CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The House of Delegates wants West Virginia to continue handing over more government power to cities and towns.
A 95-3 vote Thursday approved a measure extending an ongoing experiment with home rule for another five years.
The pilot program has so far included Charleston, Huntington, Wheeling and Bridgeport. It's given them the authority to ease business licensing, cut fees and target abandoned buildings.
Wednesday's bill would allow other cities and towns to apply to join. But the Senate must now consider several House changes.
One bans fees similar to an occupation tax that would apply to non-residents. Another forbids any gun ordinances, except those banning firearms from such government properties as city halls and recreation centers but not parking garages.
Senate leaders balked at an earlier gun ordinance repeal bill.