Senate Bill No. 419
(By Senators Tomblin, Mr. President, and Sprouse,
By Request of the Executive)
[Originating in the Committee on Finance;
reported March 25, 2005.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §7-23-1, §7-23-2 and
§7-23-3, all providing that counties, municipalities and
county boards of education be allowed relief from certain
policies, rules and regulations.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §7-23-1, §7-23-2 and
§7-23-3, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 23. LOCAL GOVERNMENT FLEXIBILITY ACT.
§7-23-1. Short title.
This article may be cited as the Local Government Flexibility
Act of 2005. No inference, implication or presumption of
legislative construction shall be drawn or made by reason of the
location or grouping of any particular section, provision or portion of this article. No legal effect shall be given to any
descriptive matter or heading relating to any part, section,
subdivision or paragraph of this article.
§7-23-2. Legislative intent and findings.
(a) Legislative intent
. -- It is the intent of the Legislature
in enacting this article to provide a framework within which new
ideas can be explored to see if they can or should be implemented
on a statewide basis.
(b) Legislative findings
. -- The Legislature finds and
(1) County commissions, municipalities and county boards of
education today face numerous challenges managing their budgets and
other resources and delivering services required by federal or
state law or demanded by their constituents.
(2) Local units of government are sometimes restricted by
policies, rules and regulations that prevent them from carrying out
their duties and responsibilities in a cost effective, efficient
and timely manner. To address this concern, this pilot program
includes a waiver program whereby county commissions,
municipalities and county boards of education may apply to the
Governor for waiver of a specific policy, rule or regulation.
§7-23-3. Flexibility for county commissions, municipalities and
county boards of education.
(a) Application for waiver of policies, rules and regulations.
(1) The purpose of this section is to provide a procedure by
which county commissions, municipalities and county boards of
education may apply for waiver of a policy, rule or regulation the
commission, municipality or board believes is preventing it from
carrying out its duties and responsibilities in the most cost
efficient, effective and timely manner.
(2) The chief executive officer of a county commission,
municipality or county board of education may file with the
Secretary of Commerce an application for waiver of a policy, rule
or regulation he or she believes is preventing the commissoin,
municipality or board from carrying out its duties in the most cost
efficient, effective and timely manner.
(3) The application shall be made in writing and be in the
form prescribed by the Secretary of Commerce for that purpose. The
application shall, at a minimum, require the applicant to provide
the official citation of the policy, rule or regulation for which
waiver is sought. If there is no official citation, a copy of the
policy or letter from which a waiver is sought shall be attached to
the application. The applicant shall describe in sufficient detail
the problem created by the policy, rule or regulation for which
waiver is sought and describe in sufficient detail how the waiver
will allow the applicant to carry out the applicant's duties in the
most cost efficient, effective and timely manner.
(b) Review by Secretary of Commerce
. -- Upon receipt of an application as provided in subsection (a) of this section, the
Secretary of Commerce may conduct an investigation or inquiry to
gather any additional information necessary to evaluate the
application. The Secretary of Commerce shall periodically submit
to the Governor a written report summarizing the applications and
any recommendations for applications the Secretary of Commerce
determines in his or her discretion to forward to the Governor for
disposition in accordance with this section. The Secretary of
Commerce is granted no authority under this section to issue any
(c) Review by Governor
. -- Upon receipt of the summary and
recommendations of the Secretary of Commerce, the Governor may take
any action he or she considers appropriate under the circumstances
that is within the authority granted to the Governor by the laws of
this state. Whenever the Governor believes a statutory change is
needed, the Governor shall bring the matter to the attention of the
Speaker of the House of Delegates and the President of the Senate.