Senate Bill No. 414

(By Senators Plymale, Rowe, Jenkins, Bailey, Ross and McCabe)


[Introduced January 30, 2003; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]


A BILL to amend and reenact section seven, article forty, chapter thirty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to authorizing the West Virginia real estate commission to enter into license reciprocity agreements with other states.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section seven, article forty, chapter thirty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
§30-40-7. General powers and duties.
The commission has all the powers set forth in article one of this chapter and in addition:
(a) May sue and be sued in its official name as an agency of this state;
(b) Shall employ an executive director and shall fix his or her compensation subject to the general laws of this state. The commission shall determine the duties of the executive director as it shall deem consider necessary and appropriate to discharge the duties imposed by the provisions of this code;
(c) Shall employ or contract with such other investigators, hearing examiners, attorneys, consultants, clerks and assistants as the commission deems considers necessary and determine the duties and fix the compensation of such investigators, clerks and assistants subject to the general laws of this state;
(d) Shall have the authority to issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum through any member, its executive director or any duly authorized representative;
(e) Shall prescribe, examine and determine the qualifications of any applicant for a license;
(f) Shall provide for an appropriate examination of any applicant for a license;
(g) May enter into agreements with other jurisdictions whereby the license issued by another jurisdiction may be recognized as successfully qualifying a nonresident for a license in this state; without additional education or examination requirements;
(h) Shall issue, renew, deny, suspend, revoke or reinstate licenses and take disciplinary action against any licensee;
(i) May investigate or cause to be investigated alleged violations of the provisions of this article, the rules promulgated hereunder and the orders or final decisions of the commission;
(j) Shall conduct hearings or cause hearings to be conducted upon charges calling for the discipline of a licensee or for the suspension or revocation of a license;
(k) May examine the books and records relating to the real estate business of a licensee if the licensee is charged in a complaint of any violation of this article, commission rule or any order or final decision issued by the commission: Provided, That such examination shall not extend beyond the specific violation charged in the complaint;
(l) May impose one or more sanctions as considered appropriate in the circumstances for the discipline of a licensee. Available sanctions include, but are not limited to, denial of a license or renewal thereof, administrative fine not to exceed one thousand dollars per day per violation, probation, revocation, suspension, restitution, require additional education, censure, denial of future license, downgrade of license, reprimand or order the return of compensation collected from an injured consumer;
(m) Shall meet at least once each calendar year at such place and time as the commission shall designate and at such other times and places as it considers necessary to conduct commission business;
(n) Shall publish an annual directory of licensees in compliance with the provisions of section thirteen, article one, chapter thirty of this code;
(o) May sponsor real estate-related educational seminars, courses, workshops or institutes, may incur and pay the necessary expenses and may charge a fee for attendance;
(p) May assist libraries, institutions and foundations with financial aid or otherwise in providing texts, sponsoring studies, surveys and programs;
(q) May perform compliance audits on real estate brokerage offices, education providers or any other person regulated by the commission;
(r) May provide distance education courses for applicants for a license sufficient to meet the educational requirements contained in subsections (a) and (b), section fourteen of this article; and
(s) Shall take all other actions necessary and proper to effectuate the purposes of this article.

(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to empower the real estate commission to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states whereunder West Virginia licensees would have a valid license in a contracting state and licensees in that state would have a valid license in this state.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.)