Opinion: What happens when local control is inconvenient?

CDLS recently worked with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy on an op-ed about the latest over-reaching preemption bill in that state. Read on from the Charleston Gazette-Mail.


We’ve all heard the phrase “local control.” It’s about putting the decision-making power in the hands of those who live, work, and play in our communities. We have heard lawmakers say that the “best government is the one that governs closest to the people.”

However, some state legislators are now poised to abandon one of their bedrock principles by taking local control away from our cities and counties. For example, Senate Bill 458 would preempt our local governments by effectively taking away a municipality’s power to do what is best for its people across a broad range of policies.

This is a new and dangerous shift in West Virginia state policy.