Senate Bill No. 587
(By Senator Bowman)
[Originating in the Committee on Government Organization;
reported February 26, 2010.]
A BILL to repeal §30-26-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as
amended; to amend and reenact §30-26-2 and §30-26-3 of said
and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section,
§30-26-3a, all relating to the Board of Hearing-Aid
Dealers generally; prohibiting physicians from permitting any
unlicensed person to engage in the practice of dispensing
hearing aids; clarifying powers and duties of the board;
imposing term limits on board members; removing the statutory
per diem salary granted to board members; specifying
provisions for administrative fees; and removing the
requirement that the Department of Health and Human Resources
provide administrative assistance to the board.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §30-26-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be repealed; that §30-26-2 and §30-26-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new
section, designated as §30-26-3a, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 26. HEARING-AID DEALERS AND FITTERS.
§30-26-2. Engaging in practice of hearing-aid dealer or trainee
without license prohibited; exceptions.
(a) Except as provided in subsections (b), (c) and (d) hereof
no person, shall on or after the effective date of this article,
engage in the practice of dealing in or fitting of hearing aids,
either as a hearing-aid dealer, fitter or as a trainee, nor shall
any person advertise or assume any such practice, without first
being licensed or otherwise qualified under the provisions of this
(b) If the applicant is a partnership, trust, association,
corporation or other like organization, the application, in
addition to such other information as the board may require, shall
be accompanied by an application for a license for each person,
whether owner or employee, of such applicant who serves in the
capacity of a hearing-aid dealer or fitter, or shall contain a
statement that such applications for all such persons are submitted
separately. No partnership, trust, association, corporation,
medical practitioner or other like organization shall permit any
unlicensed person to sell hearing aids or to engage in the practice
of dealing in or fitting of hearing aids.
(c) This article is not intended to prevent any person who is
not licensed under this article from engaging in the practice of measuring human hearing for the purpose of selection of hearing
aids, provided such person or organization employing such person
does not sell hearing aids or accessories thereto, except in the
case of earmolds to be used only for the purpose of audiologic
(d) State or local governmental organizations or agencies and
organizations chartered as not-for-profit shall not be eligible for
licensure to fit and dispense hearing aids.
§30-26-3. West Virginia Board of Hearing-Aid Dealers; powers and
(a) The West Virginia Board of Hearing-Aid Dealers is
continued with the following five members appointed by the Governor
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate:
(1) One person licensed to practice medicine in this state;
(2) One person holding a degree in audiology from an
accredited college or university; and
(3) Three licensed hearing-aid dealers or fitters with at
least five years experience.
(b) The term shall be for four years. A member may not serve
more than two consecutive full terms. A member having served two
consecutive full terms may not be appointed for one year after
completion of his or her second full term. A member may continue
to serve until a successor has been appointed and qualified.
(c) Each member of the board must be a resident of this state
during the appointment term.
(d) A vacancy on the board shall be filled by appointment by
the Governor for the unexpired term of the member whose office is
vacant and the appointment shall be made within sixty days of the
(e) The Governor may remove any member from the board for
neglect of duty, incompetency or official misconduct.
(f) A member of the board immediately and automatically
forfeits membership to the board if his or her license to practice
is suspended or revoked, is convicted of a felony under the laws of
any jurisdiction, or becomes a nonresident of this state.
(g) The board shall elect annually from its members a
chairperson and a vice chairperson who serve at the will of the
(h) Each member of the board is entitled to expense
reimbursement in accordance with article one [§§30-1-1 et seq.] of
(i) A majority of the members of the board constitutes a
(j) The board shall hold at least two annual meetings. Other
meetings may be held at the call of the chairperson or upon the
written request of two members, at the time and place as designated
in the call or request.
(k) Prior to commencing his or her duties as a member of the
board, each member shall take and subscribe to the oath required by
section five, article four of the Constitution of this state.
(l) The board has the authority, with the assistance of the department to generally supervise, regulate and control the
practice of dealing in or fitting of hearing aids in this state,
and in so doing, shall administer qualifying examinations in
accordance with the provisions of this article to test the
knowledge and proficiency of all prospective licensees or trainees.
(m) The board may purchase and maintain or rent audiometric
equipment and other facilities necessary to carry out the
examination of applicants as provided in this article and may
such other equipment and supplies and employ such persons
as it deems deemed appropriate to carry out execute the provisions
of this article.
(n) The board shall
promulgate propose for legislative
approval reasonable rules and regulations in accordance with and
subject to the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a
of this code:
(a)(1) For the proper performance of its duties;
(b)(2) To define and prescribe the ethical practice of dealing
in or fitting of hearing aids for the safety, protection and
welfare of the public;
(c)(3) To govern the time, place and manner of conducting the
examinations required by this article and the standard, scope and
subject of such the examinations, which examinations shall, as a
minimum, conform with the standards, scope and subjects set forth
in section six of this article and manner and form in which
applications for such the examinations shall be filed;
(d)(4) To establish procedures for determining whether persons holding similar valid licenses from other states or jurisdictions
shall be are required to take and successfully pass the appropriate
qualifying examination as a condition for such licensing in this
(e)(5) To establish such fees for such examinations, permits,
licenses and renewals as may be are necessary to cover the costs of
§30-26-3a. Fees; special revenue account; administrative fines.
(a) All fees and other moneys, except administrative fees,
received by the board shall be deposited in a separate special
revenue fund in the State Treasury designated as the "West Virginia
Board of Hearing-Aid Dealers Fund", which is continued. The fund
is used by the board for the administration of this article.
Except as provided in article one [§§30-1-1 et seq.] of this
chapter, the board retains the amount in the special revenue
account from year to year. No compensation or expense incurred
under this article is a charge against the General Revenue Fund.
(b) Any amount received as fines, imposed pursuant to this
article, shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund of the