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Introduced Version Senate Bill 168 History

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Senate Bill No. 168

(By Senators Laird, Kessler (Mr. President), Browning,

 Edgell, Miller, Hall, Plymale, Jenkins, Wills, Klempa and Yost)

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[Introduced January 12, 2012; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §7-7-1 and §7-7-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to compensation of elected county officials and county commissioners for each class of county; legislative findings; and authorizing increasing this compensation after July 1, 2012.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §7-7-1 and §7-7-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 7. COMPENSATION OF ELECTED COUNTY OFFICIALS.

§7-7-1. Legislative findings and purpose.

    (a) The Legislature finds that it has, since January 1, 2003 2007, consistently and annually imposed upon the county commissioners, sheriffs, county and circuit clerks, assessors and prosecuting attorneys in each county board, new and additional duties by the enactment of new provisions and amendments to this code. The new and additional duties imposed upon the aforesaid county officials by these enactments are such that they would justify the increases in compensation as provided in section four of this article, without violating the provisions of section thirty-eight, article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia.

    (b) The Legislature further finds that there are, from time to time, additional duties imposed upon all county officials through the acts of the Congress of the United States and that such acts constitute new and additional duties for county officials and, as such, justify the increases in compensation as provided by section four of this article, without violating the provisions of section thirty-eight, article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia.

    (c) The Legislature further finds that there is a direct correlation between the total assessed property valuations of a county on which the salary levels of the county commissioners, sheriffs, county and circuit clerks, assessors and prosecuting attorneys are based, and the new and additional duties that each of these officials is required to perform as they serve the best interests of their respective counties. Inasmuch as the reappraisal of the property valuations in each county has now been accomplished, the Legislature finds that a change in classification of counties by virtue of increased property valuations will occur on an infrequent basis. However, it is the further finding of the Legislature that when such change in classification of counties does occur, that new and additional programs, economic developments, requirements of public safety and the need for new services provided by county officials all increase, that the same constitute new and additional duties for county officials as their respective counties reach greater heights of economic development, as exemplified by the substantial increases in property valuations and, as such, justify the increases in compensation provided in section four of this article, without violating the provisions of section thirty-eight, article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia.

    (d) The Legislature further finds and declares that the amendments enacted to this article are intended to modify the provisions of this article so as to cause the same to be in full compliance with the provisions of the Constitution of West Virginia and to be in full compliance with the decisions of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

§7-7-4. Compensation of elected county officials and county commissioners for each class of county; effective date.

    (1) The increased salaries to be paid to the county commissioners and the other elected county officials described in this subsection on and after July 1, 2006, are set out in subdivisions (5) and (7) of this subsection. Every county commissioner and elected county official in each county, whose term of office commenced prior to or on or after July 1, 2006, shall receive the same annual salary by virtue of legislative findings of extra duties as set forth in section one of this article.

    (2) Before the increased salaries, as set out in subdivisions (5) and (7) of this subsection, are paid to the county commissioners and the elected county officials, the following requirements must be met:

    (A) The Auditor has certified that the proposed annual county budget for the fiscal year beginning the first days of July, 2006, has increased over the previous fiscal year in an amount sufficient for the payment of the increase in the salaries, set out in subdivisions (5) and (7) of this subsection, and the related employment taxes: Provided, That the Auditor may not approve the budget certification for any proposed annual county budget containing anticipated receipts which are unreasonably greater or lesser than that of the previous year. For purposes of this subdivision, the term “receipts” does not include unencumbered fund balance or federal or state grants; and

    (B) Each county commissioner or other elected official described in this subsection in office on the effective date of the increased salaries provided by this subsection who desires to receive the increased salary has prior to that date filed in the office of the clerk of the county commission his or her written agreement to accept the salary increase. The salary for the person who holds the office of county commissioner or other elected official described in this subsection who fails to file the written agreement as required by this paragraph shall be the salary for that office in effect immediately prior to the effective date of the increased salaries provided by this subsection until the person vacates the office or his or her term of office expires, whichever first occurs.

    (3) If there is an insufficient projected increase in revenues to pay the increased salaries and the related employment taxes, then the salaries of that county’s elected officials and commissioners shall remain at the level in effect at the time certification was sought.

    (4) In any county having a tribunal in lieu of a county commission, the county commissioners of that county may be paid less than the minimum salary limits of the county commission for that particular class of the county.

    (5)                COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

 

                 Class I               $36,960

                 Class II              $36,300

                 Class III             $35,640

                 Class IV              $34,980

                 Class V               $34,320

                 Class VI              $28,380

                 Class VII             $27,720

                 Class VIII            $25,080

                 Class IX              $24,420

                 Class X               $19,800

    (6) For the purpose of determining the salaries to be paid to the elected county officials of each county, the salaries for each county office by class, set out in subdivision (7) of this subsection, are established and shall be used by each county commission in determining the salaries of each of their county officials other than salaries of members of the county commission.

    (7)           OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS

                       County   Circuit             Prosecuting

             Sheriff  Clerk    Clerk    assessor  Attorney

Class I      $44,880  $55,440  $55,440  $44,880   $ 96,600

Class II     $44,220  $54,780  $54,780  $44,220   $ 94,400

Class III    $43,890  $53,460  $53,460  $43,890   $ 92,200

Class IV     $43,560  $53,154  $53,154  $43,560   $ 90,000

Class V      $43,230  $52,800  $52,800  $43,230   $ 87,800

Class VI     $42,900  $49,500  $49,500  $42,900   $ 59,400

Class VII    $42,570  $48,840  $48,840  $42,570   $ 56,760

Class VIII   $42,240  $48,180  $48,180  $42,240   $ 54,120

Class IX     $41,910  $47,520  $47,520  $41,910   $ 50,160

Class X      $38,280  $42,240  $42,240  $38,280   $ 46,200

    (8) Any county clerk, circuit clerk, county assessor or sheriff of a Class I through Class V county, inclusive, any assessor or any sheriff of a Class VI through Class IX county, inclusive, shall devote full-time to his or her public duties to the exclusion of any other employment other than part-time employment that does not create a conflict of interest for the official: Provided, That any public official, whose term of office begins when his or her county’s classification imposes no restriction on his or her outside activities, may not be restricted on his or her outside activities during the remainder of the term for which he or she is elected.

    (9) Effective July 1, 2012, the increased salaries to be paid to the county commissioners and the other elected county officials described in this subsection are set out in subdivisions (13) and (15) of this subsection. Every county commissioner and elected county official in each county, whose term of office commenced prior to or on or after July 1, 2012, shall receive the same annual salary by virtue of legislative findings of extra duties as set forth in section one of this article.

    (10) Before the increased salaries, as set out in subdivisions (13) and (15) of this subsection, are paid to the county commissioners and the elected county officials, the following requirements must be met:

    (A) The Auditor has certified that the proposed annual county budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012, has increased over the previous fiscal year in an amount sufficient for the payment of the increase in the salaries, set out in subdivisions (13) and (15) of this subsection, and the related employment taxes: Provided, That the Auditor may not approve the budget certification for any proposed annual county budget containing anticipated receipts which are unreasonably greater or lesser than that of the previous year. For purposes of this subdivision, the term “receipts” does not include unencumbered fund balance or federal or state grants; and

    (B) Each county commissioner or other elected official described in this subsection in office on the effective date of the increased salaries provided by this subsection who desires to receive the increased salary has prior to that date filed in the office of the clerk of the county commission his or her written agreement to accept the salary increase. The salary for the person who holds the office of county commissioner or other elected official described in this subsection who fails to file the written agreement as required by this paragraph shall be the salary for that office in effect immediately prior to the effective date of the increased salaries provided by this subsection until the person vacates the office or his or her term of office expires, whichever first occurs.

    (11) If there is an insufficient projected increase in revenues to pay the increased salaries and the related employment taxes, then the salaries of that county’s elected officials and commissioners shall remain at the level in effect at the time certification was sought.

    (12) In any county having a tribunal in lieu of a county commission, the county commissioners of that county may be paid less than the minimum salary limits of the county commission for that particular class of the county.

    (13)               COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

                 Class I               $46,960

                 Class II              $46,300

                 Class III             $45,640

                 Class IV              $44,980

                 Class V               $44,320

                 Class VI              $38,380

                 Class VII             $37,720

                 Class VIII            $35,080

                 Class IX              $34,420

                 Class X               $29,800

    (14) For the purpose of determining the salaries to be paid to the elected county officials of each county, the salaries for each county office by class, set out in subdivision (15) of this subsection, are established and shall be used by each county commission in determining the salaries of each of their county officials other than salaries of members of the county commission.

    (15)        OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS

                       County   Circuit       Prosecuting

             Sheriff  Clerk    Clerk    Assessor  Attorney

Class I      $57,880  $70,440  $70,440  $44,880   $ 108,600

Class II     $57,220  $69,780  $69,780  $54,220   $ 106,400

Class III    $56,890  $68,460  $68,460  $54,890   $ 104,200

Class IV     $56,560  $68,154  $68,154  $53,560   $ 102,000

Class V      $56,230  $67,800  $67,800  $53,230   $ 99,800

Class VI     $55,900  $64,500  $64,500  $53,900   $ 71,400

Class VII    $55,570  $63,840  $63,840  $52,570   $ 68,760

Class VIII   $55,240  $63,180  $63,180  $52,240   $ 66,120

Class IX     $54,910  $62,520  $62,520  $51,910   $ 62,160

Class X      $51,280  $57,240  $57,240  $48,280   $ 58,200

    (16) Any county clerk, circuit clerk, county assessor or sheriff of a Class I through Class V county, inclusive, any assessor or any sheriff of a Class VI through Class IX county, inclusive, shall devote full-time to his or her public duties to the exclusion of any other employment other than part-time employment that does not create a conflict of interest for the offical: Provided, That any public official, whose term of office begins when his or her county’s classification imposes no restriction on his or her outside activities, may not be restricted on his or her outside activities during the remainder of the term for which he or she is elected.



 

    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize an increase in compensation, after July 1, 2012, of elected county officials and county commissioners for each class of county.


    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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