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Introduced Version House Bill 2047 History

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H. B. 2047

 

         (By Delegates Butcher, Stowers, Barker and Moore)

         [Introduced January 12, 2011; referred to the

         Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]

 

 

 

 

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §29-22-9b, relating to establishing a lottery scratch-off game for the benefit of West Virginia firefighters; creating a fund; and providing for legislative rule and expenditures from the fund.

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 section, designated §29-22-9b, to read as follows:

ARTICLE 22. STATE LOTTERY ACT.

§29-22-9b. Firefighters instant lottery scratch-off game.

    (a) Beginning September 1, 2011, the commission shall establish an instant lottery scratch-off game designated as the West Virginia firefighters benefit game, which is offered by the lottery.

    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section eighteen of this article, all net profits received from the sale of the West Virginia firefighters game lottery tickets, materials and games are deposited with the State Treasurer into the West Virginia Firefighters Game Lottery Fund created under subsection (d) of this section. Funds from the West Virginia Firefighters Game Lottery Fund shall be divided evenly between, and shall be used, as follows: (1) As an incentive for the recruitment and retention of West Virginia volunteer firefighters, to provide recognition of West Virginia volunteer firefighters and to provide higher education as provided herein; and (2) to enhance the municipal firefighter pension and relief funds created pursuant to article twenty-two, chapter eight of this code.

    (c) The State Fire Commission shall oversee the tuition reimbursement portion of the game and shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the incentive for the recruitment and retention of West Virginia volunteer firefighters, to provide recognition of West Virginia volunteer firefighters and to provide higher education with respect to tuition. These proposed rules shall provide that any West Virginia resident volunteer firefighter and junior firefighter, as defined by the State Fire Commission, who is an active member of a fire department recognized by the State Fire Commission, may be eligible to receive tuition to attend any national or state credentialed program within the State of West Virginia. These rules shall provide for one semester of tuition for each two years of service provided by the firefighter: Provided, That tuition may not exceed $2500 a recipient: Provided, however, That a person may not receive tuition for more than three semesters under this program. These proposed rules shall also require that applicants must apply in advance and that they will be placed upon a list. Applicants must reapply for each semester he or she seeks tuition. The proposed rule shall also require an applicant applying for his or her first semester meet all requirements of the institution and that an applicant applying for his or her second or third semester of tuition assistance must show proof that he or she has a grade point average of at least two on a scale of four. Applicants shall be required to complete an application form verifying affiliation with their volunteer fire department and have the application signed by the chief of the department with the chief’s signature notarized.

    (d) There is hereby created in the State Treasury a special revenue fund designated and known as the West Virginia Firefighters Game Fund which shall consist of all revenues derived from the West Virginia firefighters game and any appropriations to the fund by the Legislature and all interest or other returns earned from investment of the fund. The State Treasurer shall pay out one-half the revenues on the order of the State Fire Commission for the incentive for the recruitment and retention of West Virginia volunteer firefighters, to provide recognition of West Virginia volunteer firefighters and to provide higher education with respect to tuition. The State Treasurer shall distribute the other one half of the revenues to the municipal firefighter pension and relief funds created pursuant to article twenty-two, chapter eight of this code each December, beginning with December, 2011. This distribution shall be divided equally among each of the municipal firefighter pension and relief funds in this state.

    (e) The commission shall change the design or theme of the West Virginia firefighters benefit game regularly so that the game remains competitive with the other instant lottery scratch-off games offered by the commission. The tickets for the instant lottery game created in this section shall clearly state that the profits derived from the game are being used to benefit firefighters in this state.




    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish a lottery scratch-off game for the benefit of West Virginia firefighters for tuition to attend institutions of higher education.



    §29-22-9b is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.

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