House committee passes bill related to state fleet

By ANDREA LANNOM

The Register-Herald

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The House Government Organization Committee advanced a bill that would maintain a centralized fleet system to help get a handle on state vehicles, sending it on to the Committee on Finance.

Much discussion has taken place recently about state vehicles. Last week, HB 2492 was introduced at the directive of Gov. Jim Justice calling for maintaining a database of state vehicles assigned to all agencies and having the state fleet office give an annual report to the governor and Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

Although not the governor’s bill, House Bill 2004 deals with a similar theme with a few differences, mainly involving the color of the plates. Under this bill, any agency that has a state vehicle will have to report to fleet management on the vehicles and personal vehicles reimbursed by the state.

The Fleet Management Office must also maintain a system of all vehicles and aircrafts used by the state and deliver a report annually to the governor and the Joint Committee on Finance.

The green and white plates, which would be changed to blue and gold plates, are set to expire at the end of the calendar year and the owner of the vehicles will have to get a new title and plate before Jan. 1 or otherwise, the spending unit, not the employee, would have to pay a $100 fee.

Delegate Justin Marcum, D-Mingo, mentioned a few fiscal notes such as the $266,500 figure needed to hire six people for fleet management. The cost per plate would be $14.43 and the estimate is 10,000-12,000 plates. There also would be a programming cost of $3,600 for the plates themselves, the titles and registration cards.

Some delegates asked about the number of state cars the government owns. Legislative auditor Adam Fridley said when the office conducted an audit, there were three data sets making it difficult to tell. He said the estimate is 7,600 to 12,600.

“In earnest, no idea,” he said.

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