HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 93
(By Delegates Howell, Azinger, Ellington, Espinosa, A. Evans, Rowan and Shott)
Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to make a study of county self government in the State of West Virginia.
Whereas, Changes in the system and organization of local government in West Virginia and in the powers granted to said local governments may increase efficiency and maintain or improve existing services; and
Whereas, Changes in the administration and operations of local governments may allow the various regions of the state to better address their different local and regional needs by permitting counties to use a wider range of resources with greater flexibility in their efforts to formulate local and regional approaches for the encouragement of economic development and the provision of services to residents; and
Whereas, Before any expansion of taxing authority of local governments can fairly be considered, there must first be an analysis of local government efficiency, tax fairness and stability, and the balance between quality services and the level of taxation; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance be requested to create an Inter-Governmental Study Commission.
That such commission shall consist of fifteen members; three members to be appointed by the President of the Senate, not more than two members so appointed to be members of the Senate, with no more than one of such Senate members to be of the same party, and one member to be a representative, private citizen; three members to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates, with not more than two members so appointed to be members of the House of Delegates, with no more than one of such house members to be of the same political party, and one member to be a representative, private citizen; and three members to be appointed by the Governor. The representative, private citizen members should include persons with background, knowledge or experience in taxation, economics, current conditions of business and industry, labor, commerce, or other activities fundamental to the business environment; and such other persons found eligible by the appointing authority because of sound judgment and deep interest may be appointed as representative citizens.
Such commission shall also consist of six members representing local governments, three of whom shall represent the interest of counties, and three of whom shall represent the interests of municipalities, to wit: The Association of Counties and the West
Virginia Municipal League shall each submit a list of members to the Governor, the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, from which list each shall appoint one county representative and one municipal representative; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the pilot counties be granted the authority to adopt a specific home rule charter with sunset provisions to allow for a trial period of home rule in that county to begin an appropriate analysis. The county will submit a plan indicating the necessity, implementation, and administration of the pilot program to said commission. The commission is hereby requested to review, examine and study the present structure of county and municipal governments in West Virginia, evaluate the pilot county’s program and progress to make recommendations on how the entire local government system, the Constitution of West Virginia and the statutes of West Virginia related thereto may be improved or amended to increase efficiency and maintain existing services; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the said commission is hereby requested to define the term “Self Government,” to examine the Self Government concept in depth, and propose specific organizational and fiscal solutions; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the commission shall elect one of its members as chairman, one as vice chairman and other officers as it deems appropriate. Vacancies on the commission shall be promptly filled by the original appointing authority.
The commission may employ such professional, clerical and technical assistants as it deems necessary in order to perform its duties, and may request information from any state, county, or municipal officer or agencies in order to assist the performance of its duties.
The commission shall meet in Charleston or elsewhere as it may deem necessary or appropriate, and it shall convene at least quarterly and at such other times as its duties may require. The first meeting shall be called jointly by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates, one of whom shall preside temporarily and until a chairman is elected.
The interim findings of the Inter-Governmental Study Commission shall be reported to the Legislature at the interim sessions of the Legislature, 2013, with respect to progress of activities, programs and plans of the commission toward the development of recommendations; and a report of the commission shall be submitted to the Legislature at its regular session, 2014, unless the existence of the Inter-Government Study Commission is continued by resolution or other action of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct the commission’s study and to prepare appropriate reports, recommendations and proposed legislation be paid from the legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.