H. B. 4782

(By Delegates Douglas, Butcher, Perdue, Marshall, Flanigan, Stalnaker and Willison)

(Originating in the Committee on Government Organization)
[February 28, 2000]

A BILL to amend and reenact section four, article one, chapter nineteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, authorizing the commissioner of agriculture to administer the state rural development council.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section four, article one, chapter nineteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

§19-1-4. Duties of commissioner.

The commissioner of agriculture shall perform the following duties:
(a) Devise means of advancing the agricultural interests of the state, and, in the performance of such duty, he or she shall have authority to call upon any state department, or officer of the state or county, to cooperate with him in promoting the agricultural interests of the state. It shall be the duty of any such department, or officer, upon request of the commissioner to render the assistance desired;
(b) Promote and encourage the organization of such societies and associations as have for their object the improvement and development of the state's agricultural, horticultural and kindred interests, especially in production, processing for market and distribution;
(c) Conduct cooperative work with the United States department of agriculture in inspecting and determining the grade and condition of farm produce at collecting centers, receiving centers and shipping points;
(d) Induce the investment of capital in, and immigration into, this state by the dissemination of information relative to the soil, climate, health, natural resources, market opportunities and advantages of the state;
(e) Investigate and report upon the kinds, conditions and extent of the mineral products of the state and their value;
(f) Take charge of the museum of the department of agriculture, collect, preserve and exhibit therein specimens of agricultural, horticultural and kindred products, products of the forests, minerals, flora and fauna of the state;
(g) Administer the state rural development council through the marketing and development division established in section three-a of this article, in accordance with the memorandum of understanding between the United States department of Agriculture and the state concerning the president's initiative on rural development;
(g)(h) Publish and distribute from time to time such reports and bulletins concerning agriculture, horticulture and kindred subjects as may be of value to the farmers of the state, and, as conditions may demand, publish a handbook giving the resources of the several counties of the state, the varieties of soil and products, both mineral and vegetable, and the adaptability of the different sections of the state to the different branches of agriculture, horticulture and kindred interests;
(h)(i) Submit a biennial report to the governor and Legislature containing such information as to the operations of the department as may be helpful to the agricultural interests of the state, together with an itemized statement of all receipts and disbursements during the biennial period covered thereby, and giving the name of every person employed during such period, the time employed, and the amount paid each employee;
(i)(j) Perform such other duties and exercise such other powers as are provided in this chapter and by general law; and
(j)(k) Promulgate and adopt rules, regulations and standards Propose rules, including regulatory standards, for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine of this code for the purpose of carrying out the requirements of this chapter.

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