H. B. 2677
(By Delegate Browning, Manchin, Paxton,
Stemple, R. M. Thompson Azinger and Smirl)
January 27, 2003
; referred to the
Committee on Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security then the
A BILL to amend the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding thereto a new
chapter, designated chapter twenty-four-f, relating to
authorizing the public service commission to regulate
transactions between cemeteries and veterans or their
survivors concerning fees for setting United States
department of veterans' affairs grave markers at the graves
of deceased veterans; legislative findings; exemptions;
enforcement of orders; judicial review; and designation of
the affected cemeteries as outside the purview of utility
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new
chapter, designated chapter twenty-four-f, to read as follows:
CHAPTER 24F. VETERANS' GRAVE MARKERS.
ARTICLE 1. VETERANS' GRAVE MARKERS.
§24F-1-1. Legislative findings.
(a) The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest
to regulate transactions between cemeteries and veterans in the
fees and charges for the setting of United States department of
veterans' affairs grave markers at the graves of deceased United
States armed forces veterans by authorizing the public service
commission to regulate the fees and charges.
(b) The Legislature further finds that the public service
commission is the appropriate agency to determine the reasonable
rates to be charged by these cemeteries for the setting of these
§24F-1-2. Powers and duties.
In addition to its other powers and duties, the public
service commission may determine, establish and modify, in a
manner that it considers appropriate, the fees and charges
imposed by cemeteries for the
setting of United States department
of veterans' affairs grave markers at the graves of deceased
United States armed forces veterans.
§24F-1-3. Cemeteries affected by rate regulation for setting of
department of veterans' affairs grave markers.
Unless otherwise exempted in accordance with section six,
article five-a, chapter thirty-five of this code, all cemeteries,
cemetery associations, cemetery companies and perpetual care
cemetery companies, irrespective of how each may be defined in articles five, five-a and five-b, chapter thirty-five of this
code, fall within the purview of the regulatory powers exercised
by the public service commission in accordance with this chapter.
§24F-1-4. Enforcement powers.
The public service commission may compel obedience to its
lawful orders, as issued pursuant to this chapter, by mandamus or
injunction or other proper proceedings in the name of the state
in any circuit court having jurisdiction of the parties or of the
subject matter, or the supreme court of appeals direct, and the
proceedings shall have priority over all pending cases.
§24F-1-5. Review of final orders of commission.
Any party feeling aggrieved by the entry of a final order by
the commission, which affects that party, may present a petition
in writing to the supreme court of appeals, or to a judge thereof
in vacation, within thirty days after the entry of the order,
praying for the suspension of the final order. The applicant
shall deliver a copy of the petition to the secretary of the
commission on or before the date the petition is presented to the
court or the judge and the secretary shall promptly file with the
clerk of the court all papers, documents, evidence and other
records constituting the complete record in the case, or
certified copies of the records that were before the commission
at the time of the entry of the order from which the appeal is
taken. The court or judge shall fix a time for the hearing on
the application, but the hearing, unless by agreement of the parties, shall not be held sooner than five days after its
presentation; and notice of the time and place of the hearing
shall be immediately delivered to the secretary of the commission
so that the commission may be represented at the hearing by one
or more of its members or by counsel. If the court or the judge
after the hearing is of the opinion that a suspending order
should be issued, the court or the judge may require bond, upon
such conditions and in such penalty, and impose such terms and
conditions upon the petitioner that are just and reasonable. The
commission shall file with the court before the day fixed for the
final hearing a written statement of its reasons for the entry of
the order and after arguments by counsel the court shall decide
the matter in controversy.
§24F-1-6. Cemeteries not regulated as utilities.
No provision of this chapter may be construed to grant the
public service commission the power to regulate an affected
cemetery as a utility.
Note: The purpose of this bill is to require the public
service commission to regulate transactions between cemeteries
and veterans or their survivors for the limited purpose of
setting fees for the placement of United States department of
veterans' affairs grave markers at the graves of deceased
This chapter is new; therefore strike-throughs and
underscorings have been omitted.