(b) The task force shall consist of seven voting members and two ex officio, nonvoting members who are appointed as specified in this section:
(1) The Governor shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, three members to represent the viewpoint of operators in this state. When these members are to be appointed, the Governor shall request from the major trade association representing operators in this state a list of three nominees for each position on the task force. All nominees shall be persons with special experience and competence in coal mine health and safety. There shall be submitted with the list, a summary of the qualifications of each nominee. For purposes of this subdivision, the major trade association representing operators in this state is that association which represents operators accounting for over one half of the coal produced in mines in this state in the year prior to the year in which the appointment is to be made.
(2) The Governor shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, three members who can reasonably be expected to represent the viewpoint of the working miners of this state. When members are to be appointed, the Governor shall request from the major employee organization representing coal miners within this state a list of three nominees for each position on the task force. The highest ranking official within the major employee organization representing coal miners within this state shall submit a list of three nominees for each position on the board. The nominees shall have a background in coal mine health and safety.
(3) The Governor shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, one certified mine safety professional from the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University;
(4) The Health and Safety Administrator, pursuant to section six, article six of this chapter, shall serve as a member of the task force as an ex officio, nonvoting member; and
(5) The Director of the Office of Miner's Health, Safety and Training or his or her designee, shall serve as a ex officio, nonvoting member.
(c) Each appointed member of the task force shall serve at the will and pleasure of the Governor.
(d) Whenever a vacancy on the task force occurs, nominations and appointments shall be made in the manner prescribed in this section: Provided, That in the case of an appointment to fill a vacancy, nominations of three persons for each vacancy shall be requested by and submitted to the Governor within thirty days after the vacancy occurs by the major trade association or major employee organization, if any, which nominated the person whose seat on the task force is vacant.
(e) Each member of the task force shall be paid the expense reimbursement, as is paid to members of the Legislature for their interim duties as recommended by the Citizens Legislative Compensation Commission and authorized by law for each day or portion thereof engaged in the discharge of official duties. In the event the expenses are paid by a third party, the member shall not be reimbursed by the state. The reimbursement shall be paid out of the State Treasury upon a requisition upon the State Auditor, properly certified by the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training. An employer shall not prohibit a member of the task force from exercising leave of absence from his or her place of employment in order to attend a meeting of the task force or a meeting of a subcommittee of the task force, or to prepare for a meeting of the task force, any contract of employment to the contrary notwithstanding.
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