated employee who does not otherwise consent to a waiver of the stay is not required to do any of the following:
(1) Appear in any tribunal, whether as an attorney, party, witness or juror;
(2) Respond in any tribunal to any complaint, petition, pleading, notice or motion that would require a personal appearance or the filing of a responsive pleading;
(3) File in any tribunal any brief, memorandum or motion;
(4) Respond to any motion for depositions upon oral examination or written questions;
(5) Respond to any written interrogatories, request for production of documents or things, request for admissions or any other discovery procedure, whether or not denominated as such; or
(6) Appear or respond to any other act or thing in the nature of those described in subdivision (1), (2), (3), (4) or (5) of this subsection; or
(7) Make any other appearance before a tribunal or attend to any other matter pending in a tribunal that in the discretion of the member or designated employee would inhibit the member or designated employee in the exercise of the legislative duties and responsibilities owed to the public.
(e) A member or designated employee who desires to exercise the protections afforded by this section shall not be required to appear in any tribunal to assert the protections. In all cases, it shall be sufficient if the member or designated employee notifies the tribunal in question orally or in writing, stating that he or she is invoking the protections of this section, describing the action, proceeding or act to be stayed, and further identifying the applicable period or periods for which the notice will operate as a stay. An oral communication with the tribunal shall be followed by a written notice or facsimile transmission to the tribunal mailed or transmitted no later than two business days after the oral communication. From the time of the oral communication or the mailing or transmission of the written notice, whichever is earlier, the notice operates as a stay of all proceedings in the pending matter until the applicable time periods have passed and expired.
(f) Notwithstanding the filing of a notice that operates as a stay, a member or designated employee may later consent to waive the stay and make an appearance or attend to a matter that would otherwise be stayed. However, a waiver as to a particular appearance or act does not terminate, annul, modify or condition the stay for any other purpose.
(g) The deference afforded by this section to members and designated employees who are serving a client in a representative capacity is also fully and completely extended to their clients, so that no person whose representative before a tribunal is a member or designated employee may be required, during any applicable time period, to do anything that his or her representative is not required to do under subsection (d) of this section.
(h) Unless the member or designated employee consents thereto, no cocounsel, partner, associate, spouse or employee of the member or designated employee may be required to make any appearance or do any act during any applicable time period in the place and stead of the member or designated employee.
(i) Any sentence, judgment, order, decree, finding, decision, recommendation or award made contrary to the provisions of this section in any action or proceeding in any tribunal, without the consent of the member or designated employee, is void.
(j) Tribunals of the federal government and those of other states are requested to honor the spirit and purpose of this section pursuant to the doctrines of comity and federalism. Further, it is the policy of this state that tribunals of this state shall afford to legislators and staff personnel of the federal government and other states the protections afforded by the provisions of this section if the tribunals of the federal government and the other jurisdictions afford members or designated employees of the West Virginia Legislature the same protections in their tribunals.
Acts, 2006 Reg. Sess., Ch. 26.
Free distribution of the acts and resolutions of each session of the Legislature, and other matter directed by law to be published therewith, shall be made as follows by the Clerk of the House of Delegates: One copy to the judge of each court in this state; one copy each to the judge, clerk and district attorney of every United States district court of this state; one copy to every prosecuting attorney, sheriff, assessor, county superintendent of free schools, president of the county court, circuit clerk, county clerk and justices of the peace; five copies to the Governor; six copies to the Attorney General; two copies each to the Secretary of State, Auditor, State Superintendent of free schools, Treasurer and Commissioner of Agriculture; four copies to the Public Service Commission; one copy to each executive department head, requesting the same; ten copies to the Clerk of the Senate, one for his own use, and the others to be kept in his office for the use of the Senate; ten copies to each member of the Legislature, one for his own use and others for distribution; ten copies to the college of law of West Virginia University; one copy to each public institution of the state; three copies to the Librarian of Congress, one for the library and one for each house of Congress; one copy to each senator and representative in Congress from this state; one copy to each county law library; and one copy to each college and university in the state. The clerk shall retain ten copies in his own office, one for his own use and the others to be kept in his office for the use of the house.
All of the copies named in this section shall be sent by mail, express or otherwise as the clerk may deem best. The acts to which officers of a county may be entitled shall be forwarded to the clerk of the county court thereof and shall be delivered by him to the officers entitled to receive the same. Upon receipt of such acts by him, the clerk of the county court shall forward his receipt therefor to the Clerk of the House of Delegates specifying the number received, and he shall require each person receiving a copy of such acts from him to sign a receipt therefor in a book to be kept by him for that purpose. The remaining copies of the acts shall be in the custody of the division of purchases, department of finance and administration, and be sold and disposed of as provided in section thirty-one, article three, chapter five-a of this code.
The clerk may cause a copy of such acts to be furnished to any officer, board, commission, institution or tribunal not named herein.
(a) The Legislature hereby recognizes that in December, one thousand nine hundred sixty-eight, the Citizens Advisory Commission on the Legislature of West Virginia concluded its study for strengthening the West Virginia Legislature; that such commission recommended that the capitol building be utilized primarily for the space needs of the Legislature and that certain executive department offices be moved outside of the capitol building as necessary to provide the Legislature with the space it requires; and that these recommendations were based upon the following observations and conclusions of such commission: (1) There are fifteen committees in the Senate which consider legislation and twelve committees in the House of Delegates which consider legislation, (2) the rules committee of the Senate meets in the office of the President of the Senate and rules committee of the House of Delegates meets in the office of the Speaker of the House of Delegates, (3) the remaining fourteen committees of the Senate share three permanent committee rooms, (4) the remaining eleven committees of the House of Delegates share five permanent committee rooms, (5) the Legislature does not have a hearing room or a committee room large enough to accommodate large public hearings, (6) when any large public hearing is held, the chamber of the Senate or the House of Delegates must be used, thereby eliminating the desks of the members on the floor of the chamber as work space for members not involved in the public hearing, (7) there are no rooms available in which individual members of the Legislature may talk with their constituents, (8) that at the very least offices should be provided for individual members of the Legislature to be used on a shared basis, (9) there is a pressing need for additional permanent committee rooms, with the view that in time all legislative committees which consider legislation would be assigned individual committee rooms, (10) that at least during legislative sessions, all committee chairmen should be provided, if possible, with a private office, and if not possible, with offices on a shared basis, (11) there should be adequate office space for the staff of the Senate and House of Delegates, and (12) the Legislature should have at least one hearing room, sufficiently large to seat one hundred fifty persons in addition to a legislative committee of twenty-five persons. The Legislature hereby determines and finds that the recommendations of the Citizens Advisory Commission on the Legislature of West Virginia with respect to the space needs of the Legislature and the observations and conclusions of such commission upon which such recommendations were based are correct and proper. The remainder of this section is enacted to implement the recommendations of the commission in this regard.
(b) The Legislature shall continue to have the exclusive use of all of the space in the main unit of the capitol building above the ground floor, the main unit being that portion of the capitol building connecting the east and west wings. In addition, the following space in the capitol building is assigned to and set aside for the exclusive use of the Legislature, with the use therefore to be determined by the Joint Committee on Government and Finance:
(1) All of the space on the second floor of the east wing of the capitol building; and
(2) All of the space on the second floor of the west wing of the capitol building, except that room designated and numbered W-212 and the large vault used and occupied by the land division of the State Auditor's office, which said room W-212 and said vault shall continue to be used and occupied by the office of the State Auditor. The additional space for the Legislature provided for in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection shall be made available to the Legislature as soon as possible, but shall in any event be made available for occupancy by the Legislature not later than July 1, one thousand nine hundred seventy-two.
(c) As soon as the additional space provided for in subsection (b) of this section is made available for occupancy by the Legislature, then (1) the rooms designated and numbered E-126, E-128, E-130, E-132, E-134, E-136 and E-138 on the ground floor of the east wing of the capitol building and the rooms designated and numbered E-140, 28, 30 and 32 on the ground floor of the main unit of the capitol building and occupied by the office of legislative services on the effective date of this section shall be relinquished by the Legislature for occupancy by the executive branch of the state government, and (2) as a substitute for the space on the second floor of the west wing vacated by the State Auditor, and in order to insure adequate space for the Office of the State Auditor, a constitutional officer, all of the ground floor of the west wing of the capitol building (except the rooms designated and numbered W-129, W-131, W-133, W-135, W-137, W-139, W-141, W-148, W-150, W-152, W-154, W-156 and W-158 and except for the space occupied on the effective date of this section by the Office of the Department of Public Institutions) shall be assigned to and set aside for the exclusive use of the State Auditor.
(d) If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held unconstitutional or invalid, such unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the section, and to this end the provisions of this section are declared to be severable.
(b) In addition to such number of copies of bills as may be required to be presented for introduction by the rules of the respective houses, all bills or resolutions prefiled shall have two additional copies appended. After numbering such bills or resolutions and editing and correcting them as to form, as may be required by the rules of the respective houses, the appropriate clerk shall make a tentative referral to the appropriate committee of the house, forwarding two copies thereof to the committee. Prior to making such tentative referral, the clerk shall confer with the presiding officer of the appropriate house if such presiding officer is available and make such referral as such presiding officer shall direct. Upon the commencement of the session of the Legislature, the clerk, upon ratification by the appropriate presiding officer of the tentative referral, shall proceed with the formal introduction of prefiled bills or resolutions according to the method of introducing bills as may be provided by the rules of the respective houses.
(c) Copies of prefiled bills and resolutions shall be mailed to any member and each member-elect of the Legislature requesting the same and reasonable quantities shall be made available to the public and the news media.
(d) Once a bill or resolution is prefiled as herein provided, it may not be withdrawn or amended prior to its formal introduction unless the rules of the house involved otherwise direct.
The phrase "next meeting of the Senate" contained in article seven, section nine of the Constitution of West Virginia means any time the full Senate is convened and includes, but is not limited to, any regular session, any extraordinary session called during any recess or adjournment of the Legislature, during any impeachment proceeding or any time the Senate is convened pursuant to section ten-a of this article.
(a) Any state officer, person, office, agency, commission or board required by any section of this code to provide a report to the Legislature or any committee, commission or person employed or elected to the Legislature, shall submit an additional copy of the report to the Legislative Librarian transmitted electronically via the Internet or as otherwise required by the Legislative Manager.
(b) Failure to comply with this section is nonfeasance of office.