Email: Chapter 4, Article 1, Section 20
§4-1-20. Legislative findings; space in the capitol building for use by Legislature.
(a) The Legislature hereby recognizes that in December, one thousand nine hundred sixty-eight, the Citizens Advisory Commission on the Legislature of West Virginia concluded its study for strengthening the West Virginia Legislature; that such commission recommended that the capitol building be utilized primarily for the space needs of the Legislature and that certain executive department offices be moved outside of the capitol building as necessary to provide the Legislature with the space it requires; and that these recommendations were based upon the following observations and conclusions of such commission: (1) There are fifteen committees in the Senate which consider legislation and twelve committees in the House of Delegates which consider legislation, (2) the rules committee of the Senate meets in the office of the President of the Senate and rules committee of the House of Delegates meets in the office of the Speaker of the House of Delegates, (3) the remaining fourteen committees of the Senate share three permanent committee rooms, (4) the remaining eleven committees of the House of Delegates share five permanent committee rooms, (5) the Legislature does not have a hearing room or a committee room large enough to accommodate large public hearings, (6) when any large public hearing is held, the chamber of the Senate or the House of Delegates must be used, thereby eliminating the desks of the members on the floor of the chamber as work space for members not involved in the public hearing, (7) there are no rooms available in which individual members of the Legislature may talk with their constituents, (8) that at the very least offices should be provided for individual members of the Legislature to be used on a shared basis, (9) there is a pressing need for additional permanent committee rooms, with the view that in time all legislative committees which consider legislation would be assigned individual committee rooms, (10) that at least during legislative sessions, all committee chairmen should be provided, if possible, with a private office, and if not possible, with offices on a shared basis, (11) there should be adequate office space for the staff of the Senate and House of Delegates, and (12) the Legislature should have at least one hearing room, sufficiently large to seat one hundred fifty persons in addition to a legislative committee of twenty-five persons. The Legislature hereby determines and finds that the recommendations of the Citizens Advisory Commission on the Legislature of West Virginia with respect to the space needs of the Legislature and the observations and conclusions of such commission upon which such recommendations were based are correct and proper. The remainder of this section is enacted to implement the recommendations of the commission in this regard.
(b) The Legislature shall continue to have the exclusive use of all of the space in the main unit of the capitol building above the ground floor, the main unit being that portion of the capitol building connecting the east and west wings. In addition, the following space in the capitol building is assigned to and set aside for the exclusive use of the Legislature, with the use therefore to be determined by the Joint Committee on Government and Finance:
(1) All of the space on the second floor of the east wing of the capitol building; and
(2) All of the space on the second floor of the west wing of the capitol building, except that room designated and numbered W-212 and the large vault used and occupied by the land division of the State Auditor's office, which said room W-212 and said vault shall continue to be used and occupied by the office of the State Auditor. The additional space for the Legislature provided for in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection shall be made available to the Legislature as soon as possible, but shall in any event be made available for occupancy by the Legislature not later than July 1, one thousand nine hundred seventy-two.
(c) As soon as the additional space provided for in subsection (b) of this section is made available for occupancy by the Legislature, then (1) the rooms designated and numbered E-126, E-128, E-130, E-132, E-134, E-136 and E-138 on the ground floor of the east wing of the capitol building and the rooms designated and numbered E-140, 28, 30 and 32 on the ground floor of the main unit of the capitol building and occupied by the office of legislative services on the effective date of this section shall be relinquished by the Legislature for occupancy by the executive branch of the state government, and (2) as a substitute for the space on the second floor of the west wing vacated by the State Auditor, and in order to insure adequate space for the Office of the State Auditor, a constitutional officer, all of the ground floor of the west wing of the capitol building (except the rooms designated and numbered W-129, W-131, W-133, W-135, W-137, W-139, W-141, W-148, W-150, W-152, W-154, W-156 and W-158 and except for the space occupied on the effective date of this section by the Office of the Department of Public Institutions) shall be assigned to and set aside for the exclusive use of the State Auditor.
(d) If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held unconstitutional or invalid, such unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the section, and to this end the provisions of this section are declared to be severable.