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Introduced Version House Bill 2993 History

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hb2993 intr
H. B. 2993


(By Mr Speaker, Mr. Kiss and Delegates Butcher,
Michael, Beane, Varner and Kominar)

[Introduced March 11, 2005 ; 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 special fund; providing that the State Fire Commission shall propose a legislative rule; providing for expenditures from the Fund on the order of the State Fire Commission for the recruitment and retention of West Virginia volunteer firefighters; to provide recognition of West Virginia volunteer firefighters; and to provide higher education support in the form of payments for tuition, books and school fees; and to provide that one half of the revenues go to the municipal firefighter pension and relief funds.

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 the first day of September, two thousand five, 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 shall be 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 education grant portion of the game proceeds 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 support in the form of payments for tuition, books and school fees. 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 funds to cover the cost of books, fees and tuition to attend any national or state credentialed program within the State of West Virginia. For every
two years of service logged by a volunteer firefighter, the firefighter may be eligible to receive an award, subject to the availability of funds, equivalent to the costs for one semester of tuition, books and fees at the educational institution, but in no event shall such amount exceed two thousand five hundred dollars per recipient per academic year, nor, may any firefighter receive grants for more than three academic years under this program. Applications for grants may be reviewed, and awards made, twice biannually, but an individual recipient may only receive one award per academic year. The legislative rules shall also require that applicants must apply prior to the start of the academic term for which the grant is sought and that applications will be considered in order of their submission to the Commission. An applicant must reapply for each term for which he or she seeks a grant for tuition, books and school fees. The proposed rule shall also
require that 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.
(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 support in the form of payments for tuition, books and school fees. 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, two thousand five. 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 to include higher education support in the form of payments for tuition, books and school fees and to provide that one half of the revenues go to the municipal firefighter pension and relief funds .

This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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