CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston Mayor Danny Jones says supporters of extending the Home Rule Pilot Project are in wait-and-see mode with the bill stalled in the House of Delegates.
The bill passed the state Senate earlier in the session and appeared on its way through the House until several proposed amendments were made. One change added provisions from a previous pro-gun bill — passed by the House but apparently dead in the Senate — into the Home Rule bill. That put some delegates in a tight spot because they don’t want to vote against a pro-gun amendment.
“There’s really nothing that can be done,” Jones said. “It’s a very fluid situation and we’re just waiting to see.”
Home Rule gives cities more flexibility to enact laws the current state code prohibits. Cities use the program to help raise revenues.
A legislative audit concluded the five-year pilot project has been successful in Charleston, Huntington, Bridgeport and Wheeling and should be extended to some other municipalities.
“It’s up to them, if they want to follow the audit and give us Home Rule. It’s one of the most successful programs, according to the audit, that the legislature has ever put together,” Jones said. “If they want to follow through with it, we’d love to have it. If they don’t, there’s just nothing we can do about it.”
The bill is currently on the House’s inactive calendar. The 60-day regular session ends Saturday at midnight.