"The state also took money from police and fire funds to replenish underfunded teachers' pensions."
To be sure, the state did loosen its rules and mandates in 2011, and a Senate bill to expand and extend home rule to Charleston and other cities would help.
At present, the bill would allow some cities to impose a 1 percent sales tax if they reduced their business and occupation taxes.
That is a small move in the right direction, and cities desperately need that little bit of power.
If the people in a city want to impose a city sales tax, fine. After all, thanks to past state legislatures, Charleston is about $120 million shy of fully funding its pension obligations.
Certainly, the efforts by Mayor Danny Jones and the West Virginia Municipal League to bring home rule to West Virginia are commendable.
But until the cities gain a say in the pension benefits they have to tax their citizens to pay, they will have to continue to cut their police forces to pay pensions to their retired officers.