H. B. 2165
(By Delegates Iaquinta, Longstreth, Fleischauer,
Jones, Stephens and Azinger)
(Originating in the House Committee on Finance)
[February 11, 2014]
A BILL to amend and reenact §16-5-29 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to death certificates of military veterans; providing that the State Registrar shall issue up to two certified copies of a death certificate of an eligible veteran at no charge.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §16-5-29 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. VITAL STATISTICS.
§16-5-29. Fees for copies and searches.
(a) The commissioner shall prescribe the fees to be charged and collected by the state Registrar for certified copies of certificates or records, not to exceed $10 per copy, or for a search of the files or records when no copy is made: Provided, That the fee may be increased to a maximum of $12 per copy, at the discretion of the commissioner, after July 1, 2008.
(b) The commissioner may prescribe additional fees for the priority production or express delivery of certified copies.
(c) The State Registrar may furnish certified copies of birth and death records to state agencies and to organized charities free of charge when the certificates are needed in presenting claims to the federal government or to a state for public assistance. The State Registrar will keep a record of all certificates furnished pursuant to this subsection.
(d) The State Registrar shall furnish at no charge no more than two certified copies of death certificates of an eligible veteran, as defined by section two, article four of chapter nine-a of this code, or active military service member where the request is made by an executor or administrator of the eligible veteran’s or active service member’s estate within thirty days of the date of death of the eligible veteran or active military service member.
(d) (e) Subject to the provisions set forth in section two, article two, chapter twelve of this code, there is hereby continued in the state Treasury a separate account which shall be designated "the vital statistics account."
(e) (f) After July 1, 2006, and subject to the provisions set forth in section two, article two, chapter twelve of this code, there is established in the state Treasury a separate account which shall be designated “the vital statistics improvement fund.” Funds deposited in this account will be used to modernize and automate the system of vital statistics in this state and may not be used to supplant existing funding necessary for the daily operation of the system of vital statistics. Funds in this account will be retained in a nonlapsing fund for the improvement of the system of vital statistics.
(f) (g) The commissioner shall deposit $1 received under the provisions of this section for each certified copy to the “vital statistics improvement fund” and shall deposit $4 received under the provisions of this section for each certified copy to the General Revenue Fund account. The commissioner shall deposit the remainder of all fees received under the provisions of this section for certified copies and for priority production and express delivery to the vital statistics account.
(g) (h) The commissioner is authorized to expend the moneys deposited in the vital statistics account in accordance with the laws of this state as necessary to implement this article. The Legislature shall appropriate all moneys in the vital statistics account as part of the annual state budget.
(h) (i) The commissioner shall make an annual report to the Legislature on the vital statistics account, including the previous fiscal year's expenditures and projected expenditures for the next fiscal year.