Home rule allows municipalities -- including the smallest towns with populations under 2,000 -- greater self-determination within the limits of state law. In West Virginia, Home Rule began as a pilot program in 2007 with the participation of four cities: Bridgeport, Charleston, Huntington and Wheeling. Participants in the pilot program have increased through the years, and as of January 2019, Home Rule is permanent, with 34 municipalities participating -- a number that is continually growing.

Effectively an “incubator of innovation” for West Virginia, Home Rule gives cities and towns the ability to implement ordinances, resolutions, rules and regulations that fit their specific dynamics. Since the start of the pilot program, some municipalities have created solutions to local problems that also work for other cities throughout the state, and some of these innovations have been officially adopted at the state level. 

From health and safety issues to administrative streamlining Home Rule empowers small and large communities to create workable solutions regarding matters of everyday life in West Virginia.

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