HB4236 S H&HR AM #1

Johnson 7909


    The Committee on Health and Human Resources moved to amend the bill by striking out everything after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

    That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §15-9B-1 and §15-9B-2, all to read as follows:


§15-9B-1. Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Commission.

    (a) There is created within The Governor’s Committee on Crime, Delinquency and Correction the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Commission. The purpose of the commission is to establish, manage and monitor a statewide system to facilitate the timely and efficient collection of forensic evidence in sexual assault cases.

    (b) The commission shall be chaired by the director of the Division of Justice and Community Service. Membership on the commission shall consist of the following:

    (1) A representative chosen from the membership of the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorney’s Association;

    (2) A representative chosen from the membership of the West Virginia Association of Counties;

    (3) The Commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health, or his or her designee;

    (4) A representative from the State Police Crime Laboratory;

    (5) A representative from the membership of the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network;

    (6) The President of the West Virginia Hospital Association, or his or her designee;

    (7) A representative from the membership of the West Virginia Foundation for Rape and Information Services;

    (8) A representative of the West Virginia University Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program; and

    (9) A representative of the Marshall University Forensic Science Center.

    If any of the representative organizations cease to exist, the director may select a person from a similar organization.

    The director may appoint the following additional members of the commission, as needed:

    (1) An emergency room physician;

    (2) A victim advocate from a rape crisis center;

    (3) A sexual assault nurse examiner;

    (4) A law-enforcement officer with experience in sexual assault investigations;

    (5) A health care provider with pediatric and child abuse expertise; and

    (6) A director of a child advocacy center.

    (c) The commission shall establish mandatory statewide protocols for conducting sexual assault forensic examinations, including designating locations and providers to perform forensic examinations, establishing minimum qualifications and procedures for performing forensic examinations and establishing protocols to assure the proper collection of evidence.

    (d) As used in this article, the word “commission” means the “Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Commission”.

§15-9B-2. Powers and duties of the commission.

    (a) The commission shall facilitate the recruitment and retention of qualified health care providers that are properly qualified to conduct forensic examinations. The commission shall work with county and regional officials to identify areas of greatest need and develop and implement recruitment and retention programs to help facilitate the effective collection of evidence.

    (b) The commission shall authorize minimum training requirements for providers conducting exams and establish a basic standard of care for victims of sexual assault. The commission may adopt necessary and reasonable requirements relating to establishment of a statewide training and forensic examination system, including, but not limited to, developing a data collection system to monitor adherence to established standards, assisting exam providers receive training and support services, advocating the fair and reasonable reimbursement to exam providers and to facilitate transportation services for victims to get to and from designated exam locations.

    (c) The commission shall approve local plans for each area of the state on a county or regional basis. If the commission deems necessary, it may add or remove a county or portion thereof from a region to assure that all areas of the state are included in an appropriate local plan. Upon the failure of any county or local region to propose a plan, the commission may implement a plan for that county or region.

    (d) Once a plan is approved by the commission, it can only be amended or otherwise altered as provided the rules authorized pursuant to subsection (e) of this section. Designated facilities and organizations providing services shall give the commission thirty days advance notice of their intent to withdraw from the plan. If there is a change of circumstances, that would require a change in a county or regional plan, the members of the local board and the state commission shall be notified.

    (e) The commission may propose rules for legislative approval, in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, necessary to implement this article. These rules shall include, at a minimum:

    (1) Establishment of local sexual assault forensic examination boards who shall develop local plans;

    (2) Membership of local sexual assault forensic examination boards;

    (3) Meeting requirements of local sexual assault forensic examination boards;

    (4) Contents and minimum requirements of a local plans to be developed by local sexual assault forensic examination boards;

    (5) The process of submission of the local plan and approval by the commission; and

    (6) The manner for amending or altering a local plan.