Senate Bill No. 339
(By Senators Bowman, Bailey, Rowe, Kessler, Caldwell, Harrison,
Fanning and Jenkins)
[Introduced January 24, 2003; referred to the Committee on
Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend article twenty-one-a, chapter nineteen of the code
of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section
fifteen, relating to creating a ten-member flood prevention
task force generally; designating members; appointment of
certain members by the governor; advisory members; secretary;
travel expenses for certain members; meetings; coordination of
federal, state and local governmental response to flooding;
office space; and staff support.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article twenty-one-a, chapter nineteen of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section fifteen, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 21A. CONSERVATION DISTRICTS.
§19-21A-15. West Virginia flood prevention task force; members of
task force; staff of task force.
(a) The West Virginia flood prevention task force, hereinafter
referred to as the task force, is hereby created. The task force is
a governmental instrumentality of the state. The exercise by the
task force of the powers conferred by, and the carrying out of its
purpose and duties of, this section are essential governmental
functions for a public purpose.
(b) The task force shall consist of ten members, as follows:
(1) The director of the conservation agency or his or her
designee, who shall chair the task force;
(2) The director of the office of emergency services, who
shall serve as vice-chair of the task force;
(3) The secretary of the division of environmental protection,
or his or her designee;
(4) The commissioner of the division of highways, or his or
(5) The director of the division of natural resources, or his
or her designee;
(6) The director of the division of forestry, or his or her
(7) The director of the housing development fund, or his or
(8) One member representing county governments who shall be
appointed by the governor;
(9) One member representing municipalities who shall be
appointed by the governor; and,
(10) One citizen member who shall be appointed by the
No more than two of the members appointed by the governor may
be from the same congressional district. The members first
appointed shall serve staggered terms as follows: The first
citizen member appointed shall be appointed for a term of one year;
the first member representing municipal governments shall serve a
term of two years; the first member representing county governments
shall serve a term of three years. Thereafter the appointed
members shall serve a term of three years. An appointed member may
be reappointed for one additional term.
(c) There shall also be appointed a panel of advisory members
to the task force. The advisory members shall include:
(1) Two members of the West Virginia Senate, appointed by the
(2) Two members of the West Virginia House of Delegates
appointed by the governor;
(3) The director of the division of labor or designee;
(4) The director of the West Virginia University cooperative
extension service or designee;
(5) The director of the GIS technical center or designee;
(6) The director of the board of examiners of land surveyors
or designee; and
(7) The director of the geological and economic survey or
No more than three members of the Legislature appointed by the
governor as advisory members may be from the same political party.
All advisory members are ex officio, nonvoting members of the task
(d) The chair of the task force shall designate a secretary
who need not be a member of the task force and who shall keep
records of its proceedings.
(e) A majority of the task force members shall constitute a
quorum and the affirmative vote of at least the majority of those
members present shall be necessary for any action taken by vote of
the task force. A vacancy in the membership of the task force will
not affect an action taken if there is a quorum of members present
and voting on the issue.
(f) No member of the task force shall receive any compensation
for serving as a member. The county, municipal and citizen members shall be entitled to reimbursement for expenses, including
traveling expenses necessarily incurred in the discharge of their
duties as members of the task force.
(g) The task force shall meet at least quarterly or on the
call of the chair.
(h) The task force shall be to establish policies:
(1) For the coordination of federal, state and local
governmental response to flooding;
(2) To review the status of flood mapping;
(3) To examine and improve flood prevention initiatives; to
request funding assistance; and
(4) To carry out its related responsibilities.
(i) The conservation agency shall provide office space for the
task force. Each governmental agency represented on the task force
shall provide staff support for the task force in the manner
determined by the task force from time to time.
(j) The task force shall keep minutes of its meetings and
shall invite one or more representatives of the United States
federal emergency management agency, the United States army corps
of engineers and any other individual or organization necessary to
effectuate the purposes of this article, to all of its meetings.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish a flood
prevention task force by law. Now, by statute, the task force will
continue the work of the ad hoc flood prevention task force
committee which has been meeting informally during the last two
years at the suggestion of Senator Robert C. Byrd and Governor
Wise. The task force will continue to help coordinate federal,
state and local governmental response to flooding.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.