West Virginia Lawmaker Asks Huntington to Scrap Insurance Rule

July 28, 2009

A state lawmaker is urging Huntington to scrap an ordinance that has prompted a court challenge to West Virginia’s experiment with home rule.

Delegate Jim Morgan, a Cabell County Democrat, wants the city to withdraw a measure that allows Huntington to withhold insurance claim proceeds from property owners who don’t demolish buildings damaged by fire.

The West Virginia Insurance Federation has sued over that measure, saying the home rule statute that enabled it is unconstitutional.

Morgan says he’s worried the lawsuit could jeopardize the home rule pilot project, which also includes Charleston, Bridgeport and Wheeling.

City attorney Scott McClure says Huntington won’t scrap the rule unless it can reach a compromise with insurers about handling burned-out buildings.

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