Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

House Gov Org Advances Legislative Auditor Bill

The Committee on Government Organization met this morning.

Senate Bill 148 establishes an auto-renewal program for wildlife licenses.

Senate Bill 430 amends regulations for rent-to-own agreements for consumer goods.

Senate Bill 438 amends requirements for rosters of individuals authorized to process professions, occupations, and trades licenses, registration, and certificates. The bill removes addresses and geographical information from being displayed to the public.

Senate Bill 540 updates the WV coordinate systems.

Senate Bill 844 changes the name of the Educational Broadcasting Authority to the Educational Broadcasting Commission. The bill authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Arts, Culture, and History to appoint a director of the commission. The number of members on the commission is reduced to five and the length of the term is also reduced to five years.

Senate Bill 865 moves the Educational Broadcasting Commission as a separate but not independent agency under the Department of Arts, Culture, and History.

Senate Bill 687 clarifies that the Legislative Auditor’s authority is from and subject to the control of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance. The bill establishes that the Auditor does not have independent hiring authority and clarifies that the Joint Committee has employment and termination powers over all joint committee personnel.

The bill revises the presentation and review of departments and departmental agencies, eliminating the current fixed schedule and making them subject to the discretion of the Senate President or the Speaker of the House of Delegates. Reviews of regulatory boards remain mandatory under the bill and must be conducted at least once every 12 years, but the bill eliminates the specific schedule for them. Any such reviews may be but are not required to be, conducted according to generally accepted government accounting standards (GAGAS).

The bill was amended to add discretion under the Joint Committee Government and Finance as well. An amendment was offered to add the Minority Leaders from the Senate and House to maintain nonpartisanship; the amendment failed. Another amendment is to add the GAGAS requirements back into the bill. The amendment was rejected.

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