Members of such committees or subcommittees under this subsection, performing duties as members thereof, shall receive travel expense reimbursement as provided in section six, article two-a, chapter four and interim expense reimbursement as provided in section eight, article two-a, chapter four. However, to be eligible to receive travel expense reimbursement and interim expense reimbursement, meetings of these select committees and subcommittees thereof must be authorized by the rules committee of such house. Expenses shall be paid from any appropriation to the use and benefit of the house adopting the resolution.
Such committees or subcommittees shall have such staff as may be directed by the presiding officer of that house from which its membership is drawn, which may be paid for from appropriations to the use and benefit of such house, as designated by the rules committee thereof.
(b) From the date of adjournment sine die of any regular session of the Legislature until the first day of the next succeeding regular session of the Legislature, the Legislature by concurrent resolution, or the joint committee on government and finance on its own motion, may appoint a joint standing committee or a joint select committee, or any joint subcommittee of such standing or select committee, to function under the supervision of the joint committee on government and finance. Any such committee or subcommittee shall be composed of the standing or select committees of the respective houses having similar titles or jurisdiction, and similarly constituted, and the membership thereof shall be composed of members of the respective standing or select committees of each house, or subcommittees thereof, or be designated by the presiding officer of each house: Provided, That the membership of such joint committee or subcommittee may be drawn from more than one such standing or select committee.
(c) Members of the Legislature performing interim duties as members of the joint committee on government and finance, the commission on interstate cooperation, the joint committee on government operations, the legislative commission on pensions and retirement, the legislative rule-making review committee, the commission on special investigations, standing committees of the Senate and of the House of Delegates, and authorized subcommittees of each of the above committees and commissions are authorized to meet between regular sessions of the Legislature, subject to the direction of the joint committee on government and finance. Members of the Legislature performing interim duties as a member of said committees or commissions, or subcommittees thereof, under this subsection, shall receive interim compensation as provided in section five, article two-a, chapter four; travel expense reimbursement as provided in section six, article two-a, chapter four; and interim expense reimbursement as provided in section eight, article two-a, chapter four. However, to be eligible to receive the interim compensation, travel expense reimbursement and interim expense reimbursement, payment must be authorized by the joint committee on government and finance.
The joint committee on government and finance shall coordinate meetings, of said committees and commissions, and subcommittees thereof, between regular sessions of the Legislature.
(a) When the Senate or House of Delegates, or a committee of either house, authorized to examine witnesses, by resolution or by rules of the Senate or of the House of Delegates, shall order the attendance of any witness, or the production of any books, papers, documents or records necessary for the Senate, House of Delegates or a committee thereof to perform its duties, a summons shall be issued accordingly, signed by the presiding officer or clerk of such house, or the chairman of such committee, directed to the sheriff or other proper officer of any county, or to the sergeant at arms of such house, or any person deputed by him. When a committee is appointed by each house under any joint or concurrent resolution, and directed to sit jointly, with authority to examine witnesses or send for persons or documents, the subpoena aforesaid may be signed by the chairman of the committee on the part of the Senate or the chairman of the committee on the part of the House of Delegates.
(b) If any witness subpoenaed to appear at any hearing or meeting pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall refuse to appear or to answer inquiries there propounded, or shall fail or refuse to produce books, papers, documents or records within his or her control when the same are subpoenaed, the Senate, House of Delegates or a committee thereof, in its discretion may enforce obedience to its subpoena by attachment, fine or imprisonment, or it may report the facts to the circuit court of Kanawha County or any other court of competent jurisdiction and such court shall compel obedience to the subpoena as though such subpoena had been issued by such court in the first instance.
Witnesses subpoenaed to attend such hearings or meetings, except officers or employees of the state, shall be allowed the same mileage and per diem as is allowed witnesses before any petit jury in this state.
(c) The provisions of article one, chapter six-c of this code are expressly applicable to persons testifying pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.
When any committee of either house, or joint committee, is authorized to examine witnesses, or to send for persons and papers, the chairman of such committee, or in his absence any member thereof, may administer the oath to any witness produced to testify before it.
A vacancy in the office of clerk of the Senate or Clerk of the House of Delegates, happening when the Legislature is not in session, shall be filled by appointment by the President of the Senate for a vacancy occurring in the office of clerk of the Senate and by the Speaker of the House of Delegates for a vacancy occurring in the office of Clerk of the House of Delegates, to expire at the meeting of the next regular or extraordinary session of the Legislature. If any such vacancy happen when the Legislature is in session, it shall be filled in the same manner as is provided for the election of such officer at the commencement of each regular session.
(b) For the purposes of this section, the words or terms defined in this subsection have the meanings ascribed to them. These definitions are applicable unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context.
(1) "Applicable time period" means and includes the following:
(A) The ten-day time period immediately before any regular or extraordinary session of the Legislature;
(B) The time period during any regular or extraordinary session of the Legislature;
(C) The thirty-day time period immediately following the adjournment sine die of any regular or extraordinary session of the Legislature;
(D) The four-day time period before any interim meetings of any committee of the Legislature or before any party caucus;
(E) The time period during any interim meetings of the Legislature or any party caucus; or
(F) The four-day time period following the conclusion of any interim meetings of any committee of the Legislature or party caucus.
(2) "Designated employee" means any legislative employee designated in writing by the Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates to the Clerk of the House of Delegates or by the President of the West Virginia Senate to the Clerk of the West Virginia Senate to be necessary to the operation of the Legislature, such that the legislative employee will be afforded the protections of this section.
(3) "Member" means a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates or the West Virginia Senate.
(4) "Tribunal" means a judicial or quasijudicial entity of the judicial or executive branch of government, or any legislative, judicial or quasijudicial entity of a political subdivision, created or authorized under the Constitution or laws of this state.
(c) A notice filed with a tribunal pursuant to subsection (e) of this section operates as an automatic stay of a judicial or administrative action or proceeding commenced before or after the notice was filed. The automatic stay is in force for the applicable time period or periods described in the notice unless it is otherwise waived in accordance with the provisions of subsection (f) of this section. In the event a session or meeting of the Legislature is extended, the notice may be amended to reflect a longer applicable time period. The filing of the notice and the automatic stay do not prohibit the commencement of an action or proceeding, the issuance or employment of process or other preliminary procedures that do not require the presence or personal attention of the member or designated employee.
(d) During any applicable time period, a member or designated employee who does not otherwise consent to a waiver of the stay is not required to do any of the following:
(1) Appear in any tribunal, whether as an attorney, party, witness or juror;
(2) Respond in any tribunal to any complaint, petition, pleading, notice or motion that would require a personal appearance or the filing of a responsive pleading;
(3) File in any tribunal any brief, memorandum or motion;
(4) Respond to any motion for depositions upon oral examination or written questions;
(5) Respond to any written interrogatories, request for production of documents or things, request for admissions or any other discovery procedure, whether or not denominated as such; or
(6) Appear or respond to any other act or thing in the nature of those described in subdivision (1), (2), (3), (4) or (5) of this subsection; or
(7) Make any other appearance before a tribunal or attend to any other matter pending in a tribunal that in the discretion of the member or designated employee would inhibit the member or designated employee in the exercise of the legislative duties and responsibilities owed to the public.
(e) A member or designated employee who desires to exercise the protections afforded by this section shall not be required to appear in any tribunal to assert the protections. In all cases, it shall be sufficient if the member or designated employee notifies the tribunal in question orally or in writing, stating that he or she is invoking the protections of this section, describing the action, proceeding or act to be stayed, and further identifying the applicable period or periods for which the notice will operate as a stay. An oral communication with the tribunal shall be followed by a written notice or facsimile transmission to the tribunal mailed or transmitted no later than two business days after the oral communication. From the time of the oral communication or the mailing or transmission of the written notice, whichever is earlier, the notice operates as a stay of all proceedings in the pending matter until the applicable time periods have passed and expired.
(f) Notwithstanding the filing of a notice that operates as a stay, a member or designated employee may later consent to waive the stay and make an appearance or attend to a matter that would otherwise be stayed. However, a waiver as to a particular appearance or act does not terminate, annul, modify or condition the stay for any other purpose.
(g) The deference afforded by this section to members and designated employees who are serving a client in a representative capacity is also fully and completely extended to their clients, so that no person whose representative before a tribunal is a member or designated employee may be required, during any applicable time period, to do anything that his or her representative is not required to do under subsection (d) of this section.
(h) Unless the member or designated employee consents thereto, no cocounsel, partner, associate, spouse or employee of the member or designated employee may be required to make any appearance or do any act during any applicable time period in the place and stead of the member or designated employee.
(i) Any sentence, judgment, order, decree, finding, decision, recommendation or award made contrary to the provisions of this section in any action or proceeding in any tribunal, without the consent of the member or designated employee, is void.
(j) Tribunals of the federal government and those of other states are requested to honor the spirit and purpose of this section pursuant to the doctrines of comity and federalism. Further, it is the policy of this state that tribunals of this state shall afford to legislators and staff personnel of the federal government and other states the protections afforded by the provisions of this section if the tribunals of the federal government and the other jurisdictions afford members or designated employees of the West Virginia Legislature the same protections in their tribunals.
Acts, 2006 Reg. Sess., Ch. 26.
All of the copies named in this section shall be sent by mail, express or otherwise as the clerk may deem best. The acts to which officers of a county may be entitled shall be forwarded to the clerk of the county court thereof and shall be delivered by him to the officers entitled to receive the same. Upon receipt of such acts by him, the clerk of the county court shall forward his receipt therefor to the clerk of the House of Delegates specifying the number received, and he shall require each person receiving a copy of such acts from him to sign a receipt therefor in a book to be kept by him for that purpose. The remaining copies of the acts shall be in the custody of the division of purchases, department of finance and administration, and be sold and disposed of as provided in section thirty-one, article three, chapter five-a of this code.
The clerk may cause a copy of such acts to be furnished to any officer, board, commission, institution or tribunal not named herein.
(a) The Legislature hereby recognizes that in December, one thousand nine hundred sixty-eight, the Citizens Advisory Commission on the Legislature of West Virginia concluded its study for strengthening the West Virginia Legislature; that such commission recommended that the capitol building be utilized primarily for the space needs of the Legislature and that certain executive department offices be moved outside of the capitol building as necessary to provide the Legislature with the space it requires; and that these recommendations were based upon the following observations and conclusions of such commission: (1) There are fifteen committees in the Senate which consider legislation and twelve committees in the House of Delegates which consider legislation, (2) the rules committee of the Senate meets in the office of the President of the Senate and rules committee of the House of Delegates meets in the office of the Speaker of the House of Delegates, (3) the remaining fourteen committees of the Senate share three permanent committee rooms, (4) the remaining eleven committees of the House of Delegates share five permanent committee rooms, (5) the Legislature does not have a hearing room or a committee room large enough to accommodate large public hearings, (6) when any large public hearing is held, the chamber of the Senate or the House of Delegates must be used, thereby eliminating the desks of the members on the floor of the chamber as work space for members not involved in the public hearing, (7) there are no rooms available in which individual members of the Legislature may talk with their constituents, (8) that at the very least offices should be provided for individual members of the Legislature to be used on a shared basis, (9) there is a pressing need for additional permanent committee rooms, with the view that in time all legislative committees which consider legislation would be assigned individual committee rooms, (10) that at least during legislative sessions, all committee chairmen should be provided, if possible, with a private office, and if not possible, with offices on a shared basis, (11) there should be adequate office space for the staff of the Senate and House of Delegates, and (12) the Legislature should have at least one hearing room, sufficiently large to seat one hundred fifty persons in addition to a legislative committee of twenty-five persons. The Legislature hereby determines and finds that the recommendations of the Citizens Advisory Commission on the Legislature of West Virginia with respect to the space needs of the Legislature and the observations and conclusions of such commission upon which such recommendations were based are correct and proper. The remainder of this section is enacted to implement the recommendations of the commission in this regard.
(b) The Legislature shall continue to have the exclusive use of all of the space in the main unit of the capitol building above the ground floor, the main unit being that portion of the capitol building connecting the east and west wings. In addition, the following space in the capitol building is assigned to and set aside for the exclusive use of the Legislature, with the use therefore to be determined by the Joint Committee on Government and Finance:
(1) All of the space on the second floor of the east wing of the capitol building; and
(2) All of the space on the second floor of the west wing of the capitol building, except that room designated and numbered W-212 and the large vault used and occupied by the land division of the State Auditor's office, which said room W-212 and said vault shall continue to be used and occupied by the office of the State Auditor. The additional space for the Legislature provided for in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection shall be made available to the Legislature as soon as possible, but shall in any event be made available for occupancy by the Legislature not later than July 1, one thousand nine hundred seventy-two.
(c) As soon as the additional space provided for in subsection (b) of this section is made available for occupancy by the Legislature, then (1) the rooms designated and numbered E-126, E-128, E-130, E-132, E-134, E-136 and E-138 on the ground floor of the east wing of the capitol building and the rooms designated and numbered E-140, 28, 30 and 32 on the ground floor of the main unit of the capitol building and occupied by the office of legislative services on the effective date of this section shall be relinquished by the Legislature for occupancy by the executive branch of the state government, and (2) as a substitute for the space on the second floor of the west wing vacated by the State Auditor, and in order to insure adequate space for the Office of the State Auditor, a constitutional officer, all of the ground floor of the west wing of the capitol building (except the rooms designated and numbered W-129, W-131, W-133, W-135, W-137, W-139, W-141, W-148, W-150, W-152, W-154, W-156 and W-158 and except for the space occupied on the effective date of this section by the Office of the Department of Public Institutions) shall be assigned to and set aside for the exclusive use of the State Auditor.
(d) If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held unconstitutional or invalid, such unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the section, and to this end the provisions of this section are declared to be severable.
(b) In addition to such number of copies of bills as may be required to be presented for introduction by the rules of the respective houses, all bills or resolutions prefiled shall have two additional copies appended. After numbering such bills or resolutions and editing and correcting them as to form, as may be required by the rules of the respective houses, the appropriate clerk shall make a tentative referral to the appropriate committee of the house, forwarding two copies thereof to the committee. Prior to making such tentative referral, the clerk shall confer with the presiding officer of the appropriate house if such presiding officer is available and make such referral as such presiding officer shall direct. Upon the commencement of the session of the Legislature, the clerk, upon ratification by the appropriate presiding officer of the tentative referral, shall proceed with the formal introduction of prefiled bills or resolutions according to the method of introducing bills as may be provided by the rules of the respective houses.
(c) Copies of prefiled bills and resolutions shall be mailed to any member and each member-elect of the Legislature requesting the same and reasonable quantities shall be made available to the public and the news media.
(d) Once a bill or resolution is prefiled as herein provided, it may not be withdrawn or amended prior to its formal introduction unless the rules of the house involved otherwise direct.
(b) Failure to comply with this section is nonfeasance of office.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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