SB493 SFA Baldwin #1 2-7

Toney  7816


Senator Baldwin moved to amend the bill by striking out everything after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

chapter 6. general provisions respecting officers.

article 9a. open governmental proceedings.

§6-9A-2. Definitions.

As used in this article:

(1) “Decision” means any determination, action, vote or final disposition of a motion, proposal, resolution, order, ordinance or measure on which a vote of the governing body is required at any meeting at which a quorum is present.

(2) “Emergency meeting” means any meeting called by a governing body for the purpose of addressing an unexpected event which requires immediate attention because it poses:

(A) An imminent threat to public health or safety;

(B) An imminent threat of damage to public or private property; or

(C) An imminent material financial loss or other imminent substantial harm to a public agency, its employees or the members of the public which it serves.

(3) “Executive session” means any meeting or part of a meeting of a governing body which is closed to the public.

(4) “Governing body” means the members of any public agency having the authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a public agency on policy or administration, the membership of a governing body consists of two or more members; for the purposes of this article, a governing body of the Legislature is any standing, select or special committee, except the commission on special investigations, as determined by the rules of the respective houses of the Legislature.

(5) “Meeting” means the convening of a governing body of a public agency for which a quorum is required in order to make a decision or to deliberate toward a decision on any matter which results in an official action. Meetings may be held by telephone conference or other electronic means. The term meeting does not include:

(A) Any meeting for the purpose of making an adjudicatory decision in any quasi-judicial, administrative or Court of Claims proceeding;

(B) Any on-site inspection of any project or program;

(C) Any political party caucus;

(D) General discussions among members of a governing body on issues of interest to the public when held in a planned or unplanned social, educational, training, informal, ceremonial or similar setting, without intent to conduct public business even if a quorum is present and public business is discussed but there is no intention for the discussion to lead to an official action; or

(E) Discussions by members of a governing body on logistical and procedural methods to schedule and regulate a meeting.

(6) “Official action” means action which is taken by virtue of power granted by law, ordinance, policy, rule, or by virtue of the office held.

(7) “Public agency” means any administrative or legislative unit of state, county or municipal government, including any department, division, bureau, office, commission, authority, board, public corporation, section, committee, subcommittee or any other agency or subunit of the foregoing, authorized by law to exercise some portion of executive or legislative power. The term “public agency” does not include courts created by article eight of the West Virginia Constitution or the system of family law masters created by article four [§§ 48A-4-1 et seq., repealed], chapter forty-eight-a of this code.  The term “public agency” does include public charter school as that term is defined by section two, article five-g, chapter eighteen of this code as well as all private, parochial, or church schools which accept any amount of public funding.

(8) “Quorum” means the gathering of a simple majority of the constituent membership of a governing body, unless applicable law provides for varying the required ratio.

(9) “Regular meeting” means a meeting of a governing body at which the regular business of the public is conducted.

(10) “Special meeting” means a meeting of a governing body other than a regular meeting or an emergency meeting.

chapter 18. education.


§18-5-4. Meetings; employment and assignment of teachers; budget hearing; compensation of members; affiliation with state and national associations.

(a) The county board shall meet upon the dates provided by law, and at any other times the county board fixes upon its records. Subject to adequate public notice, nothing in this section prohibits the county board from conducting regular meetings in facilities within the county other than the county board office. At any meeting as authorized in this section and in compliance with the provisions of chapter 18A of this code, the county board may employ qualified teachers, or those who will qualify by the time they enter upon their duties, necessary to fill existing or anticipated vacancies for the current or next ensuing school year. Meetings of the county board shall be held in compliance with the provisions of chapter 18A of this code for purposes relating to the assignment, transfer, termination, and dismissal of teachers and other school employees.

(b) In addition to any requirements imposed by §6-9A-1 et seq. of this code relating to open governmental proceedings, each county board shall ensure that all of its meetings are open to the public through in-person attendance and that the audio and video of its meetings are broadcast live to the public through an internet link on its website. In addition to being available live, each county board also shall ensure that the audio and video is recorded and that the recording is also available through a link on its website. This subsection does not apply to the holding of an executive session pursuant to §6-9A-4 of this code. Each county board may make and enforce reasonable rules for attendance and presentation at any meeting where there is not room enough for all members of the public who wish to attend, subject to the following:

(1) The county board shall adopt procedures related to delegations and speakers at meetings to ensure delegations and speakers are treated equally; and

(2) For any person expressing an interest in speaking at the meeting, the county board shall ensure that the person has the opportunity to speak in compliance with the adopted procedures.

(b) (c) Special meetings may be called by the president or any three members, but no business may be transacted other than that designated in the call.

(c) (d) In addition, a public hearing shall be held concerning the preliminary operating budget for the next fiscal year not fewer than 10 days after the budget has been made available to the public for inspection and within a reasonable time prior to the submission of the budget to the state board for approval. Reasonable time shall be granted at the hearing to any person who wishes to speak regarding any part of the budget. Notice of the hearing shall be published as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of §59-3-1 et seq. of this code.

(d) (e) A majority of the members of the county board is the quorum necessary for the transaction of official business.

(e) (f) Board members may receive compensation at a rate not to exceed $160 per meeting attended, but they may not receive pay for more than 50 meetings in any one fiscal year. Board members who serve on an administrative council of a multi-county vocational center also may receive compensation for attending up to 12 meetings of the council at the same rate as for meetings of the county board. Meetings of the council are not counted as board meetings for purposes of determining the limit on compensable board meetings.

(f) (g) Members also shall be paid, upon the presentation of an itemized sworn statement, for all necessary traveling expenses, including all authorized meetings, incurred on official business, at the order of the county board.

(g) (h) When, by a majority vote of its members, a county board considers it a matter of public interest, the county board may join the West Virginia School Board Association and the National School Board Association and may pay the dues prescribed by the associations and approved by action of the respective county boards. Membership dues and actual traveling expenses incurred by board members for attending meetings of the West Virginia School Board Association may be paid by their respective county boards out of funds available to meet actual expenses of the members, but no allowance may be made except upon sworn itemized statements.