SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 12
(By Senators Chafin, Helmick, Caldwell and Ross)
[Introduced February 14, 2003; referred to the Committee on
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West
Virginia, amending section eight, article IX thereof; and
further amending said article by adding thereto a new section,
designated section eight-a, all relating to the formation and
reformation of counties; authorizing the county to reconfigure
county lines; numbering and designating such proposed
amendment; and providing a summarized statement of the purpose
of such proposed amendment.
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia, two thirds of
the members elected to each house agreeing thereto:
That the question of ratification or rejection of an amendment
to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia be submitted to
the voters of the state at the general election to be held in the
year two thousand four, which proposed amendment is that section eight, article IX thereof be amended; and that said article be
further amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section
eight-a, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE IX. COUNTY ORGANIZATION.
§8. Formation of new counties.
No new county shall hereafter be formed in this State with an
area of less than four hundred square miles; nor with a population
of less than six thousand; nor shall any county, from which a new
county, or part thereof shall be taken, be reduced in area below
four hundred square miles, nor in population below six thousand.
Nor, except as provided in section eight-a, article nine, shall a
new county be formed without the consent of a majority of the
voters residing within the boundaries of the proposed new county,
and voting on the question.
§8a. Legislature may reconfigure county lines.
The Legislature finds that the consolidation or
reconfiguration of counties may be necessary and desirable based
upon changes in population, economic circumstances, the ability to
provide necessary services and fulfill the duties, rights and
obligations of a county government. The Legislature further finds
that the needs of the people residing in certain areas of the State
would be better served by reconfiguration of county boundaries.
The Legislature is authorized, after consultation with county
residents and officials, to reconfigure county lines, form new counties or consolidate counties, during the regular or special
session of the two thousand twelve Legislature, and every ten years
thereafter to reconfigure county lines, form new counties or
consolidate counties. The Legislature, in the regular or special
session of the two thousand twelve Legislature, shall utilize the
current decennial census prepared by the bureau of census of the
United States department of commerce beginning in the year two
thousand ten, and every ten years thereafter to reconfigure county
lines, form new counties or consolidate counties.
Resolved further, That in accordance with the provisions of
article eleven, chapter three of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, the proposed
amendment is hereby numbered "Amendment No. 1" and designated the
"County Reconfiguration Amendment" and the purpose of the proposed
amendment is summarized as follows: "The purpose of this amendment
is to permit the Legislature to reconfigure county lines in the
year two thousand twelve, and every ten years thereafter."
NOTE: The purpose of this amendment is to authorize the
Legislature to reconfigure county lines, form new counties or
consolidate counties in the year two thousand twelve, and every ten
years thereafter, utilizing the current decennial census prepared
by the bureau of census of the United States department of
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present Constitution, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.
§8a is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.