Home Rule Pilot Progam Extended
More West Virginia cities and towns will have a chance to join the home rule program after lawmakers voted Saturday to extend the pilot program for another five years. They also kept limits on gun control ordinances added by the House. Four cities taking part in the home rule experiment, including Charleston, credit the program for fee cuts, reduced blight and less red tape. Saturday's compromise bill invites up to 16 additional cities and towns to apply. But the bill also only allows participants to ban firearms from most municipal property except parking garages. Concealed weapon permit holders could have guns on city-owned property that have no government operations, such as parks or swimming pools.