Senate Bill No. 594
(By Senators Hunter, Dempsey, Love, Unger and Smith)
[Originating in the Committee on Government Organization;
reported February 26, 2003.]
A BILL to amend and reenact sections four and twenty-three, article
sixteen, chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, all relating to
full-time employee eligibility; and increasing the number of
members that constitute the public employees insurance agency
finance board from six members to eight members, with four
members being appointed by the governor.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections four and twenty-three, article sixteen, chapter
five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as
ARTICLE 16. WEST VIRGINIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES INSURANCE ACT.
§5-16-4. Public employees insurance agency finance board
continued; qualifications, terms and removal of members; quorum; compensation and expenses; termination date.
(a) There is hereby continued the public employees insurance
agency finance board, which consists of the director and
members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of
the Senate for terms of four years and until the appointment of
their successors: Provided, That of the two members added to the
board by the amendment of this section, enacted during the regular
legislative session, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, the
at-large member shall be appointed for an initial term of two years
and the member representing organized labor shall be appointed for
a term of four years. Members may be reappointed for successive
terms. No more than four five members (including the director) may
be of the same political party.
(b) Of the
six eight members appointed by the governor, one
member shall represent the interests of education employees, one
shall represent the interests of public employees, one shall
represent the interests of retired employees, one shall represent
the interests of organized labor and three four shall be selected
from the public at large. The governor shall appoint the member
representing the interests of education employees from a list of
three names submitted by the largest organization of education
employees in this state. The governor shall appoint the member
representing the interests of organized labor from a list of three
names submitted by the state's largest organization representing
labor affiliates. The three four members appointed from the public
shall each have experience in the financing, development or management of employee benefit programs. All new appointments made
after the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-four,
shall be selected to represent the different geographical areas
within the state and all members shall be residents of West
Virginia. No member may be removed from office by the governor
except for official misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty,
neglect of fiduciary duty or other specific responsibility imposed
by this article, or gross immorality.
(c) The director shall serve as chairperson of the finance
board, which shall meet at times and places specified by the call
of the director or upon the written request to the director of at
least two members. Notice of each meeting shall be given in
writing to each member by the director at least three days in
advance of the meeting.
Four Five members constitutes a quorum.
The board shall pay each member the same compensation and expense
reimbursement as is paid to members of the Legislature for their
interim duties, as recommended by the citizens legislative
compensation commission and authorized by law for each day or
portion of a day engaged in the discharge of official duties.
(d) Pursuant to the provisions of article ten, chapter four of
this code, the finance board shall terminate on the first day of
July, two thousand
three five, unless extended by legislation
enacted before the termination date.
(e) Upon termination of the board and notwithstanding any
provisions in this article to the contrary, the director is
authorized to assess monthly employee premium contributions and to change the types and levels of costs to employees only in
accordance with this subsection. Any assessments or changes in
costs imposed pursuant to this subsection shall be implemented by
legislative rule proposed by the director for promulgation pursuant
to the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this
code; any employee assessments or costs previously authorized by
the finance board shall then remain in effect until amended by rule
of the director promulgated pursuant to this subsection.
§5-16-23. Members of Legislature may be covered.
Notwithstanding the definition of the term "employee"
contained in section two of this article and notwithstanding any
other provision of this article to the contrary, members of the
Legislature may participate in and shall be treated as full-time
employees eligible to be covered by any insurance plan or plans
authorized hereunder for state officers and employees
, except that
all members of the Legislature who elect to participate in or to be
covered by any such plan or plans shall pay their proportionate
individual share of the full cost for all group coverage on
themselves and their spouses and dependents, so that there will be
no cost to the state for the coverage of any such members, spouses
(NOTE: The purpose of this committee substitute is to
increase the number of members that constitute the public employees
insurance agency finance board to eight members from six members
with four members being appointed by the Governor instead of three
and to ensure that members of the Legislature shall be treated as
full-time employees for medical plan coverage.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would