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W.Va. lawmakers propose 'home rule' renewal

Jan. 07, 2013 @ 11:30 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Some West Virginia lawmakers want to experiment further with granting increased governing powers to cities and towns.

A bill discussed Monday by a House-Senate study subcommittee would add four more municipalities with at least 2,000 people to the state's home rule pilot project.

The pilot has been deemed a success for Charleston, Huntington, Wheeling and Bridgeport. Their mayors have raved about improved services and reduced costs for residents and businesses.

The draft bill would forbid any municipal changes related to annexation, pensions or crimes. Any tax changes would require the approval of at least 55 percent of residents.

It would also void any tax changes already made. A group representing cities wants that amended to allow Huntington to continue with one of its two tax changes.