Enrolled Version - Final Version
House Bill 2650 History
OTHER VERSIONS -
H. B. 2650
(By Delegates Beach, Stemple, Proudfoot,
Swartzmiller, Williams, Anderson and Schoen)
[Passed April 7, 2005; in effect July 1, 2005.]
AN ACT to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §19-2F-1, §19-2F-2,
§19-2F-3, §19-2F-4, §19-2F-5, §19-2F-6, §19-2F-7, §19-2F-8,
§19-2F-9, §19-2F-10 and §19-2F-11, all relating to beef
industry self-improvement assessment program; stating purpose;
defining terms; requiring petition to conduct referendum;
requiring a public hearing on referendum; requiring notice of
referendum; conducting referendum; authorizing subsequent
referendum; continuing Beef Industry Council; establishing
qualifications, appointment and terms of members; establishing
powers and duties of Council; requiring collection and
remittance of assessment; authorizing refunds; establishing
penalties; and continuing program.
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 §19-2F-1, §19-2F-2, §19-2F-3, §19-2F-4, §19-2F-5, §19-2F-6, §19-2F-7, §19-2F-8,
§19-2F-9, §19-2F-10 and §19-2F-11
, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2F. BEEF INDUSTRY SELF-IMPROVEMENT ASSESSMENT PROGRAM.
The purpose of this article is to promote and stimulate,
through research, education, advertising and other methods, the
increased and efficient production, distribution, sale and use of
cattle and beef products by providing a means and procedure for
financing a promotional program for the West Virginia cattle
industry through activities of the West Virginia Beef Industry
As used in this article:
(1) "Council" means the West Virginia Beef Industry Council.
(2) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the West Virginia
Department of Agriculture.
(3) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation,
association, fiduciary, or other group of persons acting together
whether organized or not.
(4)"Producer" means any person in the business of raising,
breeding or growing cattle or calves for beef production.
§19-2F-3. Petition for referendum; public hearing; notice.
(a) Producers may petition the Commissioner to conduct a
referendum of West Virginia producers authorizing the levying of an assessment for the purposes set forth in this article: Provided,
That no referendum may be held until the provisions of 7 U.S.C.
§2901 et seq., the federal beef research and information program,
(b) The Commissioner, when petitioned by no less than fifty
producers, must hold a public hearing no more than forty-five days
after receipt of the petition to decide whether a referendum should
be held to establish an assessment on the sale of beef and dairy
cattle, the amount of the assessment and the duration of the
assessment. The Commissioner shall give no less than fifteen days
notice of the public hearing including the date, time and place of
the public hearing. If a majority of those present vote in favor
of holding the referendum, including the amount and duration of the
proposed assessment, the Commissioner shall notify the Council to
schedule and hold a referendum on the proposed assessment.
§19-2F-4. Conduct of referendum.
(a) The Council shall notify producers of the date, hours and
polling places for voting in the referendum, along with the amount
and duration of the proposed assessment, the manner of collecting
the assessment and the general purposes for which the assessment
will be expended. The notice must be published no less than three
times in two newspapers of general circulation within this state
and the Council may give notice of the referendum in other
publications and at places the Council considers appropriate.
(b) The Council shall provide ballots and polling places in
each county. All cattle producers who may be subject to the
proposed assessment are eligible to vote in the referendum upon
presentation of proof showing them to be bona fide cattle producers
subject to the assessment. The referendum is decided by a majority
of the votes cast.
(c) The Commissioner shall canvass, tabulate and publically
announce the results of the referendum no later than five days
after the end of the election. The Commissioner must preserve all
ballots for one year after the date of the referendum.
(d) All expense and costs necessary to conduct a referendum
are bourne by the Council.
§19-2F-5. Subsequent referendums.
(a) In the event that a referendum conducted pursuant to the
provisions of this article fails to receive a majority of the
affirmative votes cast, the Council is authorized to conduct a
subsequent referendum under the provisions of section four of this
article no earlier than twelve months after the date on which the
last referendum was held without complying with the requirements
set forth in section three of this article, so long as the amount
and duration of the assessment are not increased.
(b) In the event that an assessment is in effect and set to
expire, the Council is authorized to conduct a subsequent
referendum under the provisions of section four of this article during the last year of the assessment without complying with the
requirements set forth in section three of this article, so long as
the amount and duration of the subsequent assessment are not
§19-2F-6. Beef Industry Council; appointment; terms; qualification
of members; removal of members; officers; meetings;
(a) The West Virginia Beef Industry Council is hereby
continued. The members of the Council in office on the date this
section becomes effective shall, unless sooner removed, continue to
serve until their respective terms expire and until their
successors have been appointed and qualified.
(b) (1) Commencing with the Council terms beginning on the
first day of July, two thousand five, the Council shall consist of
nine members appointed for terms of three years by the Governor
with the advice and consent of the Senate. Six members of the
Council must be beef cattle producers, one member must be a dairy
cattle producer, one member must be a representative of a public
livestock market and one member must be a meat packer or meat
(2) Each member of the Council, at the time of his or her
appointment, must have been engaged in his or her representative
occupation for a period of not less than five years immediately
preceding the appointment and each member must be a United States citizen and a resident of this state during the appointment term.
(3) In making appointments to the Council, the Governor shall
consider proposed member recommendations made by West Virginia
organizations and groups concerned with or engaged in beef
(4) No member may serve more than two consecutive full terms
and any member having served two full terms may not be appointed
for one year after completion of his or her second full term. A
member continues to serve until his or her successor has been
appointed and qualified.
(5) The Governor may remove any member of the Council for
neglect of duty, incompetency or official misconduct.
(c) The Council elects a chair, a secretary and a treasurer
from its membership each for a term of two years. The Council
meets as often as necessary at the time and place designated by the
chair or by call of a majority of the Council members. All Council
meetings shall be held in accordance with the provisions of article
nine-a, chapter six of this code. All decisions of the Council are
determined by a majority of the members appointed.
(d) The Board shall reimburse each member's expenses for room,
meals and mileage in the same manner and amount as state employees
receive for travel. No member may receive any other salary or
compensation for his or her services.
§19-2F-7. Powers and duties of the Council; rule-making authority.
(a) The Council has the authority to:
(1) Receive and disburse funds as prescribed in this article
to be used for the purposes of this article;
(2) Enter into contracts;
(3) Hire and discharge employees, prescribe their duties and
fix their compensation;
(4) Accept grants, gifts and contributions for expenditure
consistent with the purposes of this article;
(5) Sue and be sued as a council without individual liability
of the members for acts of the Council when the Council is acting
within the scope of the powers conferred by this article;
(6) Cooperate with other state or federal agencies and
organizations engaged in work or activities consistent with the
purposes of this article;
(7) Conduct public relations and education programs for
increasing beef production and improving beef marketing practices;
(8) Conduct or contract for scientific research with any
accredited college or university which will aid in implementing the
purposes of this article; and,
(9) Prepare and submit an annual report of its activities and
fiscal accounting to the Commissioner no later than the fifteenth
day of January of each year.
(b) The Council may propose rules for legislative approval in
accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code designed to implement the provisions of
§19-2F-8. Notice, levy and collection of assessment.
(a) Upon approval of an assessment, the Council shall notify
all known livestock markets, packers, buying stations, order
buyers, livestock dealers or other persons purchasing cattle,
including dairy cattle, that they are required to deduct the amount
of the assessment stipulated in the authorizing referendum from the
sale settlement beginning on the date designated in the notice.
(b) The assessment approved by referendum is deducted by all
livestock markets, packers, buying stations, order buyers,
livestock dealers or other persons purchasing cattle, including
dairy cattle, on each cattle purchase from the sale settlement.
The purchasers remit the assessments within thirty days of the date
of the sale settlement to the treasurer of the Council.
(c) The Council must keep accurate records of the amount of
assessments received, the date on which they were received and the
name of the person making the remittance. The records must be
preserved for at least five years.
Any producer against whom an assessment is made and deducted
from the proceeds of sale, if dissatisfied with the assessment, has
the right to demand and receive from the treasurer of the Council
a refund of the total amount of assessment collected from the producer if the demand is made in writing to the Council within
thirty days of the date the assessment was deducted from the sale
proceeds. The demand for refund must contain the name and address
of the producer, the date of purchase, the number of head sold, the
amount of the assessment, the name and address of the collecting
agent, the date of sale and the invoice number. The refund is made
upon determination that the assessment was paid by the producer.
When a person required to collect the assessment in accordance
with section eight of this article fails to do so or fails to remit
it to the treasurer of the Council within thirty days, the Council
certifies that fact to the Commissioner. The Commissioner notifies
the person in writing that he or she has fifteen-days to begin the
collection of the assessment, or to remit previously collected
assessments to the Council's treasurer or to submit a written
justification for the failure to collect or remit the assessment.
If the Commissioner determines that person was required to remit
the assessment and if payment is not made within the fifteen day
period, the Commissioner may revoke the person's license to engage
in cattle purchasing activities in the state. Persons having their
license revoked under this section are not eligible for
license-reinstatement for a period of three years.
§19-2F-11. Continuation of program.
Pursuant to the provisions of article ten, chapter four of this code, the beef industry self-improvement assessment program
shall continue to exist until the first day of July, two thousand
eight, unless sooner terminated, continued or reestablished.