Senate Bill No. 634
(By Senators Hunter, Helmick, Plymale, Minard, Kessler and Unger)
[Originating in the Committee on Military;
reported February 20, 2008.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §15-1J-1, §15-1J-2,
§15-1J-3, §15-1J-4 and §15-1J-5, all relating to establishing
the West Virginia Military Authority; providing for the
receipt of federal and state funds by the West Virginia
National Guard; developing and administering security
programs; and hiring of employees.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §15-1J-1, §15-1J-2,
§15-1J-3, §15-1J-4 and §15-1J-5, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1J. THE WEST VIRGINIA MILITARY AUTHORITY ACT.
§15-1J-1. Short title.
This article shall be known and may be cited as the West
Virginia Military Authority Act.
§15-1J-2. Legislative findings.
The Legislature finds that the West Virginia National Guard is
a unique entity that has a dual mission for both West Virginia and
the United States. In this dual capacity, the West Virginia
National Guard receives funds to administer programs, including the
hiring of employees, that the federal government, including the
Department of Defense, provides to the guard in support of specific
activities for various federal agencies for national security and
homeland security purposes. These programs fulfill specific agency
purposes and necessarily require continued funding by the federal
Additionally, the guard continues to receive federal funding
to develop and maintain capabilities to house, refurbish, rebuild
and maintain military equipment and conduct other tests and
operational activities to support national and homeland security
objectives. These activities require the guard to hire persons who
will be compensated, in whole or in part, with federal funds. It
is further determined and declared that it is necessary for the
guard to develop and implement a procedure for hiring and
management of nonmilitary employees to support its specific
As used in this article, unless the content clearly indicates
(a) "Authority" means the West Virginia Military Authority.
(b) "BRIM" means the West Virginia Board of Risk Management.
(c) "Guard" means West Virginia National Guard, including its Army and Air components.
(d) "Employee" means any person who, within the at-will
employment relationship, is hired, performs duties and is paid a
wage or salary.
(e) "PEIA" means Public Employee's Insurance Act.
(f) "PERS" means Public Employee's Retirement System.
§15-1J-4. Establishment and general powers of the authority.
(a) The West Virginia Military Authority is hereby established
in order to receive funds on behalf of the guard and to administer
programs, including hiring of employees, for programs that the
federal government provides specifically for the guard for national
security, homeland security and other military related purposes.
(b) The programs and employees will require continued funding
by the federal and/or state governments.
(c) The authority will be administered by the Adjutant General
and the Adjutant General's department.
(d) Funds provided by the federal government and any matching
state funds will be transferred to and administered by the Adjutant
(e) The authority, as a governmental instrumentality
exercising public powers of the state, shall have and may exercise
all powers necessary or appropriate to carry out the purpose of
this article, except those specifically prohibited by statute,
including the authority to:
(1) Execute cooperative agreements between the guard and the
federal and/or state governments;
(2) Contract on behalf of the guard with the federal
government, its instrumentalities and agencies, the state, its
agencies and instrumentalities, municipalities, foreign
governments, public bodies, private corporations, partnerships,
associations and individuals;
(3) Use operating revenues for the maintenance, construction
or reconstruction of capital repair and replacement items as
necessary and approved by the authority;
(4) Procure insurance with state funds through BRIM covering
property and other assets of the authority in amounts and from
insurers that BRIM determines necessary;
(5) Hire employees at an appropriate salary equivalent to a
competitive wage rate;
(6) Enroll employees in PERS, PEIA, and workers' compensation
and unemployment programs, or their equivalents: Provided,
the authority, through the receipt of federal and/or state funds,
pays the required employer contributions;
(7) Cooperate with economic development agencies in efforts to
promote the expansion of industry, commerce and manufacturing in
(8) Develop a human resources division that will administer
and manage its employees and receive state matching funds as
necessary to insure maximum federal funds are secured;
(9) Due to the at-will employment relationship with the
authority, its employees may not avail themselves of the state
grievance procedure as set forth in article six-a, chapter twenty-nine of this code; and
(10) Have the ability to secure all other bonding, insurance
or other liability protections necessary for its employees to
fulfill their duties and responsibilities.
(a) The authority shall have the power to hire, administer and
manage employees necessary to fulfill its responsibilities.
(1) All employees will be exempt from both the classified
services category and the classified exempt services category as
set forth in section four, article six, chapter twenty-nine of this
(2) Employee positions are contingent on the receipt of the
necessary federal and/or state funds.
(3) Each employee hired shall be deemed an at-will employee
who may be discharged or released from his or her respective
position without cause or reason.
(4) Employees will participate in the PEIA, PERS and workers'
compensation and unemployment compensation programs, or their
equivalents. Public safety related positions will continue to
require dual status membership as outlined in section twenty-six,
article one-b, chapter fifteen of this code.
(b) The Adjutant General will set appropriate salary rates
equivalent to a competitive wage rate necessary to support a
(c) Security guards and military firefighters hired by the
authority under the provisions of this article
will continue to have the same authority and must meet the requirements as set forth
in section twenty-two, article one-b of this chapter and section
twenty-six of said article.
The purpose of this bill is to enable the West
Virginia National Guard to receive federal and state funds for
national security and homeland security purposes; to develop and
administer security programs; and the hiring of employees.
The article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.)
FINANCE COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
On page three, section four, line nineteen, after the word
"General" by changing the period to a comma and adding the
following: subject to appropriation by the Legislature.