Bill Text: WV HB2560 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the operation of state-owned farms

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2019-01-21 - To House Agriculture and Natural Resources [HB2560 Detail]

Download: West_Virginia-2019-HB2560-Introduced.html

FISCAL NOTEWEST virginia legislature

2019 regular session

Introduced

House Bill 2560

By Delegates Hanshaw (Mr. Speaker), Miley and Nelson

[Introduced January 21, 2019; Referred
to the Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources then Government Organization.]

A BILL to repeal §19-12A-3, §19-12A-4, and §19-12A-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §19-12A-1, §19-12A-2, §19-12A-5, §19-12A-6, §19-12A-6a, and §19-12A-8, all relating to the operation of state-owned farms; clarifying that state-owned farms are managed by the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture; removing reference to farm management commission; defining the term “commissioner”; removing language regarding organization and duties of farm management commission; removing language regarding prior transfer of institutional land to the farm management commission; replace outdated language referencing to the Department of Health and Human Resources and Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation; providing that state institutions may purchase items from vendors that state owned farms cannot directly produce; and removing references to farm management director and replacing with commissioner.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

ARTICLE 12A. LAND DIVISION.

§19-12A-1. Legislative findings and declarations.


The Legislature hereby finds and declares that in order to ensure economic and efficient land use, increase and improve agricultural production and provide food for residents of state operated institutions, state-owned farms should be transferred to the state farm management commission as is provided by this article operate under the control of the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture. The Legislature also finds and declares that the operation of all institutional farms under one management system with a single integrated farm plan is the most efficient method of providing the food needs of residents of state operated institutions and will promote the health and welfare of all citizens of this state.

§19-12A-2. Definitions.


For the purpose of this article:

“Agricultural products” means livestock and livestock products, poultry and poultry products, fruits and fruit products, vegetables and vegetable products, grains and hays and the products derived therefrom, tobacco, syrups, honey, and other products derived from the business of farming; including such other products as may be manufactured, derived, or prepared from agricultural products, raw or processed, which are used as food for man or animals.

“Commission” means the farm management commission as established by this article

“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture.

“Farm equipment” means any equipment used for agricultural production. owned by an institution and transferred to the commission as provided in this article

“Farm facility” means any processing plant, milking parlor, farm equipment storage building, barn, silo, grain storage building, swinery or any other building owned by an institution, used in its farming operations. and transferred to the commission as provided in this article

“Institution” means any facility operated by the department of mental health or the state commissioner of public institutions for care, treatment, confinement or rehabilitation of residents Department of Health and Human Resources and the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

“Institutional farm” means any land owned by the department of mental health or the state commissioner of public institutions Department of Health and Human Resources and the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation which was formerly operated as a farm, is now being operated as a farm or could be converted to agricultural production. and is transferred to the commission as provided in this article

§19-12A-3. Farm management commission continued; composition; chairman; quorum; meetings; vacancies.


[Repealed.]

§19-12A-4. Transfer of institutional farms, farm equipment, farm facilities, inventories and agricultural products to commission; utility continuance; provisions for uninterrupted operation; transfer of funds.


[Repealed]

§19-12A-5. Powers, duties and responsibilities of commission Commissioner.


(a) On or before July 1, 1990, the commission shall meet and confer with respect to the development of a management plan to determine the optimum use or disposition of all institutional farms, at which time the Farm Management Director shall provide the commission with a complete inventory of all institutional farms, and such information relating to easements, mineral rights, appurtenances, farm equipment, agricultural products, livestock, inventories, and farm facilities as may be necessary to develop such management plan. The commission shall complete and provide to the Governor a management plan, which plan shall set forth the objectives of the commission with respect to institutional farms, the criteria by which the commission shall determine the optimum use or disposition of such property, and determinations as to whether each institutional farm shall be used in production, sold, or leased, in whole or in part. Prior to the adoption of any plan, the commission shall consult with the secretaries of the various departments of state government and shall request from such secretaries suggestions for land use and resource development on farm commission lands. On or before December 1, 1990, such management plan shall be presented to the Legislature, by providing a copy to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates. The commission may confer with any other agency or individual in implementing and adjusting its management plan. The management plan established pursuant to this subsection may be amended, from time to time, as may be necessary

(b) (a) The commission commissioner shall manage its institutional farms, equipment, and other property in order to most efficiently produce food products for state institutions and shall implement the intent of the Legislature as set forth by this article. From the total amount of food, milk and other commodities produced on institutional farms, the commission commissioner shall sell, at prevailing wholesale prices, and each of the institutions under the control of the Bureau of Public Health Department of Health and Human Resources and Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall purchase, a proportionate amount of these products based on the dietary needs of each institution. Provided, That if the commissioner cannot directly sell food products to each institution to meet the demand created, each institution may purchase such food products from vendors who can directly supply those food products at the greatest savings to the taxpayers of the state.  

(c) (b) If requested by the Commissioner of the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the commission may authorize the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation to operate a farm or other enterprise using inmates as labor on those lands. The Commissioner of the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation is responsible for the selection, direction, and supervision of the inmates and shall assign the work to be performed by inmates.

(d) (c) The commission commissioner is hereby authorized and empowered to:

(1) Lease to public or private parties, for purposes including agricultural production or experimentation, public necessity, or other purposes permitted by the management plan, any land, easements, equipment, or other property, except that property may not be leased for any use in any manner that would render the land toxic for agricultural use, nor may toxic or hazardous materials as identified by the Commissioner of Agriculture be used or stored upon such property unless all applicable state and federal permits necessary are obtained. Any lease for an annual consideration of $1,000 or more shall be by sealed bid auction and the commission shall give notice of such auction by publication thereof as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of §59-3-1 et seq. of this code, and the publication area for such publication is the county in which the property to be leased is located;

(2) Transfer to the public land corporation land designated in its management plan as land to be disposed of, which land shall be sold, exchanged, or otherwise transferred pursuant to §5A-11-4 and §5A-11-5 of this code: Provided, That the net proceeds of the sale of farm commission lands shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund of the state: Provided, however, That no sale may be concluded until on or after March 15, 1991, except with respect to: (A) Properties located at institutions closed on or before the effective date of this section, March 10, 1990; or (B) properties conveyed to or from the farm management commission to or from any other entity in order to facilitate the construction of a regional jail or correctional facility by the Regional Jail and Correctional Facilities Authority or the State Building Commission, with the decision to execute any such conveyance being solely within the discretion of, and at the direction of, the Regional Jail and Correctional Facilities Authority;

(3) Develop lands to which it has title for the public use including forestation, recreation, wildlife, stock grazing, agricultural production, rehabilitation and/or other conservation activities and may contract or lease for the proper development of timber, oil, gas, or mineral resources, including coal by underground mining or by surface mining where reclamation as required by specifications of the Division of Environmental Protection will increase the beneficial use of such property. Any such contract or lease shall be by sealed bid auction as provided for in subdivision (1) above;

(4) Exercise all other powers and duties necessary to effectuate the purposes of this article.

(e) (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (d) (c) of this section, no timberland may be leased, sold, exchanged, or otherwise disposed of unless the Division of Forestry of the Department of Commerce, Labor and Environmental Resources certifies that there is no commercially salable timber on the timberland, an inventory is provided, an appraisal of the timber is provided, and the sale, lease, exchange, or other disposition is accomplished by the sealed bid auction procedure provided above in subdivisions (1) or (2), as applicable.

(f) (e) The commission commissioner shall promulgate, pursuant to §29-1-1 et seq. of this code, rules and regulations relating to the powers and duties of the commission commissioner as enumerated in this section.

§19-12A-6. Appointment of farm management director; qualifications; Commissioner’s powers and duties.


The commission shall appoint a farm management director who, in addition to qualifications established by the commission, shall have owned, operated or managed a farm for at least five years within ten years immediately prior to being appointed. The farm management director is the chief executive officer of the commission and commissioner or his or her designee is responsible for conducting the operations of the farms and shall:

The director shall (1) Prepare an annual report of the farming operations, including a listing of all receipts and expenditures and shall present it to the commission and the Legislature at the end of each fiscal year.

As authorized or directed by the commission, the director shall also

(1) (2) Prepare the annual budget request for the operation of the institutional farms and submit it to the commission for approval and submission to the secretary of the Department of Administration.

(2) (3) Receive and approve all requisitions for farm supplies and equipment.

(3) (4) Supervise the operation of all canneries and determine what foods are to be canned.

(4) (5) Recruit and approve assistant farm managers to supervise each institutional farm.

(5) Implement all orders of the commission.

(6) Supervise all other employees of the commission

(7) (6) Transfer farm supplies, farm equipment, farm facilities, food stuffs and produce from one institutional farm to another to promote efficiency and improve farm management.

(7) With the approval of the commission, the farm management director may Rent or lease additional land for farm use.

By September 30, each year, each institution under the control of the division of health Department of Health and Human Resources and the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall present to the farm management director commissioner a purchase order for its food requirements during the next fiscal year as determined by the institution. If, during the year, an institution finds that it needs other or additional food, milk, or commodities not included in its purchase order for the year, the institutional superintendent may forward a supplemental request to the farm management director commissioner, which order may be filled depending on availability. If institutional farms produce more food, milk and other commodities than can be sold to the institutions, the farm management director commissioner may sell the surplus to other state agencies willing to purchase. If any surplus remains after sales to other state agencies, the director commissioner may sell the surplus on the open market, or at the discretion of the director, turn over any surplus food products to appropriate public, nonprofit agencies upon application.

On July 1, 1990, the division of health and the Division of Corrections shall each transfer, by interdepartmental transfer, the sum of $200,000 to the farm management commission to be credited toward their purchase of food products from the commission. Such credits shall be treated as advance payments for food products purchased by these divisions pursuant to this section and such divisions shall not be required to make actual payments for food products until such credits have been completely expended


§19-12A-6a. Special revenue account.

(a) All funds collected by the commission commissioner pursuant to this article, whether from the sale of food, the disposition of assets other than land, the lease of land or minerals or any other source, shall be paid into a special revenue account to be used for the purposes of this article: Provided, That when the aggregate of said funds so collected and deposited in the special revenue account in any fiscal year total $2,000,000, the commission commissioner shall deposit half of any excess funds collected into the special revenue account, and half into the General Revenue Fund of the state.

§19-12A-7. Farm division lines to be established; appeal to commission; remedy.


[Repealed]

§19-12A-8. Effect of management plan on employees.


Nothing contained in section five of this article shall be construed to abridge the rights of farm employees of the commission within the classified service of the state to the procedures and protections of §29-6-10 and §29-6-10a of this code, subject to the limitations set forth in §5F-2-2(d) of this code.


 

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to clarify that state-owned farms are managed by the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture; remove reference to farm management commission; define the term “commissioner”; remove language regarding organization and duties of farm management commission; remove language regarding prior transfer of institutional land to the farm management commission; replace outdated language referencing the Department of Health and Human Resources and Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation; provide that state institutions may purchase items from vendors that state owned farms cannot directly produce; and remove references to farm management director and replace with commissioner.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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