Senate Bill No. 661
(By Senators Plymale, Browning and Stollings)
[Introduced February 20, 2012; referred to the Committee on Education.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18B-2A-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §21A-10-11 of said code, all relating to the West Virginia Network of Educational Telecomputing; collecting, synthesizing and disseminating data from state agencies; improving communication and cooperation among state education providers; directing institutional boards of governors to cooperate in certain data-related operations; requiring certain reports and providing certain privacy protections; setting forth certain penalties for noncompliance; and authorizing the Commissioner of Workforce West Virginia to share data with certain education providers.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18B-2A-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §21A-10-11 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 18B. HIGHER EDUCATION.
ARTICLE 2A. INSTITUTIONAL BOARDS OF GOVERNORS.
§18B-2A-3. Supervision of governing boards; promulgation of rules.
(a) The governing boards are subject to the supervision of the commission or the council, as appropriate, except in those instances where specific statutory exceptions are granted by law to the governing boards of Marshall University and West Virginia University.
(b) The governing boards of all state institutions of higher education are subject to the provisions of law that relate to the administration of personnel matters including, specifically, articles seven, eight, nine and nine-a of this chapter and to rules promulgated and adopted in accordance with these provisions.
(c) The Chancellor for Higher Education and the Chancellor for Community and Technical College Education, under the supervision of their respective boards, are responsible for the coordination of policies, purposes and rules of the governing boards and shall provide for and facilitate sufficient interaction among the governing boards and between the governing boards and the State Board of Education to meet the goals and objectives provided in the compacts and in section one-a, article one and article one-d of this chapter.
(d) The governing boards and the State Board of Education shall provide all information requested by the commission and the council, whether the request is made separately or jointly, in an appropriate format and in a timely manner.
(1) Each governing board shall cooperate with the West Virginia Network for Educational Telecomputing (WVNET) in designing appropriate interfaces with the databases of institutions under its jurisdiction and shall grant WVNET direct access to these databases.
(2) WVNET, on behalf of the commission and/or council, shall generate reports from the data accessed for the purposes set forth in sections eight and ten, article one-d of this chapter.
(3) All data accessed or received from an institution shall be treated in a manner consistent with the privacy protections outlined in section ten, article one-d of this chapter.
(4) The commission may revoke the eligibility of a state institution to participate in any state financial aid program set forth in chapter eighteen-c of this code for failure to comply promptly and in an appropriate manner with the provisions of this section.
CHAPTER 21A. UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION.
ARTICLE 10. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
§21A-10-11. Reporting requirements and required information; use of information; libel and slander actions prohibited.
(a) Each employer, including labor organizations as defined in subsection (I) of this section, shall, quarterly, submit certified reports on or before the last day of the month next following the calendar quarter, on forms to be prescribed by the commissioner. The reports shall contain:
(1) The employer’s assigned unemployment compensation registration number, the employer’s name and the address at which the employer’s payroll records are maintained;
(2) Each employee’s social security account number, name and the gross wages paid to each employee, which shall include the first $8,000 of remuneration and all amounts in excess of that amount, notwithstanding subdivision (1), subsection (b), section twenty-eight, article one-a of this chapter;
(3) The total gross wages paid within the quarter for employment, which includes money wages and the cash value of other remuneration, and shall include the first $8,000 of remuneration paid to each employee and all amounts in excess of that amount, notwithstanding subdivision (1), subsection (b), section twenty-eight, article one-a of this chapter; and
(4) Other information that is reasonably connected with the administration of this chapter.
(b) Information obtained may not be published or be open to public inspection to reveal the identity of the employing unit or the individual.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the commissioner may provide information obtained to the following governmental entities for purposes consistent with state and federal laws:
(1) The United States Department of Agriculture;
(2) The state agency responsible for enforcement of the Medicaid program under Title XIX of the Social Security Act;
(3) The United States Department of Health and Human Services or any state or federal program operating and approved under Title I, Title II, Title X, Title XIV or Title XVI of the Social Security Act;
(4) Those agencies of state government responsible for economic and community development; early childhood, primary, secondary, post-secondary and vocational education; the West Virginia P-20 longitudinal data system established pursuant to section ten, article one-d, chapter eighteen-b of this code; and vocational rehabilitation, employment and training, including, but not limited to, the administration of the Perkins Act and the Job Training and Partnership Act;
(5) The Tax Division, but only for the purposes of collection and enforcement;
(6) The Division of Labor for purposes of enforcing the wage bond and the contractor licensing provisions of chapter twenty-one of this code;
(7) Any agency of this or any other state, or any federal agency, charged with the administration of an unemployment compensation law or the maintenance of a system of public employment offices;
(8) Any claimant for benefits or any other interested party to the extent necessary for the proper presentation or defense of a claim; and
(9) The Workers’ Compensation Commission for purposes of collection and enforcement: Provided, That the Workers’ Compensation Commission shall provide similar information to the Bureau of Employment Programs.
(d) The agencies or organizations which receive information under subsection (c) of this section shall agree that the information shall remain confidential as not to reveal the identity of the employing unit or the individual consistent with the provisions of this chapter.
(e) The commissioner may, before furnishing any information permitted under this section, require that those who request the information shall reimburse the Bureau of Employment Programs for any cost associated for furnishing the information.
(f) The commissioner may refuse to provide any information requested under this section if the agency or organization making the request does not certify that it will comply with the state and federal law protecting the confidentiality of the information.
(g) A person who violates the confidentiality provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $20 nor more than $200 or confined in a county or regional jail not longer than ninety days, or both.
(h) No action for slander or libel, either criminal or civil, shall be predicated upon information furnished by any employer or any employee to the commissioner in connection with the administration of any of the provisions of this chapter.
(i) For purposes of subsection (a) of this section, the term “labor organization” means any organization of any kind, or any agency or employee representation committee or plan, in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment or conditions of work. It includes any entity, also known as a hiring hall, which is used by the organization and an employer to carry out requirements described in 29 U.S.C. §158(f)(3) of an agreement between the organization and the employer.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to improve communication and cooperation among state education providers through data sharing with the state’s P-20 longitudinal data system; require state institutions of higher education to give WVNET direct access to campus data; and authorize the Commissioner of WorkForce West Virginia to share data with state agencies responsible for early childhood and primary education and the P-20 longitudinal data system.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.