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Enrolled Version - Final Version Senate Bill 86 History

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ENROLLED

Senate Bill No. 86

(By Senators Holliday and Boley)

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[Passed March 12, 1994; to take effect July 1, 1994.]

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AN ACT to amend and reenact sections one and eleven, article two, chapter six-b of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the continuation of the West Virginia ethics commission; and changing compensation and expense reimbursement of commission members.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections one and eleven, article two, chapter six-b of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. WEST VIRGINIA ETHICS COMMISSION; POWERS AND DUTIES; DISCLOSURE OF FINANCIAL INTEREST BY PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES; APPEARANCES BEFORE PUBLIC AGENCIES.

§6B-2-1. West Virginia ethics commission created; members; appointment, term of office and oath; compensation and reimbursement for expenses; meetings and quorum.

(a) There is hereby created the West Virginia ethicscommission, consisting of twelve members, no more than seven of whom shall be members of the same political party. The members of the commission shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Within thirty days of the effective date of this section, the governor shall make the initial appointments to the commission. No person may be appointed to the commission or continue to serve as a member of the commission who holds elected or appointed office under the government of the United States, the state of West Virginia or any of its political subdivisions, or who is a candidate for any of such offices, or who is otherwise subject to the provisions of this chapter other than by reason of his or her appointment to or service on the commission. A member may contribute to a political campaign, but no member shall hold any political party office or participate in a campaign relating to a referendum or other ballot issue.
(b) At least two members of the commission shall have served as a member of the West Virginia Legislature; at least two members of the commission shall have been employed in a full-time elected or appointed office in state government; at least one member shall have served as an elected official in a county or municipal government or on a county school board; at least one member shall have been employed full time as a county or municipal officer or employee; and at least two members shall have served part time as a member or director of a state, county or municipal board, commission or public service district and atleast four members shall be selected from the public at large. No more than four members of the commission shall reside in the same congressional district.
(c) Of the initial appointments made to the commission, two shall be for a term ending one year after the effective date of this section, two for a term ending two years after the effective date of this section, two for a term ending three years after the effective date of this section, three for a term ending four years after the effective date of this section and three shall be for terms ending five years after the effective date of this section. Thereafter, terms of office shall be for five years, each term ending on the same day of the same month of the year as did the term which it succeeds. Each member shall hold office from the date of his or her appointment until the end of the term for which he or she was appointed or until his or her successor qualifies for office. When a vacancy occurs as a result of death, resignation or removal in the membership of this commission, it shall be filled by appointment within thirty days of the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term in the same manner as original appointments. No member shall serve more than two consecutive full or partial terms and no person may be reappointed to the commission until at least two years have elapsed after the completion of a second successive term.
(d) Each member of the commission shall take and subscribe to the oath or affirmation required pursuant to section 5, article IV of the constitution of West Virginia. A member may beremoved by the governor for substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office or violation of this chapter, after written notice and opportunity for reply.
(e) The commission shall meet within thirty days of the initial appointments to the commission at a time and place to be determined by the governor, who shall designate a member to preside at that meeting until a chairman is elected. At its first meeting, the commission shall elect a chairman and such other officers as are necessary. The commission shall within ninety days after its first meeting adopt rules for its procedures.
(f) Seven members of the commission shall constitute a quorum, except that when the commission is sitting as a hearing board pursuant to section four of this article, then five members shall constitute a quorum. Except as may be otherwise provided in this article, a majority of the total membership shall be necessary to act at all times.
(g) Members of the commission shall receive the same compensation and expense reimbursement 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.
(h) The commission shall appoint an executive director to assist the commission in carrying out its functions in accordance with commission rules and regulations and with applicable law.Said executive director shall be paid such salary as may be fixed by the commission or as otherwise provided by law. The commission shall appoint and discharge counsel and employees and shall fix the compensation of employees and prescribe their duties. Counsel to the commission shall advise the commission on all legal matters and on the instruction of the commission may commence such civil actions as may be appropriate:
Provided, That no counsel shall both advise the commission and act in a representative capacity in any proceeding.
(i) The commission may delegate authority to the chairman or executive director to act in the name of the commission between meetings of the commission, except that the commission shall not delegate the power to hold hearings and determine violations to the chairman or executive director.
(j) The chairman shall have the authority to designate subcommittees of three persons, no more than two of whom may be members of the same political party. Said subcommittees shall be investigative panels which shall have the powers and duties set forth hereinafter in this article.
(k) The principal office of the commission shall be in the seat of government but it or its designated subcommittees may meet and exercise its power at any other place in the state. Meetings of the commission shall be public unless such meetings or hearings are required to be private in conformity with the provisions of this chapter relating to confidentiality, except that the commission shall exclude the public from attendance atdiscussions of commission personnel, planned or ongoing litigation and planned or ongoing investigations.
(l) Meetings of the commission shall be upon the call of the chairman and shall be conducted by the personal attendance of the commission members and no meeting shall be conducted by telephonic or other electronic conferencing, nor shall any member be allowed to vote by proxy:
Provided, That telephone conferencing and voting may be held for the purpose of approving or rejecting any proposed advisory opinions prepared by the commission, or for voting on issues involving the administrative functions of the commission. Meetings held by telephone conferencing shall require notice to members in the same manner as meetings to be personally attended, shall be electronically recorded and the recordings shall be made a permanent part of the commission records. Members shall not be compensated for meetings other than those personally attended.
§6B-2-11. Continuation of commission.

Pursuant to the provisions of article ten, chapter four of this code, the West Virginia ethics commission shall continue to exist until the first day of July, two thousand.

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