CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The House of Delegates today amended its rules to clarify that all witnesses appearing before its committees must be sworn in before offering testimony or answering lawmaker questions.
The change to House Rule 84a<http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Status/bills_text.cfm?billdoc=hr5%20intr.htm&yr=2017&sesstype=rs&i=5&houseorig=h&billtype=r> requires every committee of the House to administer oaths to anyone appearing before the committee to speak.
“We want to make sure all testimony before our committees is truthful and accurate, and placing those offering such testimony under oath – just as they do in Congress or our courts – will help ensure that,” said House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha.
“Committee members make decisions every day on bills that affect our citizens, and we want to make sure those decisions are based on accurate information,” Armstead said.
In the past, Rule 84a simply gave committees authority to place witnesses under oath, it did not require it. The change adopted this year now makes this mandatory.
While the swearing-in rule applies to general committee meetings, it does not apply to public hearings, where citizens are able to sign up and speak freely on a given topic.