Senate Bill No. 395
(By Senators Bowman, Bailey and Ball)
[Passed March 4, 1998; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend chapter thirty of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article one-a, relating to
required procedure for regulation of occupations and
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter thirty of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article one-a, to read
ARTICLE 1A. PROCEDURE FOR REGULATION OF OCCUPATIONS AND
§30-1A-1. Legislative findings.
The Legislature finds that regulation should be imposed on an occupation or profession only when necessary for the protection
of public health and safety. The Legislature further finds that
establishing a procedure for reviewing the necessity of
regulating an occupation or profession prior to enacting laws for
such regulation will better enable it to evaluate the need for
the regulation and to determine the least restrictive regulatory
alternative consistent with public health and safety.
§30-1A-2. Required application for regulation of professional
or occupational group.
(a) Any professional or occupational group or organization,
any individual or any other interested party which proposes the
regulation of any unregulated professional or occupational group
shall submit an application for regulation to the joint standing
committee on government organization no later than the first day
of December of any year. The joint standing committee on
government organization may only accept an application for
regulation of a professional or occupational group when the party
submitting an application files with the committee a statement of
support for the proposed regulation which has been signed by at
least ten residents or citizens of the state of West Virginia who
are members of the professional or occupational group for which
regulation is being sought.
(b) The completed application shall contain:
(1) A description of the occupational or professional group proposed for regulation, including a list of associations,
organizations and other groups currently representing the
practitioners in this state, and an estimate of the number of
practitioners in each group;
(2) A definition of the problem and the reasons why regulation
is deemed necessary;
(3) The reasons why certification, registration, licensure or
other type of regulation is being requested and why that
regulatory alternative was chosen;
(4) A detailed statement of the fee structure conforming with
the statutory requirements of financial autonomy as set out in
subsection (c), section six, article one, chapter thirty of this
(5) A detailed statement of the location and manner in which
the group plans to maintain records which are accessible to the
public as set out in section twelve, article one, chapter thirty
of this code;
(6) The benefit to the public that would result from the
proposed regulation; and
(7) The cost of the proposed regulation.
§30-1A-3. Analysis and evaluation of application.
(a) The joint committee on government organization shall refer
the completed application of the professional or occupational
group to the performance evaluation and research division of the office of the legislative auditor.
(b) The performance evaluation and research division of the
office of the legislative auditor shall conduct an analysis and
evaluation of the application. The analysis and evaluation shall
be based upon the criteria listed in subsection (c) of this
section. The performance evaluation and research division of the
office of the legislative auditor shall submit a report, and such
supporting materials as may be required, to the joint standing
committee on government organization no later than the first day
of July following the date the proposal is submitted to the joint
standing committee on government organization.
(c) The report shall include evaluation and analysis as to:
(1) Whether the unregulated practice of the occupation or
profession clearly harms or endangers the health, safety or
welfare of the public, and whether the potential for the harm is
easily recognizable and not remote or dependent upon tenuous
(2) Whether the public needs, and can reasonably be expected
to benefit from, an assurance of initial and continuing
professional or occupational competence; and
(3) Whether the public can be adequately protected by other
means in a more cost-effective manner.
§30-1A-4. Public hearing and committee recommendations.
(a) After receiving the required report, the joint standing committee on government organization may conduct public hearings
to receive testimony from the public, the governor or his or her
designee, the group, organization or individual who submitted the
proposal for regulation, and any other interested party.
(b) The joint standing committee on government organization
shall report its findings and recommendations to the next regular
session of the Legislature.
(c) The report shall include:
(1) Whether regulation of each occupation or profession is
necessary for the public health and safety and, if regulation is
necessary, recommendations as to what is the least restrictive
type of regulation consistent with the public interest; and
(2) Whether regulation would result in the creation of a new
agency or board or could be implemented more efficiently through
an existing agency or board.
(d) The report may include a recommendation that the
occupation or profession be regulated by any of the following
mechanisms, in whole or in part:
(1) By practice standards, which may include restrictions
established by statute;
(2) By registration, which may include inspections or other
(3) By statutory certification, which may include testing or
assessment of the practitioner's credential or competency;
(4) By supervision by a licensed practitioner, which may
include practice standards, registration or statutory
(5) By licensure by a new or existing agency or board, which
may include restrictions of the scope of practice, minimum
competency, education, testing, registration, certification,
inspection or enforcement.
§30-1A-5. Reapplication requirements.
If the joint standing committee on government organization
approves an application for regulation of a professional or
occupational group, but the legislation incorporating its
recommendations does not become law in the year in which it is
first introduced, the applicants for regulation may introduce
legislation during each of the two successive regular sessions
without having to make reapplication.
§30-1A-6. Article not to be construed as limiting new
Nothing in this article shall be construed as limiting or
interfering with the right of any member of the Legislature to
introduce or of the Legislature to consider any bill that would
create a new state governmental department or agency or amend the
law with respect to an existing one.