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State laws restricting ability of cities, counties to pass ordinances on the rise in West Virginia, other states

By Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — During the 2021 regular session, West Virginia legislators passed more than a half-dozen bills restricting the ability of municipalities to pass ordinances, including a bill that, as passed in its final version, will prohibit cities from restricting use of plastic bags, straws and utensils but could have gone far beyond in sharply restricting cities’ abilities to pass ordinances.

The trend of imposing preemptive laws on cities is nothing new, but West Virginia Municipal League Executive Director Travis Blosser said he believes support for preemptive municipal legislation intensified this session.

“I feel like, this legislative session, it has been more apparent than other sessions,” he said Tuesday. “There’s been a shift in ideology that local control isn’t what we want anymore.”

While the movement is growing in intensity in the West Virginia Legislature, Blosser said, municipal preemption is occurring in legislative bodies nationally.

“It’s even happening in states like California and New York,” he said. “My feeling is, preemption is a bipartisan phenomenon.” …

To read more: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/state-laws-restricting-ability-of-cities-counties-to-pass-ordinances-on-the-rise-in-wv/article_bd5a7a0c-6f78-5099-908c-e81c9ce7fad6.html

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