W.Va. House OKs continuing ‘home rule’ experiment
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The House of Delegates wants West Virginia to continue handing over more government power to cities and towns.
A 95-3 vote Thursday approved a measure continuing an ongoing experiment with home rule for another five years.
The pilot program so far has included Charleston, Huntington, Wheeling and Bridgeport. It’s given them the authority to ease business licensing, cut fees, target abandoned buildings and pursue other improvements.
Wednesday’s bill would allow other cities and towns to apply to join. But the Senate must first review several House changes.
One bans user fees that would apply to non-residents. Another forbids any gun-related ordinances except those banning firearms from municipal government office buildings.
Senate leaders earlier balked at considering a separate bill repealing local gun ordinances. The legislative session ends Saturday.