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Introduced Version Senate Bill 268 History

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FISCAL NOTEWEST virginia Legislature

2018 regular session

Introduced

Senate Bill 268

By Senators Carmichael (Mr. President) and Prezioso
[By Request of the Executive]

[Introduced January 12, 2018; Referred
to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development; and then to the Committee on Finance
]

A BILL to amend and reenact §19-12A-1a, §19-12A-5, and §19-12A-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to eliminating the requirement that the Division of Corrections and the Bureau for Public Health purchase commodities produced on institutional farms from the Department of Agriculture.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:


ARTICLE 12A. LAND DIVISION.


§19-12A-1a. Farm Management Commission abolished; property transferred; powers and duties of Commissioner of Agriculture.

(a) The Farm Management Commission previously established by this article is hereby abolished. The real and personal property held by the commission, including all institutional farms and all easements, mineral rights, appurtenances, farm equipment, agricultural products, inventories, and farm facilities, operating revenue funds for those operations, and all employees of the farm management commission, are hereby transferred to the Department of Agriculture. The Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture shall have all those powers, duties, and responsibilities previously vested in the Farm Management Commission and the farm management director pursuant to this article.

(b) Not later than January 1, 1995, the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture shall report to the Legislature on the optimum use or disposition of each institutional farm transferred pursuant to this section. The commissioner shall set forth the objectives of the agency with respect to the land, the criteria by which the agency has determined the optimum use or disposition of the property, and determinations as to whether the land shall be used in the production of food products, the production or development of natural resources, held for recreational or other specified uses, or sold, or leased in whole or in part. With respect to each institutional farm, the commissioner shall report on which properties are subject to reversionary clauses or other restrictions in deeds of conveyance which may affect permitted uses, or proposed sales or leases. With respect to each institutional farm, the commissioner shall report on projected revenues and expenses from operations. Planned activities and uses with respect to the land shall be detailed for at least five years specifically and at least ten years generally and shall include a cost benefit analysis of options or alternatives for action. In the case of land managed for production of timber, the commissioner shall report on projections for timber harvesting on a sustained-yield basis, income estimates, and the years in which income will be generated. The report shall detail planned actions to protect the land from erosion, fire, plant and animal pests, noxious insects, noxious weeds, and plant and animal diseases. In the case of land subject to rights granted by existing contracts, leases, licenses, or easements, the report shall include a determination as to whether the interest granted should be continued or withdrawn. In the case of land managed under land management plans adopted prior to the effective date of this section, land management plans shall be reviewed and amended as may be necessary. When appropriate, the commissioner shall consult with the secretaries of the various departments of state government and shall request from the secretaries suggestions for land use and resource development on the land. In the case of land recommended for sale, lease, or transfer, the report shall include the review and approval of the Director of the West Virginia Development Office of the proposed use and alternate suggestions for use of any institutional farm which may be in the public interest. Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection to the contrary, title to the Weston State Hospital Institutional Farm, located at Weston, Lewis County, is hereby transferred from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Health and Human Resources, including all buildings thereon: Provided, That the Department of Agriculture shall retain all oil, gas, and mineral rights, interests and title underlying the surface of the real property being transferred to the Department of Health and Human Resources under this subsection.

The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources is authorized to sell, lease, donate or otherwise transfer the Weston State Hospital Institutional Farm, as well as the grounds of the former Weston State Hospital including the improvements and appurtenances belonging thereto: Provided, That notice of the sale of the real estate at auction shall include the right of the state to reject any and all bids: Provided, however, That the deed conveying title to the real estate shall contain a reservation in it providing that the communications tower, located on the real estate and owned and maintained by the county commission of Lewis County, shall remain the property of the Lewis county commission and shall remain on the real estate free of any cost or rent and the county commission of Lewis County shall have an easement for ingress and egress and for the maintenance of the tower in perpetuity unless agreed otherwise in writing by the county commission of Lewis County.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the duties imposed on authority of the Department of Health and Human Resources and the Division of Corrections to purchase food products pursuant to §19-12A-5 of this code and to make interdepartmental transfers pursuant to §19-12A-6 of this code: Provided, That purchases shall be made from and transfers made to the Department of Agriculture.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to invalidate any action or contractual obligation of the Farm Management Commission prior to the effective date of this section.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, in any case where the Farm Management Commission has determined by motion adopted prior to the effective date of this article that an institutional farm or part thereof should be transferred or disposed of, or authorized any formal agreement for this purpose, whether or not any documents related to the agreement have been reduced to writing or executed, the commissioner shall execute all documents and take all necessary actions to implement the transfer or disposition of the property.

(f) For any land transferred to the public land corporation for sale, exchange, or transfer pursuant to §19-12A-5 of this code, the farm property shall be offered for sale in both small parcels of land and as whole farms and shall be sold in the form which brings the highest price for the total property. For purposes of this subsection, "small parcels" means parcels of no more than five acres.


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

(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) The commission shall manage its institutional farms, equipment and other property in order to most efficiently produce food products for state institutions operate 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 shall sell, at prevailing wholesale prices, and each of the institutions under the control of the bureau of public health and the Division of Corrections shall purchase, a proportionate amount of these products based on the dietary needs of each institution The Department of Agriculture may enter into agreements with state agencies to sell commodities that are produced on institutional farms for prevailing wholesale prices. The institutions under the control of the Bureau of Public Health and the Division of Corrections may purchase commodities produced on institutional farms directly from the Department of Agriculture.

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

(d) The commission 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 §20-1A-4 and §20-1A-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) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (d) herein, 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) The commission shall promulgate, pursuant to chapter 29A of this code, rules and regulations relating to the powers and duties of the commission as enumerated in this section.


§19-12A-6. Appointment of Farm Management Director; qualifications; 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 is responsible for conducting the operations of the farms. The director shall 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) 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) Receive and approve all requisitions for farm supplies and equipment.

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

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

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 and the Division of Corrections shall present to the farm management director 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, 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 may sell the surplus to other state agencies willing to purchase. If any surplus remains after sales to other state agencies, the director 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


 

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to eliminate the requirement that the Department of Agriculture sell, and the Department of Health and Human Resources and Division of Corrections purchase, commodities produced on institutional farms.

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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