The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

April 11, 2013

Home rule pilot program in doubt in Senate

CHARLESTON — Every city in West Virginia could seek entry into the home rule pilot program in a revised bill that easily cleared the House of Delegates but its fate is in doubt in the Senate, since its own version wanted to limit participants to 14 municipalities.

Complicating matters even more was a controversial move reviving HB2760 that would erase gun restrictions in Charleston, South Charleston, Dunbar and Martinsburg.

That original bill stalled in the Senate after Government Organization Chairman Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, disclosed he had been targeted by a death threat for holding up committee action on it.

“It’s a National Rifle Association bill, and the NRA is in the business of selling guns,” complained Delegate Nancy Guthrie, D-Kanawha, one of two lawmakers voicing opposition to the revised home rule legislation.

Delegate Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha, had successfully amended the bill only a day earlier to include provision of HB2760 but made no allusion to the Second Amendment advocates who inspired it.

Instead, Lane focused on the success of the pilot project to date, saying it has proven workable in the four cities in the five-year project — Charleston, Huntington, Wheeling and Bridgeport.

“This is about jobs,” Lane said.

“It’s about giving municipalities the ability to structure their finances in a way that can attract jobs to our local areas. If you’re for local control, if you’re for local reorganization, it makes sense.”

House Government Organization Chairman Jim Morgan, D-Cabell, explained the retooled bill would keep the home rule program intact through July 1, 2019.

Delegate Larry Kump, R-Berkeley, applauded the bill, saying it comports well with the 2nd and 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

But another critic, Delegate Meshea Poore, D-Kanawha, said she heard no one complain about suspected constitutional violations when the home rule project began in the capital.

Barring participating cities from owning, buying, transferring or carrying firearms is one component of the bill, Morgan had explained.

This, however, goes against the grain of the measure’s intent, Moore complained.

“Either we trust the municipalities that we all represent to do what we trusted them to do, or we don’t,” Moore said.

“We should not be placing any additional and unnecessary rules and regulations on them.”

When HB2760 surfaced, it was met with fierce opposition from the get-go by Charleston Mayor Danny Jones. All four cities with gun restrictions were grandfathered in when West Virginia blocked future such limitations in cities.

Delegate Kevin Craig, D-Cabell, said the pilot process has demonstrated the need to make some changes in the program.

Overall, however, he said the project has proven worthwhile.

“We saw the pilot project work as we intended to,” he said.

Besides Guthrie and Moore, the bill also was opposed by Delegate Stephen Skinner, D-Jefferson, in a 95-3 vote.

— E-mail: mannix@register-herald.com

 

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • Judge in W.Va. asked to delay gay marriage ruling

    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has asked a judge to postpone ruling on a federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia's same-sex marriage ban until the U.S. Supreme Court reviews a ruling in a similar case in Virginia.

    July 30, 2014

  • Tri-state coal interests rally before EPA hearings

    More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia joined top state elected officials Wednesday to rally against proposed stricter federal pollution regulations for coal-burning power plants.

    July 30, 2014

  • Work continues on stand-alone Warrior Trail

    The executive director of the Hatfield and McCoy Trail Authority said Tuesday that officials are still working toward the creation of the stand-alone Warrior Trail in McDowell County.

    July 30, 2014

  • East River Mountain Tunnel repairs will continue for several weeks

    Motorists traveling Interstate 77 could see slight delays again tonight as repair work continues inside of the fire-damaged East River Mountain Tunnel.

    July 30, 2014

  • State leaders to attend coal rally in Pittsburgh

    West Virginia officials are set to join hundreds of coal miners and coal supporters at an electricity and energy jobs rally.

    July 30, 2014

  • Americans continue to be plagued by debt

    Credit card debt may have reached its lowest level in a decade, but according to a recent study on personal debt vs. income, just as more people are paying off their credit card debt monthly, nearly the same number of people are being reported for unpaid bills. 

    July 30, 2014

  • twvcheck Theatre West Virginia gives back to hospice

    Theatre West Virginia, even with its shortened season this year, has found a way to give back to the community. Mike Cavendish, a past board president at TWV, presented Hospice of Southern West Virginia with a check Thursday for over $1,000. 

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former Summers County commissioner indicted

    The Summers County grand jury handed up indictments against 17 individuals this month, including one against a former county commissioner. 

    July 30, 2014

  • Weaker prices widen second quarter losses for Arch Coal

     Arch Coal Inc. said Tuesday that its second-quarter loss widened partly because of nagging rail disruptions and weaker prices for coal used in making steel, though cost controls helped the coal producer’s latest earnings surpass analysts’ expectations.

    July 30, 2014

  • pasiley Watery delight

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo