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During the Interim Committee meetings of the Legislature, the Rule Making Review Committee had a Division of Labor Rule on the agenda for consideration dealing with the Contractor Licensing Board. 

Public Hearing Schedule and Discussion

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New federal regulations, known as “red flag rules”, require financial institutions and creditors to develop and implement written identity-theft-prevention programs. Because of the definition of “creditor”, many municipalities may be affected by these regulations.

A municipality that provides a service to customers and collects payment later must comply with the red flag rules. The red flag rules are part of the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003. Under these regulations, financial institutions and creditors with covered accounts must have identity-theft-prevention programs in place by November 1, 2008 to identify, detect and respond to patterns, practices, or specific activities that could indicate identity theft.

Housing Stimulus Legislation Signed Today Has Added Bonus: New FHLBank Powers to Boost Low-cost Financing of Public Projects-  The housing stimulus legislation signed into law today by President Bush contains a little-mentioned but significant provision to assist public projects across the Mountain State. 

Future residential developers will soon have a new cost to contend with after the Martinsburg City Council approved a new community development fee during its Monday meeting.

A public hearing on the ordinance for the proposed fee was held during the meeting, after which the ordinance was given its third and final reading and was approved by the council. As a result of its approval, the fee will take effect Sept. 1 but will not apply to any building permit that was filed with the city of Martinsburg on or before Aug. 31.

The WV Municipal League and the WV Association of Counties hosted a workshop on May 30, 2008, in Flatwoods, WV, regarding recent developments pertaining to post employment benefits.

The workshop featured Jason Haught, Chief Finance Official for the WV Public Employees Insurance Agency.  Mr. Haught advised that with recent changes to governmental accounting standards via GASB Statements 43 & 45, employers will now have to begin recognizing the expense of providing post employment benefits prior to paying such.  Per GASB 45, governmental entities must now recognize this expense as it is incurred, or earned by the employee.  This expense encompasses both the amortization of benefits earned in the past and current year’s benefits. 

Board Chairman and Wheeling Mayor Nick Sparachane presided over the Home Rule Board meeting on the campus of West Virginia University on Wednesday. The home rule applications of Wheeling, Charleston, Huntington and Bridgeport were all approved.

This is only the beginning of the process.  Now, each city is left to draft and pass ordinances through their respective City Councils that will include more specific information regarding their plans.

"Think about how interesting some of these council meetings will be when the cities want to pass these ordinances. The citizens will probably get pretty excited about a lot of it, but that is why we have home rule - to give power to local elected officials," Sparachage said.

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