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Enrolled Version - Final Version Senate Bill 1005 History

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ENROLLED

Senate Bill No. 1005

(By Senators Kessler (Mr. President) and M. Hall,

By Request of the Executive)

____________

[Passed March 14, 2014; in effect ninety days from passage.]

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AN ACT to amend and reenact §7-7-1 and §7-7-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to authorizing an increase in the salaries of county commissioners and elected county officials; revising legislative findings; requiring the State Auditor to consider certain factors when certifying whether a county has an amount sufficient for payment of the salary increases; providing that the State Auditor may not be held liable for relying upon information and data provided by a county commission in assessing a county’s fiscal condition or annual budget; requiring submission of a written request for a salary increase; providing salary ranges for county commissioners and other county officials for the time period beginning July 1, 2014; and requiring certain prosecuting attorneys to be devoted full time to public duties.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §7-7-1 and §7-7-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 7. COMPENSATION OF ELECTED COUNTY OFFICIALS.

§7-7-1. Legislative findings and purpose.

    (a) The Legislature finds that it has, since January 1, 2007, consistently and annually imposed upon the county commissioners, sheriffs, county and circuit clerks, assessors and prosecuting attorneys in each county new and additional duties by the enactment of new provisions and amendments to this code. The new and additional duties imposed upon the aforesaid county officials by these enactments are such that they would justify the increases in compensation as provided in section four of this article, without violating the provisions of section thirty-eight, article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia.

    (b) The Legislature further finds that there are, from time to time, additional duties imposed upon all county officials through the acts of the Congress of the United States and that such acts constitute new and additional duties for county officials and, as such, justify the increases in compensation as provided by section four of this article, without violating the provisions of section thirty-eight, article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia.

    (c) The Legislature further finds that there is a direct correlation between the total assessed property valuations of a county on which the salary levels of the county commissioners, sheriffs, county and circuit clerks, assessors and prosecuting attorneys are based, and the new and additional duties that each of these officials is required to perform as they serve the best interests of their respective counties. Inasmuch as the reappraisal of the property valuations in each county has now been accomplished, the Legislature finds that a change in classification of counties by virtue of increased property valuations will occur on an infrequent basis. However, it is the further finding of the Legislature that when such change in classification of counties does occur, that new and additional programs, economic developments, requirements of public safety and the need for new services provided by county officials all increase, that the same constitute new and additional duties for county officials as their respective counties reach greater heights of economic development, as exemplified by the substantial increases in property valuations and, as such, justify the increases in compensation provided in section four of this article, without violating the provisions of section thirty-eight, article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia.

    (d) The Legislature further finds and declares that the amendments enacted to this article are intended to modify the provisions of this article so as to cause the same to be in full compliance with the provisions of the Constitution of West Virginia and to be in full compliance with the decisions of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

§7-7-4. Compensation of elected county officials and county commissioners for each class of county; effective date.

    (1) The increased salaries to be paid to the county commissioners and the other elected county officials described in this section on and after July 1, 2014, are set out in subsections (5) and (7) of this section. Every county commissioner and elected county official in each county, whose term of office commenced prior to or on or after July 1, 2014, shall receive the same annual salary by virtue of legislative findings of extra duties as set forth in section one of this article.

    (2) Before the increased salaries, as set out in subsections (5) and (7) of this section, are paid to the county commissioners and the elected county officials, the following requirements must be met:

    (A) The Auditor has certified that the fiscal condition of the county, considering costs, revenues, liabilities and significant trends of the same; maintenance standards; and the commitment to the provision of county services has sufficiently improved over the previous fiscal years so that there exists an amount sufficient for the payment of the increase in the salaries set out in subsections (5) and (7) of this section and the related employment taxes: Provided, That the Auditor may not provide the certification for the payment of the increase in the salaries where any proposed annual county budget contains anticipated receipts which are unreasonably greater or lesser than that of the previous year. For purposes of this subsection, the term “receipts” does not include unencumbered fund balance or federal or state grants: Provided, however, That the Auditor shall not be held liable for relying upon information and data provided by a county commission in assessing the county’s fiscal condition or a proposed annual county budget; and

    (B) Each county commissioner or other elected official described in this section in office on the effective date of the increased salaries provided by this section who desires to receive the increased salary shall have prior to that date filed in the office of the clerk of the county commission his or her written request for the salary increase. The salary for the person who holds the office of county commissioner or other elected official described in this section who fails to file the written request as required by this paragraph shall be the salary for that office in effect immediately prior to the effective date of the increased salaries provided by this section until the person vacates the office or his or her term of office expires, whichever first occurs.

    Any request for a salary increase shall use the following language:

    I, [name of office holder], the duly elected [name of office] in and for the County of [name of county], West Virginia, do hereby request a salary increase pursuant to W. Va. Code §7-7-4, as amended. This salary increase is effective July 1, 2014.

    [Signature of office holder]

    [Date]

    (3) If the Auditor has failed to certify that there is an amount sufficient for the payment of the increase in the salaries and the related employment taxes pursuant to this section, then the salaries of that county’s elected officials and commissioners shall remain at the level in effect at the time certification was sought.

    (4) In any county having a tribunal in lieu of a county commission, the county commissioners of that county may be paid less than the minimum salary limits of the county commission for that particular class of the county.

    (5) Prior to July 1, 2014:

                      COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

                 Class I               $36,960

                 Class II              $36,300

                 Class III             $35,640

                 Class IV              $34,980

                 Class V               $34,320

                 Class VI              $28,380

                 Class VII             $27,720

                 Class VIII            $25,080

                 Class IX              $24,420

                 Class X               $19,800

    After June 30, 2014:

                      COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

                 Class I              $41,395

                 Class II             $40,656

                 Class III            $39,917

                 Class IV             $39,178

                 Class V              $38,438

                 Class VI             $31,786

                 Class VII            $31,046

                 Class VIII           $28,090

                 Class IX             $27,350

                 Class X              $22,176

    (6) For the purpose of determining the salaries to be paid to the elected county officials of each county, the salaries for each county office by class, set out in subdivision (7) of this subsection, are established and shall be used by each county commission in determining the salaries of each of their county officials other than salaries of members of the county commission.

    (7) Prior to July 1, 2014:

OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS

                       County   Circuit             Prosecuting

             Sheriff  Clerk Clerk        Assessor  Attorney

Class I      $44,880  $55,440  $55,440  $44,880   $ 96,600

Class II     $44,220  $54,780  $54,780  $44,220   $ 94,400

Class III    $43,890  $53,460  $53,460  $43,890   $ 92,200

Class IV     $43,560  $53,154  $53,154  $43,560   $ 90,000

Class V      $43,230  $52,800  $52,800  $43,230   $ 87,800

Class VI     $42,900  $49,500  $49,500  $42,900   $ 59,400

Class VII    $42,570  $48,840  $48,840  $42,570   $ 56,760

Class VIII   $42,240  $48,180  $48,180  $42,240   $ 54,120

Class IX     $41,910  $47,520  $47,520  $41,910   $ 50,160

Class X      $38,280  $42,240  $42,240  $38,280   $ 46,200

    After June 30, 2014:

                  OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS

                       County   Circuit             Prosecuting

             Sheriff  Clerk    Clerk    Assessor  Attorney

Class I      $50,266  $62,093  $62,093  $50,266   $108,192

Class II     $49,526  $61,354  $61,354  $49,526   $105,728

Class III    $49,157  $59,875  $59,875  $49,157   $103,264

Class IV     $48,787  $59,532  $59,532  $48,787   $100,800

Class V      $48,418  $59,136  $59,136  $48,418   $98,336

Class VI     $48,048  $55,440  $55,440  $48,048   $66,528

Class VII    $47,678  $54,701  $54,701  $47,678   $63,571

Class VIII   $47,309  $53,962  $53,962  $47,309   $60,614

Class IX     $46,939  $53,222  $53,222  $46,939   $56,179

Class X      $42,874  $47,309  $47,309  $42,874   $51,744

    (8) Any county clerk, circuit clerk, county assessor, prosecuting attorney or sheriff of a Class I through Class V county, inclusive, any assessor or any sheriff of a Class VI through Class IX county, inclusive, shall devote full time to his or her public duties to the exclusion of any other employment: Provided, That any public official whose term of office begins when his or her county’s classification imposes no restriction on his or her outside activities may not be restricted on his or her outside activities during the remainder of the term for which he or she is elected.

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