Senate Bill No. 510

(Senators Hunter, Oliverio, Prezioso, McCabe,

Rowe, Caldwell, Unger and Ross, original sponsors)


[Passed March 7, 2003; in effect ninety days from passage.]


AN ACT to amend and reenact sections two and three, article twenty- eight, chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, all relating to the West Virginia commission on holocaust education; providing for reimbursement of actual and necessary expenses; and authorizing the commission to accept gifts, donations and state funds as appropriated by the Legislature.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections two and three, article twenty-eight, chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
§5-28-2. Commission on holocaust education; compensation
(a) Effective the first day of July, two thousand one, there is created the West Virginia commission on holocaust education.
(b) The commission is composed of eleven members: Two members currently serving on the state board of education, selected by the board; the state superintendent of schools or his or her designee; the director of the division of veterans' affairs; one attorney from the attorney general's office, civil rights division; one teacher who has completed professional development related to holocaust education teaching at the high-school level and one teacher who has completed professional development related to holocaust education teaching at the junior-high or middle-school level, each appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate; and four state residents, appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall be: Individuals who are holocaust scholars or individuals experienced in the field of holocaust education or survivors, second generation, eye-witness/liberators or individuals recommended by the chair of the present holocaust education commission, created by executive order, who, by virtue of their interest, education or long-term involvement in human rights, prejudice reduction and holocaust education have demonstrated, through their past commitment and cooperation with the existing holocaust commission on education, their willingness to work for holocaust awareness and education in West Virginia.
(c) Members of the commission shall be appointed for terms of three years or until their prospective successors are appointed and qualified. Members are eligible for reappointment. Any member of the commission who fails to attend more than two consecutive meetings without an excuse approved by the commission may be removed from the commission. All vacancies shall be filled by appointment in the same manner as the original appointment and the individual appointed to fill the vacancy serves for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(d) The governor shall appoint a chairperson for the commission for a term of three years and until his or her successor is appointed and qualified.
(e) The speaker of the House of Delegates shall appoint a member of the House of Delegates and the president of the Senate shall appoint a member of the Senate to serve as advisors to the commission.
(f) Members of the commission are not entitled to compensation for services performed as members but may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred for each day engaged in the performance of their official commission duties in a manner consistent with the guidelines of the travel management office of the department of administration.
§5-28-3. Commission powers and duties.
(a) The commission shall:
(1) Provide, based upon the collective knowledge and experience of its members, assistance and advice to public and private schools, colleges and universities with respect to the implementation of holocaust education and awareness programs;
(2) Meet with appropriate education officials and other interested public and private organizations, including service organizations, for the purpose of providing information, planning, coordination or modification of courses of study or programs dealing with the subject of the holocaust;
(3) Compile a roster of individual volunteers who are willing to share their verifiable knowledge and experiences in classrooms, seminars and workshops on the subject of the holocaust. The volunteers may be survivors of the holocaust, liberators of concentration camps, scholars, members of the clergy, community relations professionals or other persons who, by virtue of their experience, education or interest, have experience with the holocaust;
(4) Coordinate events memorializing the holocaust and seek volunteers who are willing and able to participate in commemorative events that will enhance public awareness of the significance of the holocaust; and
(5) Prepare annual reports for the governor and the Legislature regarding its findings and recommendations to facilitate the inclusion of holocaust studies and special programs memorializing the holocaust in educational systems in this state.
(b) The commission may accept and use for the benefit of the people of West Virginia any gift or devise of any property or thing which is lawfully given and is authorized to accept state funds as the same may be appropriated by the Legislature.