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Introduced Version - Originating in Committee Senate Bill 697 History

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Senate Bill No. 697

(By Senators Kessler, Browning, Chafin, Foster, Laird, Minard, Palumbo, Snyder, Stollings, Williams, Yost, Barnes, Deem and Hall)

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[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;

reported February 26, 2010.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §15-5-15 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to allowing the Fire Commissioner, upon petition of the State Fire Marshal, to allow certain prior convictions to be waived in order for otherwise disqualified persons to serve as volunteer firefighters.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §15-5-15 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. DIVISION OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.
§15-5-15. Emergency service personnel.
(a) No person may be employed or associated in any capacity in homeland security or any emergency service organization established under this article who has been convicted of a felony or who advocates or has advocated a change by force or violence in the constitutional form of the government of the United States or this state or the overthrow of any government in the United States by force or violence or who has been convicted of or is under indictment or information charging any subversive act against the United States: provided, That the State Fire Commission may, upon petition of the State Fire Marshal, waive the prohibition against felons serving as volunteer firefighters if the felony conviction is not a crime of violence, a crime involving explosives, arson, embezzlement or a child victim.
(b) Each person who is appointed to serve in an organization for homeland security or emergency services shall undergo a background check and shall, before entering upon his or her duties, take an oath, in writing, before a person authorized to administer oaths in this state, which shall be substantially as follows:
"I,_________________, do solemnly swear or affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of West Virginia against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or evasion; that I am not a convicted felon; and that I will faithfully and competently discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.
"I do further swear or affirm that I do not advocate, nor am I a member of any political party or organization that advocates, the overthrow of the government of the United States or this state by force or violence; while I am a member of the (name of organization) I will not advocate or become a member of any political party or organization that advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States or this state by force or violence."
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