WV lawmakers advised to expand city gov't power - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

WV lawmakers advised to expand city gov't power

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A new report suggests West Virginia has found a successful way to grant more government power to cities.

Legislative auditors have concluded that the recent pilot program extending home rule proved beneficial enough to expand statewide. They presented their findings Tuesday to a pair of House-Senate oversight committees.

West Virginia has a very centralized government. The 5-year pilot program allowed four cities to experiment with increased authority.

The audit report says these cities streamlined government offices, simplified business licensing and found better ways to fund public services.

The auditors recommend that the Legislature allow for expanded home rule for all cities with more than 2,000 residents. It also advises allowing the program's oversight board to shut down as scheduled next year while keeping the program's limits on municipal power.