From Fracking Bans To Paid Sick Leave: How States Are Overruling Local Laws
PR Watch’s Lisa Graves says that states can overrule local laws, and that legislatures are increasingly using preemption to stop things like minimum wage increases and protections for LGBT people.
Growing Southern cities are increasingly targets of state pre-emption
Facing South, 4/1/16
With progressive policy gaining little traction at the state level, the region’s cities have become laboratories for advancing progressive policies, from protections for LGBT people to minimum wage hikes, fracking bans and policies to promote immigrant integration.
State lawmakers have taken aim at cities through state-level “pre-emption laws” that nullify local policies. In many instances, they have gotten help from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-backed advocacy group that provides model legislation…
Mark Pertschuk, head of the watchdog group Preemption Watch, said that 2015 saw more efforts to undermine local control on more issues than any year in history, with at least 29 states considering pre-emption bills affecting local policies — and his group expects to see even more this year.
Senator Markey: ‘high probability’ of TSCA enactment in next few weeks
Chemical Watch, 4/6/16
Regarding the much contested issue of state preemption under a modernised TSCA, Senator Markey said he remains committed to “further improving upon the Senate preemption provisions so that states can continue to be the toughest cops on the beat.”
Washington governor signs flame retardant ban into law
Chemical Watch, 4/5/16
Washington state’s governor has signed into law a ban on the use of five flame retardants above de minimis levels in children’s products and residential furniture.
The state joins several that restrict the use of certain flame retardants in products. These include California, Minnesota and, most recently, Washington DC.
But the passage of Bill ESHB 2545 represents the first restriction on the use of TBBPA anywhere in the US, according to NGO, Washington Toxics Coalition…
A central issue in ongoing discussions to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is the extent to which federal regulation of substances will preempt such activities.
Several states’ attorneys general and NGOs have advocated the preservation of states’ regulatory authority, while industry groups have pushed for stronger federal preemption.
Beyond North Carolina’s LGBT Battle: States’ War on Cities
There’s a fundamental mismatch right now between the desires of many cities and the policy preferences of states…
State lawmakers have not been satisfied with just squelching cities on contentious social issues such as LGBT rights and gun control, or labor policies like minimum-wage increases and paid sick leave requirements. States are stepping on urban toes at practically every turn, from limiting hotel taxes to banning requirements that builders install sprinkler systems…
Lawmakers seek to ensure FAA bill won’t preempt local drone laws
The Hill, 4/11/16
Arizona Senate advances employee benefit bill to preempt authority of municipalities
KTAR News, 4/11/16
The Arizona Senate approved a bill Monday that would block cities and towns from regulating paid time off, retirement plans or other employee benefits, the latest in a series of bills passed this session that preempts the authority of municipalities.
Oakland coal war: health impact debate heads to Sacramento
Mercury News, 4/11/16
As political lines are drawn in this city’s coal war, the dust is flying around a key issue: whether escaping coal dust poses a risk to residents and the environment…
Andres Soto, a Richmond organizer for Communities for a Better Environment, said he’s seen long trains of uncovered coal cars sitting in the middle of town. Richmond leaders have passed laws prohibiting coal exports on city-owned facilities but their hands are tied when it comes to private terminals, such as Levin-Richmond. “We have no jurisdiction of the rail operations at all, it’s all federal pre-emption,” said Richmond Mayor Tom Butt. “Regardless of what we think about this, there’s nothing we can do about it.”
Monster Fights S.F. Over Caffeine in 9th Circuit
Court House News, 4/8/16
Monster Beverage asked the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday to stop San Francisco from telling it how much caffeine to put in its energy drinks.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera told Monster in 2012 that he was investigating the safety and marketing of its drinks. He demanded that Monster “reformulate its products to safe caffeine levels, provide adequate warning labels, and cease promoting over-consumption.”
Food safety is a compelling state interest and it is not “readily apparent” that all of Herrera’s claims are preempted by the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the judge found.
Thoughts on the 2016 Idaho Legislature
Idaho Press-Tribune, 4/4/16
H463 not only hurts working folks, it undermines local control by forbidding communities from enacting minimum wage laws…
SB288: PREEMPTION COMES TO LOUISIANA
Equality Louisiana, 4/6/16
One of the most powerful parts of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBTQ bill has to do with the concept of preemption: the state preventing cities, towns, and parishes from passing local protections for people like us. These protections come in two flavors: ordinances that can shield LGBTQ people in all situations (like buying a donut from a private business), and policies/executive orders that can protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in the public sector (jobs and services either directly from the government or provided by businesses that contract with the government)…
Senator Appel’s SB288 would prevent all political subdivisions of the state from writing requirements more specific than those already in state law into their contracts, and state law makes no mention of LGBTQ people. Sen. Appel is very obviously aiming at New Orleans, which, alongside protections for minority groups, includes preferences for hiring local and disadvantaged people and businesses.
UPDATED: Chamber Officials Unhappy That Statewide Paid Sick Leave Bill Grandfathers Montgomery County Law
Bethesda Magazine, 4/5/2016
Business officials are worried a statewide paid sick leave bill that grandfathers Montgomery County’s more stringent regulations will leave local businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
Ilaya Hopkins, vice president of public affairs for the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, wrote an email Friday to the county’s House delegation to Annapolis urging its members to adopt a “one state, one law” approach to a paid sick leave bill making its way through the House of Delegates…
If it passes in its current form, it would grandfather in the paid sick leave law that the Montgomery County Council passed last June, which is set to go into effect Oct. 1.
That law, which the National Partnership for Women & Families labeled one of the strongest in the nation, requires all businesses with five or more employees to provide up to seven days of paid sick leave and businesses with fewer than five employees to provide up to four days of paid sick leave.
The version of the state bill that came out of the House Economic Matters committee preempts any local paid sick leave laws enacted after Jan. 1, leaving Montgomery County’s 2015 law unaffected.
Coalition files brief with high court in bag bill suit
The Missouri Times, 4/4/16
Several worker advocacy groups filed an amicus brief with the Missouri Supreme Court on Monday supporting the ability of local municipalities to raise the minimum wage above the state minimum wage.
Last year, House Bill 722 prohibited localities from creating a bag tax, fee, or ban on plastic bags used in grocery stores. In the Senate, the bill was expanded to include raising the minimum wage and benefit standards beyond the state minimum.
Senate president expresses opposition to pipeline project
New Hampshire Union Leader, 4/5/16
New Hampshire’s leading Republican lawmaker, Senate President Chuck Morse of Salem, is taking a stand against the Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline, citing what he called the company’s dismissive approach to New Hampshire’s regulatory authority.
Kinder Morgan spokesman Richard Wheatley said the company has had several informational meetings with Morse, but did not speak directly to his concern about federal pre-emption of the state’s authority in siting the project.
Defendants say SQ 777 suit has no standing
Tahlequah Daily Press, 3/31/16
With their lawsuit filed to keep the measure of the ballot, opponents of State Question 777 have received their first responses from the defendants in the case.
The defendants, the Oklahoma State Election Board and State Attorney General Scott Pruitt, do not believe the plaintiffs’ case has standing.
“They have filed a motion to dismiss,” said Denise Deason Toyne, president of Save the Illinois River Inc., a plaintiff in the suit. “We will actually be trying to reach their attorney [Thursday] to find out their expectations. A hearing date is set near the end of May, and that will be an opportunity for us to oppose the motion to dismiss.”
SQ 777, or “Right to Farm,” is a proposed amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that is sowing discord between agricultural and environmental interests within the state.
Nashville sued over fairgrounds gun show policy
The Tennessean, 4/6/16
An operator of gun shows at Nashville’s fairgrounds has followed through on his promise to sue Metro government over its controversial action in December to halt future gun shows unless new rules are in place for the events.
They contend the Metro fair board overstepped its authority when it voted Dec. 1 to cease future gun shows unless operators accept new parameters…
The lawsuit alleges the fair board violated the state’s pre-emption law regarding firearm sales…
LANDMARK, AG-REQUESTED REGULATIONS FOR E-CIGARETTES, VAPOR PRODUCTS PASS SENATE
Washington State, Office of the Attorney General, 3/28/16
Passed by state legislature and sent to the Governor for signature, SB6328 is an e-cigarette/ vapor product bill that preempts local governments from:
- adopting or enforcing requirements for the licensure and regulation of vapor product promotions and sales at retail.
- imposing fees or license requirements on retail outlets for possessing or selling vapor products, other than general business taxes or license fees not primarily levied on such products.
- regulating the use of vapor products in outdoor public places, unless the public place is an area where children congregate, such as schools, playgrounds, and parks.
Walker signs bill banning bans on plastic bags
Wisconsin Gazette, 4/1/16
AB 730 – prohibits local governments from regulating the commercial use of plastic bags or other “auxiliary containers” such a cups, bottles or other packaging.