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The 30 Years That Brought Us HB 2

July 13, 2016

Barry Yeoman, July 13 2016, IndyWeek

“The game is over, and the NRA won it,” says Mark Pertschuk, director of Grassroots Change, a California-based nonprofit that runs a project called Preemption Watch. Since then, preemption efforts have flourished. “Every industry, every interest group, said, ‘We might not get what we want, but we can stop anything,'” explains Pertschuk.

Those industries are often assisted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a free-market advocacy group that brings together business leaders with state legislators at luxury hotels. ALEC also publishes model laws curtailing local authority, with wording that lawmakers can copy and paste.

It’s no shock, then, that in recent years states have barred municipalities from regulating fracking, banning or taxing plastic bags, and creating sanctuaries for immigrants. This spring, Wisconsin outlawed county development moratoriums. Mississippi upended local regulations on companies like Uber. Arizona took away local leverage over drones and puppy mills. And Kansas passed a law preempting—in a single swoop—local policies governing rent control, housing inspections, and nutritional labeling.

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