Welcome to the Preemption Watch News. We hope you find these news links and summaries useful. Please let us know if you have any news about proposed or pending preemption that you would like us to include in future updates. You can contact us at or (510) 452-9419. More information can be found at Preemption Watch. Thank you for your support!

Preemption Watch now has a new Facebook page! Please follow us and share our page with others who may be interested.



Arizona   Idaho   Iowa   Maryland   Montana   Oregon   Pennsylvania   South Carolina 


Last week we reported on eight preemptive state “bathroom bills.”  Three more states can now be added to the list:

Kansas: HB 2171
South Dakota: SB 115
Wyoming: HB 244

So-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts,” which would preempt inconsistent local LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinances, have been introduced in Oklahoma, Virginia and Wyoming. 

Oklahoma: SB 197, SB 530, HB 1507
Virginia: HB 2025
Wyoming: HB135

Transgender Rights Are Under Attack in These 11 States
Mother Jones, 1/27/2017

Virginia lawmakers advance legislation promoting anti-LGBTQ taxpayer-funded discrimination
LGBT Weekly, 1/27/2017

ACLU update on anti-LGBT legislation across America
LGBT Weekly, 1/26/2017

‘Sanctuary Cities’ Just the Start of Mayors’ Opposition to Trump
Governing, 1/27/2017

Even before he took office, President Trump and many of the nation’s big-city mayors found themselves at odds over issues such as climate change and immigrant rights. Baltimore, San Francisco and Seattle were among cities that approved resolutions either castigating Trump and his rhetoric or calling on him to condemn the instances of hate speech that followed his election…

Numerous states have stripped away the authority of local governments to set their own policies when it comes to transgender rights, minimum-wage levels, plastic bag bans and a host of other issues. Most federal preemption laws have been comparatively modest — blocking local requirements for restaurant menu disclosures, for instance, or reserving regulation of certain chemicals at the federal level. But constitutional authority exists for a federal preemption wave that could equal or even exceed the one launched so far by Republican state governments.


Rep. Jay Lawrence (R-North Scottsdale) sponsored HB 2086, which would block municipalities from issuing identification cards, and would withhold the distribution of state funding to local governments that violate the law.


New Idaho bill would ban sanctuary cities
KTVB (Idaho), 1/31/2017

A proposed bill by a local lawmaker would ban sanctuary cities in Idaho, and if those cities don’t comply, they will lose taxpayer money.

Republican Rep. Greg Chaney of Caldwell introduced the bill Monday in the House State Affairs Committee…

Chaney said this bill isn’t meant to change anything. Currently, there are no sanctuary cities in Idaho. Chaney said this bill is meant to discourage counties and cities from become sanctuary cities. If they do, those cities and counties would lose state sales tax distribution funds.

Under the proposal, local law enforcement would be prohibited from arresting someone on immigration status alone, but it would also require law enforcement to check for and comply with immigration holds when arresting someone on a misdemeanor or felony.


NOTEBOOK: ABI backs minimum wage pre-emption; hopeful for rollback of ‘onerous’ federal rules
Business Record, 1/27/2017

On Jan. 11 more than 500 Iowa Association of Business and Industry members from across the state met in Des Moines to mingle with their legislators as the new session got underway. 

A few days later I sat down with Nicole Crain, ABI’s senior vice president of public policy, to get her take on the key issues her organization is paying attention to this session. 

A uniform statewide minimum wage, tax reform and tort reform, and water quality are some of the issues that float to the top, Crain said. The issues tie in with the organization’s top three legislative priorities this year, which are workforce, competitive business climate, and environmental investment and accountability.  


HB0317, which would preempt local authority to raise the minimum wage or mandate that employers provide any form of leave or other employee benefit, was filed in the Maryland House.


Attorney General Fox strikes down Missoula gun ordinance
Missoula News, 1/26/2017

A hotly contested Missoula city ordinance that extends background checks to private gun sales is prohibited by state law and may not be enforced, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox has ordered.

Fox issued his opinion Thursday in response to a request last fall by Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen of Culbertson. The attorney general had previously stated his opposition to the ordinance.

The nine-page opinion concludes that the city ordinance, which requires a federal background check for most private gun sales and transfers within city limits, violates a state law prohibiting local governments from regulating citizens’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms.


SB 544 preempts local laws mandating “benefits other than salary and wages, including but not limited to retirement benefits, transportation benefits, sick time leave, scheduling preferences or scheduling rights, vacation leave and any form of paid time off or paid leave that accrues to an employee in regular intervals that may be used by the employee for any purpose.”


Twenty-one state Senators led by Sen. John H. Eichelberger (R-30), have filed SB 128, a bill to preempt local governments from adopting any “paid leave or compensation mandates.”

South Carolina

A group of state Senators has filed S. 218, which would preempt local governments from requiring “an employee benefit. Employee benefit includes, but is not limited to any health benefits, disability benefits, death benefits, group accidental death and dismemberment benefits, paid days off for holidays, paid sick leave, paid vacation leave, paid personal necessity leave, retirement benefits, and profit-sharing benefits.”