(a) Findings. -- The Legislature finds that:
(1) The production of iron, steel, manufactured goods, coal and timber provides jobs and family income to many individuals in this state and, in turn, the jobs and family incomes of millions of persons in the United States;
(2) The taxes paid to the state and its political subdivisions by employers and employees engaged in the production and sale of iron, steel, manufactured goods, coal and timber are a large source of public revenues for West Virginia;
(3) The economy and general welfare of West Virginia and its people and the economy and general welfare of the United States are inseparably linked to the preservation and development of manufacturing, harvesting and mineral extraction industries in this state, as well as all the other states of this nation;
(4) The state's taxpayer dollars are better spent if reinvested with its individual and employer taxpayers in order to foster job retention and growth, particularly within the manufacturing, harvesting and mineral extraction sectors, and to ensure a broad and healthy tax base for future investments vital to the state's infrastructure; and
(5) West Virginia's procurement policies should reflect the state's and the nation's principles ensuring that the products of those companies and workers who abide by workplace safety and environmental laws, rules and regulations should be rewarded with a commonsense preference in government contracting.
(b) Declaration of policy. -- It is the policy of West Virginia that the state and its political subdivisions should aid and promote the economy of this state and the United States by requiring a preference for the procurement of iron, steel, manufactured goods, coal and timber produced in the United States in all contracts for the construction, reconstruction, repair, improvement or maintenance of public buildings and public works projects.
(c) The Purchasing Division and the Division of Labor shall jointly convene the task force created in subsection (d) of this section to study the use of American-made construction materials and manufactured goods in the various aspects of the construction and maintenance of public buildings and public works projects of the state and its political subdivisions which are funded in part by state grants, state loans or state appropriations.
(d) A task force is hereby created to assist the divisions with this study. The task force shall consist of:
(1) An architect, an engineer and a contractor, each designated by his or her respective licensing board;
(2) One representative of the largest organization representing West Virginia manufacturers;
(3) One representative each from the Division of Highways, the School Building Authority, the Water Development Authority, the General Services Division and the Higher Education Policy Commission; and
(4) Four labor representatives chosen by the largest labor organization in the state.
(e) The study shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) The need to maintain a list of all suppliers qualified to provide construction materials and manufactured goods produced in the United States;
(2) The percentage of domestically produced construction materials and manufactured goods to be included in a construction project to qualify it as built with American made construction materials and manufactured goods; and
(3) Possible changes to the bid process, including waiver requirements.
(f) The directors of the Purchasing Division and the Division of Labor shall report the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, by December 31, 2012, on the task force's findings on the best methods of promoting the American production of iron, steel, manufactured goods, coal and timber and creating jobs through a buy American mandate, as well as the burdens and benefits of such mandate on the construction industry in West Virginia and the state's public building and public works projects. Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session