Transgender “bathroom bills” earliest state preemption trend of 2017
Preemptive “bathroom bills” have been filed in eight states, following the adoption in 2016 of HB2 in North Carolina (which also expressly preempts local LGBT non-discrimination ordinances). These bills make it illegal for transgender persons to use a bathroom, locker room or other changing facility that does not match the gender listed on their birth certificate. If adopted, these state laws would preempt inconsistent local laws. A similar bill, which was vetoed in 2016, may be re-introduced in South Dakota.
In Texas, one of the eight states with a pending bathroom bill, a bill preempting local nondiscrimination ordinances has also been filed. SB 92 would “overturn local ordinances protecting LGBT people from workplace and housing discrimination.”
LGBT advocates decry ‘bathroom bill’ and other measures
Austin American Statesman, 1/19/2017
Virginia’s bill, also one of the eight, died in committee on January 19, 2017.
State “bathroom bills” 2017 (current as of 1/25/2017)
State Bills To Block Munis Start In MO, VA
Community Networks, 1/12/2017
SB 186 (Missouri) starts out strong by prohibiting local government from offering “competitive service,” which includes both retail or wholesale models. By preventing wholesale models, the bill interferes with a municipality’s ability to work with private sector partners, a major complaint about the bill introduced last year…
Fresh from Virginia comes HB 2108, the “Virginia Broadband Deployment Act,” which makes changes to existing law by adding an entire section. The bill also repeals several disclosure exclusions relating to telecommunications; those exclusions are now under the Freedom of information Act.
Trump, Congress Could Halt State Action on Climate
Climate Central, 1/9/2017
“There really is virtually no aspect of federal regulation of the natural environment or health that’s not at risk of preemption now,” said Mark Pertschuk, a lawyer [with] Grassroots Change, which tracks state preemptions of local rules…”Federal laws almost always trump state and local laws”…
Not all talk of federal preemption is hypothetical. Rep. Michael Burgess, a Republican from Texas, introduced a bill last week that would repeal federal efficiency standards affecting washing machines, dryers, ceiling fans, fridges, and other appliances. It would also prevent states from adopting any product standards governing “energy conservation or water efficiency.”
Cities Need a National Movement Against Conservative Meddling
With its focus on political principles rather than issues, Defend Local is a new kind of coalition, said Mark Pertschuk, the director of the Bay Area nonprofit Grassroots Change, which monitors pre-emption laws. “It’s unique and very important, because in the ecosystem of advocacy groups it’s much easier to raise money for single issues,” he said. The focus on guns or environmental protection or workers’ rights prevents local citizens from recognizing just how similar the predicaments are.
Firearm Preemption Case Gets Hearing
WFSU (NPR Affiliate), 1/10/2017
The first district court of appeals must consider whether the city went afoul of the law when it left a pair of provisions regulating gun use on the books…
But city attorneys argue the state’s preemption law violates city commissioners’ rights under the state constitution. Lauren Lennon says that’s because it violates the commissioners’ legislative immunity by carrying penalties and fines, even allowing them to be personally sued based on how they vote.
The Push For Paid Sick Leave In Maryland
CBS Baltimore, 1/9/2017
A paid sick days bill in Maryland, HB0001, would preempt local authority to set a higher standard.
Omaha World-Herald, 1/14/2017
Also at stake is a bill that would put an end to local gun regulations, including an Omaha ordinance that prohibits those under 21 from possessing a handgun.
Four members of the Omaha City Council and the Omaha Police Officers Association opposed a similar gun pre-emption bill last year. Mayor Jean Stothert supported the bill, saying she questions whether the local regulations help reduce gun violence.
A filibuster narrowly killed the measure last year. This year’s version, Legislative Bill 68, is sponsored by Sen. Mike Hilgers of Lincoln.
State Preemption Bill Threatens NYC’s #BYOBag Law
On May 5, 2016, the New York City Council adopted the #BYOBag law, which requires that all retailers in NYC charge a 5-cent minimum fee for each carryout bag provided at check-out. Due to preemption legislation introduced by state legislators later that month and a resulting compromise, implementation of the law was delayed from October 1, 2016 until February 15, 2017. In January 2017, companion preemption bills were reintroduced in Albany: Senate Bill 362 and Assembly Bill 1750.
Can Allegheny County enact its vaping ban?
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 1/19/2017
The Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association is questioning whether Allegheny County has the legal authority to institute a proposed vaping ban that’s been in the works since May.
A Jan. 12 letter to Allegheny County Council members from the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the association points to the preemption clause in the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act…
Michael Parker, solicitor for the Allegheny County Health Department, said the department’s legal analysis determined vaping products are not covered by the Clean Indoor Air Act or its preemption clause.
“The Clean Indoor Air Act only regulates ‘lighted smoking devices’ and does not include any language on e-cigarettes or vaping,” Parker wrote in an email to the Tribune-Review. “A recent Clean Indoor amendment (HB 682) proposed by the legislature included e-cigarettes and vaping but was not passed. This acknowledged that e-cigarettes and vaping were not covered by the act.”
The proposal would prohibit vaping and e-cigarettes everywhere cigarette smoking is not permitted such as indoor workplaces, schools, restaurants, health care-related properties, theaters, sports facilities and transit stations.
Firearm owners group president calls injunction against Lower Merion ‘long overdue’
The Penn Record, 1/17/2017
Six years later, fight over anti-sanctuary cities bill has changed
Texas Tribune, 1/15/2017
Bills filed in both chambers — Senate Bill 4 by state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, and House Bill 889 by state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth — would allow local police to enforce immigration laws, but only if the officer is working with a federal immigration officer or under an agreement between the local and federal agency. It would also punish governments if their law enforcement agencies — specifically county jails — fail to honor requests, known as detainers, from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers for sheriffs to hand over immigrants in their custodies for possible deportation. The punishment would be a denial of state grant funds.
Plastic bag bans could end up in Texas Supreme Court
Waste DIVE, 1/13/2017
Virginia Communities Reject State Preemption Bill
Community Networks, 1/20/2017
Last week, Virginia State Delegate Kathy Byron introduced a bill that, if passed, will cripple attempts for municipalities to improve local connectivity. HB 2108, the “Virginia Broadband Deployment Act, imposes specific requirements on municipal networks that would greatly limit whether communities could offer Internet access or work with private sector partners. The City of Roanoke and Franklin County wasted no time in unanimously passing resolutions to oppose the Virginia bill.