Senate Bill No. 194

(By Senators Snyder and Helmick)


[Introduced January 21, 2003; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]


A BILL to amend article one, chapter seven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section fourteen, relating to authority of county commissions; allowing county commissions to enact ordinances; and penalties.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article one, chapter seven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section fourteen, to read as follows:
Authority to adopt ordinances; penalties.
(a) In addition to all other powers and duties which county commissions now possess by law, county commissions may make, pass or adopt and enforce ordinances considered necessary by the county commission that are not contrary to the constitution or the laws of this state: Provided, That no county commission may make, pass or adopt any ordinance levying taxes or providing for the collection of fees.
(b) Any ordinances made, passed or adopted by a county commission may prescribe a penalty or fine for failure to comply with the provisions of the ordinance. The circuit court shall have jurisdiction to enforce an ordinance of a county commission upon petition by the prosecuting attorney or any citizen of the county who can show a good faith and valid reason for making the application.
(c) Ordinance procedures. -- Any ordinance shall be made, passed or adopted in accordance with the following requirements.
(1) A proposed ordinance shall be read by title during at least three meetings of the county commission with at least one intervening week between each meeting, unless a member of the county commission requests that the ordinance be read in its entirety at one or both meetings. At the second reading of the title or the full ordinance, material amendments to the ordinance may be offered and voted upon by the commission. The ordinance shall be voted upon for adoption following the third reading of the bill. No material amendments shall be considered at the same meeting at which the ordinance is finally adopted.
(2) At least five days before a meeting at which a proposed ordinance is to be finally passed, the county commission shall publish a notice of the proposed adoption of the proposed ordinance in a Class I-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code. The publication area for the publication shall be the county. The notice shall state the subject matter and general title or titles of the proposed ordinance, the date, time and place of the proposed final vote on adoption, and the place or places where the proposed ordinance may be inspected by the public. A reasonable number of copies of the proposed ordinance shall be kept at the place or places and be made available for public inspection. The notice shall also advise that interested parties may appear at the meeting and be heard with respect to the proposed ordinance.
(3) It may not be necessary for the county commission to publish in a newspaper any proposed ordinance prior to its adoption or any enacted or adopted ordinance subsequent to its adoption.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow county commissioners to adopt ordinances; penalties.

The section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.