HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 17
(By Delegates Facemyer, Faircloth, Doyle, Johnson, and
[Introduced January 26, 1999; referred to the Committee on
Constitutional Revision then the Judiciary.]
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West
Virginia, amending section thirteen, article six thereof,
relating to eligibility of the citizens of the state to seat
in the Legislature; numbering and designating the proposed
amendment; and providing a summarized statement of the
purpose of the proposed amendment.
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia, two thirds of
the members elected to each house agreeing thereto:
That the question of ratification or rejection of an
amendment to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia be
submitted to the voters of the State at the next general election
to be held in the year two thousand, which proposed amendment is
that section thirteen, article six thereof be amended and
reenacted, to read as follows:
ARTICLE VI. THE LEGISLATURE.
§13. Eligibility to seat in Legislature.
No person holding any other lucrative office or employment
under this state, the United States, or any foreign government;
no member of Congress; and no person who is sheriff, constable,
or clerk of any court of record, shall be eligible to a seat in
In addition to any qualifications, prohibitions or
restrictions set forth elsewhere in this Constitution, the
Legislature shall, as sole judge of the qualifications of its
members, determine the eligibility of a person to a seat in the
Legislature in accordance with the provisions of this section.
Subsection A. -- Ineligibility.
No person is eligible to a seat in the Legislature who:
(1) Exercises the powers of either the executive or the
judicial department of this state by virtue of his or her
election or appointment to a lucrative office under this state:
Provided, That a person who is a faculty member of an institution
of higher education of this state is not because of that fact
only, considered to be a member of a class of persons exercising
the powers of the executive department of this state;
(2) Exercises the powers of the federal government by virtue
of his or her election or appointment to a lucrative office under
the government of the United States: Provided, That a person
holding a commission in the military reserves of the United States or the national guard of this state is not, because of
that fact only, considered to hold an appointment to a lucrative
office under the government of the United States;
(3) Holds any lucrative office or employment under any
foreign government; or
(4) Is an officer of a county government or other political
subdivision of this state whose office is created by this
Subsection B. -- Exception to restriction
against holding lucrative office.
A person who holds a position of mere public employment
subject to the supervision and policy direction of a public
officer, and who does not exercise a portion of sovereign power,
is not considered to hold an appointment to a lucrative office.
Resolved further, That in accordance with the provisions of
article eleven, chapter three of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, the proposed
amendment is hereby numbered "Amendment No. 1" and designated as
the "Fair and Equal Citizenship Amendment" and the purpose of the
proposed amendment is summarized as follows: "To redefine
prohibitions against election to the Legislature and to clarify
that a person who holds a position of mere public employment and
who does not exercise a portion of sovereign power is eligible for a seat in the Legislature."
NOTE: The purpose of this joint resolution is to clarify
who is eligible for a seat in the Legislature.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present constitution, and underscoring indicates new
language that would be added.